Football Previews

Leeds United v Cardiff City preview, predictions & possible XIs

By CJ Smith

Published: 22:26, 13 December 2019

Championship leaders Leeds United will look to further enhance their promotion claims when they host Cardiff City on Saturday.

The Peacocks look to have put the disappointment of last season firmly behind them and now sit joint-top of the table alongside West Brom. Perhaps more importantly, Marcelo Bielsa’s are already 11 points clear of third-placed Fulham.

2019/20 has been a mixed bag so far for Cardiff, who sit ninth in the table eight wins from 21 games. That said, the Bluebirds are only three points behind sixth-placed Preston North End and are well and truly in the play-off race.

Can the Bielsa juggernaut keep rolling on, or will Cardiff get an unlikely result at Elland Road? Read on for our Leeds United vs Cardiff City preview, predictions, team news and more.

When is Leeds United vs Cardiff City and where can I watch live?

Competition: Championship

Venue: Elland Road

Date: Saturday, 13 December 2019

Kick-off: 3:00 PM (UK time)

TV coverage (UK): N/A

Last five meetings: Leeds United vs Cardiff City

03 Feb 2018Leeds United 1-4 Cardiff City (Championship)

26 Sep 2017Cardiff City 3-1 Leeds United (Championship)

11 Feb 2017Leeds United 0-2 Cardiff City (Championship)

17 Sep 2016Cardiff City 0-2 Leeds United (Championship)

08 Mar 2016Cardiff City 0-2 Leeds United (Championship)

Aggregate Score: Leeds United (LLLWW) 6-9 Cardiff City (WWWLL)

Ones to watch

Leeds United: Patrick Bamford

Leeds United’s Patrick Bamford

Patrick Bamford has struggled to hit the heights for a number of years nw, but this season, the former Chelsea striker really seems to have found his form.

It isn’t just his goals offering Leeds a threat up top, with Bielsa recently praising Bamford’s unselfish, physical all-around contribution. If he keeps his form up, he’s sure to get another stab at the Premier League soon.

Key stat: Bamford is Leeds’ top scorer in the Championship this season with seven goals.

Cardiff City: Aden Flint

Cardiff City’s Aden Flint applauds the fans after the game

Charged with stopping Bamford will be Cardiff centre-back Aden Flint.

The 30-year-old only joined from Middlesbrough at the start of the season but has already become a key member of Neil Harris’ side, with no player featuring in more than his 1,890 Championship minutes so far this term.

Flint has been rock-solid at the back and has also proved himself as a bit of a goal threat, scoring twice.

Key stat: Flint has blocked more shots (23) than any other Cardiff player in the Championship this season.

Team news

Leeds United

Jamie Shackleton, Adam Forshaw and Tyler Roberts are all sidelined, leaving Bielsa with a number of questions to answer in the middle of midfield.

Kalvin Phillips returns after serving a suspension, while Liam Cooper is close to a return.

Predicted XI: Casilla; Ayling, White, Berardi, Dallas; Phillips; Costa, Hernandez, Klich, Harrison; Bamford.

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Cardiff City 

Harris faces a number of fitness doubts, with Leandro Bacuna, Robert Glatzel, Sol Bamba, Omar Bogle and Joe Ralls all struggling for Saturday’s game.

Predicted XI: Etheridge; Peltier, Flint, Nelson, Bennett; Paterson, Pack; Mendez-Laing, Tomlin, Hoilett; Ward.

Squawka prediction

Cardiff’s run of three straight wins came to an abrupt end with a 2-1 defeat to Brentford last time out but they remain firmly in the race of a play-off spot.

However, Leeds have been almost unstoppable this season and it’s hard to see anything other than a win for Bielsa’s side here.

Scoreline prediction: Leeds United 3-1 Cardiff City