Steve Cotterill and Neil Warnock go head-to-head at St Andrews in Birmingham on Friday (7.45pm).
Cheltenham-born Cotterill, 53, is the new manager of struggling Birmingham City, while Warnock’s Bluebirds are top of the championship.
Both men are no-nonsense managers who have a real talent for man management, but Yorkshireman Warnock is far more experienced and has had time to build a bond with his players.
Cotterill has only just taken over from Harry Redknapp and says: “It will be a great moment for me on Friday, Birmingham City is a special club, a real family club.
“I get the sense everybody is in it together and I like it that way.
“This is a great first game, it couldn’t be better.
“My players have been positive since I arrived. There has been no negative talk at all. It’s all about going forward.
“We focus on going forward rather than wasting time on the negativities and that’s a good thing to do.”
The Blues are 22nd in the Championship table, while Cardiff are top having suffered only one defeat in their first 11 fixtures.
Warnock has used only 20 players in the league this season – only Millwall have used fewer.
Callum Paterson is making good progress towards fitness, having recovered from cruciate ligament damage, and scored a hat-trick in City’s under-23 match against Blackburn Rovers away (3-3).
Scottish defender Paterson, who celebrates his 23rd birthday this week, is unlikely to be risked on Friday, but he does offer another option. Lee Peltier, though, has been in excellent form, a strong and solid defender, and he is currently first choice at full-back.
Paterson, though, does offer a better attacking outlet and loves to burst forward.
More than 1,500 Cardiff fans have tickets for the match at St Andrews, while there are a total of 2,500 available in the away end. Tickets will be available before kick-off.
Prices: Adults £20; Senior Citizens (over 65) £15; Students £15; 13-18 yrs £10.00; Under-13 £5.
Cardiff City, possible: Etheridge, Peltier, Morrison, Manga, Bennett, Bamba, Damour, Gunnarsson, Hoilett, Mendez-Laing, Zohore.