Aston Villa v Cardiff preview: Championship clash live on Sky Sports Football
Watch live on Sky Sports Football or Main Event from 7.30pm on Tuesday
Last Updated: 10/04/18 6:56pm
Aston Villa's chances of winning automatic promotion from the Sky Bet Championship would disappear if they fail to topple second-placed Cardiff at Villa Park on Tuesday night, live on Sky Sports.
Steve Bruce's men crashed to a 3-1 defeat at Norwich on Saturday, meaning they failed to make up ground on Cardiff following the Bluebirds' 1-0 home defeat to Wolves less than 24 hours earlier. Bruce looks unlikely to make major changes, with Jonathan Kodjia seemingly set for another appearance off the bench.
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And there will be little time for Villa to recover, whatever the outcome against Cardiff, as they face Leeds in another key Championship clash on Friday. Cardiff's biggest battle could be a mental one as they look to pick themselves up after missing two stoppage-time penalties that cost them dearly against Wolves.
Midfielders Aron Gunnarson and Callum Paterson are set to be involved - Gunnarson is continuing his comeback from injury, while Paterson took a blow to his chest in the Wolves game.
And Bluebirds manager Neil Warnock could decide on a recall for Joe Ralls, who is returning to full fitness and might get an opportunity against Villa. Cardiff are nine points behind Wolves, but two ahead of in-form Fulham with a game in hand.
Aston Villa have won 12 of their last 14 home matches against Cardiff in all competitions, drawing the other two.
The Bluebirds have won their last two Championship matches against Villa, winning 1-0 in January 2017 and 3-0 in August this season.
After a run of 10 wins in 12 Championship games, the Villans have won just one of their last five in the league (D1 L3).
Neil Warnock has lost all six of his away Football League meetings with Steve Bruce, with all six coming with different clubs (Bury, Sheffield United, Leeds United, Crystal Palace, Rotherham and Cardiff).
Robert Snodgrass has scored in three of his last five league matches against Cardiff (three goals), but hasn't ended on the winning side in any of those games (D1 L2).
Cardiff are winless in two Championship games, having won eight in a row previously.
How much will the manner of Cardiff's defeat at Wolves impact them going forward? Suddenly the gap between themselves and Fulham is just two points, and even though Neil Warnock's side have a game in hand it would still be a huge blow to find themselves outside of the top two.
Aston Villa would have hoped to be the side doing the chasing, but one win in five seems to have left them with two much to do. Victory is essential for them on Tuesday night but I think Cardiff will get back to winning ways here.
David Prutton predicts: 0-2 with Gary Madine to score first (55/1 with Sky Bet)