Cavalry to lead charge as Cardiff City seek back-to-back wins for first time since October

Preston visit the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday and the Bluebirds starting line-up could look very different to last week

CARDIFF City are aiming to secure back-to-back victories for the first time since October when they host Preston North End at an expectant Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday.

After a difficult post-Christmas period which saw the Bluebirds win just one out of six games, Erol Bulut’s side returned to winning ways last weekend at Vicarage Road, when a stunning strike from Josh Bowler earned a 0-1 win.

Cardiff haven’t won back-to-back games since defeating Huddersfield Town and rivals Bristol City in late October and will have their raft of transfer window signings available to help – plus the returned Aaron Ramsey.

How could the Bluebirds line-up?

David Turnbull made his Cardiff City debut last Saturday against Watford

The January transfer window saw the Bluebirds bring in six new recruits, but none of City’s signings started the away win at Watford last time out as David Turnbull, Josh Wilson-Esbrand and Nat Phillips made their debuts off the bench.

After the victory at Vicarage Road, City’s new signings may have to wait to earn the opportunity to impress with the boss unlikely to make wholesale changes to a winning team.

But Erol Bulut has given hope to Bluebirds fans keen to see their new signings in action this weekend.

“We’ve brought new players in and they’ve brought quality to our training sessions,” he said.

“Last week the new lads had only a day or two in training. It will take them time to get used to their teammates.

“This week they will get minutes.”

The Bluebirds will again be without Callum Robinson and Callum O’Dowda, who Bulut hopes will return towards the end of the month. Centre-back Mark McGuinness is a doubt for the fixture with a “small problem” which will be assessed.

McGuinness’ injury could give new signing from Liverpool Nat Phillips an opportunity to impress at the back in front of Cardiff’s home fans.

Attacking midfield is likely to cause Bulut the biggest dilemma as he picks his team. Rubin Colwill occupied the number 10 role last time-out but with Aaron Ramsey now back from injury and Scottish midfielder David Turnbull eager to impress, the Bluebirds manager has a decision to make.

Turnbull, who signed from Celtic this January and has both international and Champions League experience, wants to replicate the form he produced in Glasgow in the Welsh capital.

“I had a great three-and-a-half years at Celtic but it was the right time for me to go,” said Turnbull.

“To come to Cardiff is a great move for myself and hopefully I can contribute goals and assists to the team.”

The opposition

Ike Ugbo headed in the winner for City at Deepdale in November

Preston North End, who Bulut terms a “physical” side, visit the Welsh capital this weekend in good spirits on the back of a 3-2 victory against high-flying Ipswich Town. The fixture will be the 103rd time the two clubs have faced each other, making the Lilywhites Cardiff’s most-faced team in English football.

Frankie McAvoy’s side sit 10th in the EFL Championship, two points ahead of the Bluebirds and just five points off a play-off spot.

The return fixture at Deepdale in late November saw Cardiff record one of their most noteworthy wins of the season so far. Two stoppage time goals from Ike Ugbo and Karlan Grant secured a 2-1 win from behind.

Home comforts

Bulut believes his side could have picked up even more points at the Cardiff City Stadium this season and is hopeful having a better squad at his disposal will help improve their record.

“We should have won a few more games,” said the Cardiff City boss.

“Against Norwich, West Brom and QPR we have lost in the last 10 minutes when we shouldn’t be losing. We have to be better, we have got to manage games.”