Malky Mackay steered the Bluebirds to the Carling Cup final last season where they nearly beat Liverpool, although the Scot fielded an inexperienced team at Northampton in the week and will probably be relieved that City can now focus on league matters.
The bookies go odds-on about Cardiff across the board on Friday night, with Boylesports offering a stand-out 10/11 that the Welsh club enjoy a winning start and they will certainly be hard to stop if they can repeat last Saturday’s friendly performance which saw them beat Newcastle 4-1.
This wasn’t a second-string Magpies team that turned up in south Wales and many football punters will have identified the home win as an ideal opportunity to get the betting weekend off to a flyer, with Craig Bellamy eligible to play following his move from Liverpool.
The forward clearly has a passion for his hometown club and is back to try and help them make the step up to the top flight, with odds of 6/1 (bet365 £200 free bets) that he breaks the deadlock against a Huddersfield side that have eventually made it to the Championship.
The Terriers were unable to make the jump under Lee Clark although Simon Grayson got the rub of the green in the play-offs and the former Leeds boss has bags of experience managing at this level thanks to his stint at Elland Road.
Town will hope to consolidate their position in the second flight and potentially trouble the play-off places, with odds of 15/4 (Blue Square bookmaker) that the visitors claim a valuable three points from this contest.
Jordan Rhodes is rumoured to be joining Blackburn Rovers although the young striker’s goal for Scotland against Australia in the week means he could be on the radar of a few Premier League clubs and he is likely to line up in this match.
The forward scored a bundle in League One last term and can be backed at 13/2 to score the first of this game, although Cardiff will hope he can be kept quiet and Rhodes might have to feed off scraps as Grayson looks to keep things tight in this match.
Providing Mackay’s men don’t stutter in front of a packed crowd, we can be reasonably confident that they can lead at half-time and full-time, with that outcome on offer at 2/1 with Paddy Power.