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Bluebirds hope Zohore will be back to take on Norwich

CARDIFF go into Friday’s clash with Norwich just four points off leaders Wolves after seeing off Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

Goals from Junior Hoilett and Danny Ward guided the Bluebirds to a 2-0 win at the City ground.

Neil Warnock’s side have now won four out of their last five games.

Their opponents, on the other hand, are languishing in mid-table after being held at home by Preston.

James Maddison’s free-kick gave Norwich the lead at Carrow Road, but this was cancelled out by Tom Barkhuizen’s header.

The Canaries haven’t won since their victory at rivals Ipswich back in October.

Cardiff have not lost a league match at the Cardiff City Stadium in nine games.

Team news:

Neil Warnock is hopeful that Kenneth Zohore will be fit to face the Canaries. The striker missed the game at Nottingham Forest after having minor surgery on his ankle.

The hosts will also be boosted by the return of Omar Bogle, who has now completed his suspension after his sending off at Bristol City.

Aron Gunnarsson sat out the win at the City Ground, but should return after featuring in the game at Barnsley.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Kadeem Harris could return to the squad, but are unlikely to start after their recent injury problems.

Lee Camp and Jazz Richards remain unavailable for selection.

Norwich will be without experienced winger Matt Jarvis and midfielder Alex Tettey (calf).

Alex Pritchard could return from a long term ankle injury, having featured from the bench in the game against Preston.

Predicted line-ups:

Cardiff: Etheridge; Ecuele Manga, Morrison (c), Bamba, Bennett; Ralls, Gunnarsson, Bryson; Patterson, Hoilett, Ward.

Norwich: Gunn; Pinto, Zimmermann, Hanley, Stiepermann; Reed, Vrancic; Hoolahan, Maddison, Murphy; Oliveira.

Key battle: Sean Morrison v James Maddison

The Bluebirds’ skipper was named in the Skybet Championship Team of the Week after helping his side to three wins and three clean sheets last week. He will face a different sort of test this week, with the Canaries’ key player James Maddison looking to get up and support the lone striker Oliveira. Maddison’s free-kick against Preston was his fourth league goal of the season.

Key stats:

  • Cardiff have the meanest defence in the Championship, conceding only 13 goals in their opening 19 games.
  • The Bluebirds have not lost at home since their 0-2 loss against eventual champions Newcastle in April.
  • Norwich have won the last four meetings between the two sides.
  • Cardiff have won 14 of the 53 meetings between the two sides in all competitions (D9, L30).

What happened last time?

Cardiff 0-1 Norwich (February 4 2017)

A Cameron Jerome header consigned Neil Warnock’s side to their third defeat in four games and sent them dropping down the table. Despite having the better of the game, and having two penalty appeals turned down, the Bluebirds were unable to draw level.

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