There is a seven point gap between Leicester and Cardiff. It’s a gap that has opened up over the space of ten games where the Foxes have picked up 12 points and the Bluebirds 19. Nigel Pearson can ill afford to see the distance between his side and top spot extend to ten points.
Leicester’s tricky festive schedule pits them first against a Cardiff side that hasn’t lost on the road since that remarkable 5-4 reverse at Charlton. Since then they’ve picked up two wins and a draw on their travels, their best run away from home this season.
Malky Mackay will be looking for a response from his players after the shock result of the season last weekend. Putting some fellow promotion contenders in their place would be an excellent way to do it.
And there’s a fair bit going for Cardiff at the moment. In Craig Noone and Peter Whittingham Cardiff have two of the divisions top creative players. Noone has eight assists to his name already this term, Whittingham seven.
That creativity has seen Cardiff score in every match but one this season – and that came back in August.
It’s also true that you can never really count Cardiff out of a game at the moment. They’ve scored 12 goals in the final ten minutes this season, more than a quarter of their total in the Championship.
Leicester started the season with some blistering home form, but a return of eight points from 15 recently is less than stellar.
The Foxes will need to raise their game, as they usually do for matches like this, or risk drifting out of the automatic promotion picture altogether. A third 2-1 win over Cardiff at the King Power Stadium would be the perfect Christmas present.