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Hopeful Bluebirds travel to relegation-threatened Stoke

Neil Harris’ men look to get back to winning ways after Wigan draw  

Cardiff face Stoke City this weekend as they battle for play-off spot

THE Championship play-off race is due to heat up this weekend, with Cardiff travelling to Stoke City.  

City will have an eye on other fixtures, with play-off rivals Blackburn Rovers and Bristol City facing tricky games.  

Blackburn, who are ahead of Neil Harris’ side on goal difference, travel to fourth-place Brentford in Saturday’s early kick-off.  

Lee Johnson’s Bristol City, who sit three points in front of the Bluebirds, also face a tough game as they welcome table-toppers West Bromwich Albion.  

Slip-ups from either side leaves the door open for Cardiff to climb at least one position, should they overcome relegation-threatened Stoke.  

A Leandro Bacuna goal was enough to beat the Potters in November, the midfielder’s only goal of the campaign.  

Harris described the Stoke clash as a “huge game” but one that won’t decide the play-off places.  

“A good week is not going to guarantee us a play-off place, and vice-versa. But we’ve found a consistency as a side, on the whole, being hard to break down and hard to score against.” 

City are seven matches unbeaten following a 2-2 draw with Wigan at Cardiff City Stadium last Saturday.  

Josh Murphy continued his run of goalscoring form, netting his fourth in as many games across all competitions.  

Joe Bennett was withdrawn at half-time, with Harris saying it was for “protection” after City’s busy schedule.  

After six games out with a glute muscle issue, midfielder Joe Ralls is in contention to return at the bet365 Stadium. 

Stoke City were defeated 4-2 by Queens Park Rangers in their last outing, a result made worse by Luton Town’s 1-0 victory against Middlesbrough and Wigan’s point in Cardiff.  

Michael O’Neill’s side now sit just four points ahead of Luton and three ahead of the Latics.

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