Lee Tomlin has been pinpointed as Cardiff City’s major threat by Huddersfield Town ahead of the Championship clash at The John Smith’s Stadium.
The Bluebirds midfielder has scored three goals in his last four games and has been praised for his increasing influence by manager Neil Harris and captain Sean Morrison.
That impact has not gone un-noticed by Huddersfield who are desperate to check Cardiff’s play-off push in order to sustain their own efforts to avoid relegation.
Terriers manager Danny Cowley said: “Lee Tomlin plays really well for them in the half spaces. He can come off both feet and has a very good direct free kick.
“They also have good options in the wide areas, having just signed Albert Adomah, Josh Murphy, who has started to score goals again, Junior Hoilett and Gavin Whyte, the Oxford boy – so some real good threats in wide areas.”
Harris’s side can extend their unbeaten run to 10 matches in all competitions this evening, although six of those nine games have been draws.
A victory would lift them back above Swansea City and into eighth place in the table and could trim their deficit from the play-off positions depending on other results.
But Huddersfield are also resurgent, having won two of their last three matches and Crowley believes the statistics show where Cardiff’s threat can be nullified.
“”They have a lot of good players and a really good manager in Neil Harris, a man we know well,” added Cowley.
“They are well organised and carry a real threat from set pieces – 55% of their goals since Neil has gone in have been from set pieces.
“Near on 60% of their chances are from the long throw, the corner or the free kick, so we are going to have to make sure we defend well against that.
“They have good delivery, good timing of runs from some aggressive aerial players – so that is definitely a real threat.”
Harris has reported no new injuries following Saturday’s win at Luton and is expected to choose from an unchanged squad. Albert Adomah, a deadline day loan signing from Nottingham Forest, made his Bluebirds debut at the weekend and should continue.
Fellow recent recruits Brad Smith and Dion Sanderson are hoping to feature for the first time, but may need longer to build up their match fitness. Midfielder Joe Ralls is still out as Cardiff bid to extend their unbeaten league run to six matches.
Huddersfield striker Karlan Grant is hoping to return to contention. Grant missed the Terriers’ first home win of the year against QPR on Saturday due to a knock, but has returned to full training.
Midfielder Alex Pritchard is also back in full training following his long-term knee problem and could return to the squad. Jonas Lossl, back at the club on loan from Everton, is likely to resume in goal as Kamil Grabara recovers from a serious head injury.