Cardiff vs Fulham preview: Championship clash live on Sky Sports Football
Watch live on Sky Sports Football from 7pm on Friday; Kick-off 7.45pm
Last Updated: 30/08/19 6:36pm
Cardiff face Fulham in the Sky Bet Championship on Friday. Coverage gets underway live on Sky Sports Football from 7pm, while kick-off is at 7.45pm.
Cardiff boss Neil Warnock expects to be without goalkeeper Neil Etheridge for up to five more weeks. Etheridge sustained a hamstring injury in the Bluebirds' opening-day fixture against Wigan and has not featured since, with Alex Smithies expected to return in goal after Joe Day played in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
There are fears for the fitness of a number of players who featured in the 3-0 midweek defeat to Luton. Callum Paterson has not trained since playing the full 90 minutes in that match. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing is also unlikely to play, with Warnock admitting the club have been left stumped by a mysterious injury that was initially diagnosed as a hamstring problem.
Scott Parker will not be able to call on the services of Bobby Reid against the forward's parent club. The Fulham boss appears to otherwise have no fresh selection concerns for the trip to south Wales.
Harry Arter could face his former club, having spent last season on loan at the Cardiff City Stadium from Bournemouth. Defender Denis Odoi has missed the last four games with a knee problem and could be absent again.
It has not been the easiest start for Cardiff on their return to the Championship. Neil Warnock's side have just two wins from their first five games, and in midweek they suffered a 3-0 reverse at home to Luton to send them out of the Carabao Cup.
Fulham have lost twice in the last week to bring their good run under Scott Parker to a halt. They were beaten at home by Nottingham Forest in the Championship on Saturday, then beaten at Craven Cottage by Premier League side Southampton in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.
Cardiff boss Neil Warnock: "There's no doubt Leeds and Fulham are the two favourites. The best signing they made was keeping Mitrovic, he'll be on hell of a contract but good luck to him.
"If he's not the best striker then he's one of the best strikers at that level and the commitment he shows. He's brought other players in, they've got some quality players really."
Fulham boss Scott Parker: "There's a long international break coming up and really you want to be going into that break with a positive result.
"We're going to go to Cardiff and try and put in a really good performance, and hopefully we can get something out of the game."
Talking point - Sessegnon making a splash
Ryan Sessegnon may have left for Tottenham in the summer, but that has not left Fulham without a Sessegnon in their squad, with Scott Parker handing his twin, Stephen, his first league starts so far.
Sessegnon making his mark
Steven Sessegnon discusses supporting his twin brother Ryan and his breakthrough at Fulham ahead of their clash with Cardiff on Friday night.
The right-back had only previously featured in cup games for Fulham, but was thrust in for their win over Huddersfield, then put in a great performance as they thrashed Millwall. There was a slight error against Nottingham Forest, leading to Lewis Grabban's second goal, but it has been a promising start for the 19-year-old. Can he go on to emulate his brother at Craven Cottage? Only time will tell.
The last two league meetings with Cardiff and Fulham at the Cardiff City Stadium have ended 4-2 - Fulham won in December 2017 and Cardiff won in October 2018 by that scoreline.
Fulham are looking to secure consecutive league wins over Cardiff for the first time since November 1996.
Cardiff have lost just once in their last 12 Championship home games, winning 10 in the process (D1 L1).
Fulham have won nine of their last 14 away games in the Championship (exc. play-offs), losing just twice (D3).
Cardiff manager Neil Warnock has won seven of his 10 home Football League matches against Fulham (W7 D2 L1).
Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic has failed to score in his four league appearances against Cardiff, although he's provided two assists in those games.
Cardiff haven't found their return to the Championship quite as easy as they may have thought, although Neil Warnock is more experienced at this level than anyone and knows how tough it can be.
Fulham were shown by Nottingham Forest at the weekend that, even with their attacking talent, they won't just be able to blow everyone away. That being said, I fancy them to nick this one.
David Prutton predicts: 1-2 (9/1 with Sky Bet)