As the Championship returns this weekend, there are just four places and four points separating Preston in 5th and Cardiff in 9th. That's some way off what I expected this season, Preston are going along as expected, but Cardiff are performing way above expectations I have. They take each other on at Deepdale this Saturday.Preston Form Guide
Go back earlier in the season and a great start saw Preston sit at the top of the league for a short while. A poor run saw them drop, they're actually 11 points off leaders Leicester now, showing the fall they had. But signs are coming that they are back, something they'll want to cement as we return this weekend.
Two wins in their final two league games before the break saw Preston climb back into the playoff spots. A 3-2 home success over Coventry got the ball rolling, then we saw much more like it from them when they went away to local rivals Blackburn and came away with a 2-1 win. Continuing their streak would show us that yes, they are back.Cardiff Form Guide
I can only applaud what Cardiff have done this season. I expected them to be amongst the relegation battle at the bottom, but seven wins from 16 games has given them a mid table position, and made me look a little silly. They're playing some good football, and come here on the back of two wins and two defeats plus a draw in their last five.
A defeat before the break is something they'll need to bounce back from though, losing 3-2 at home to Norwich. Before that, a 0-0 draw away at Stoke was a good point, and in their derby game, they won 2-0 at home to Bristol City. There's plenty to like about Cardiff at the moment, certainly more than what I expected at the start of the season.Match Prediction
A close game is expected here, but I am going to side with Preston. They had a great way of winning earlier in the season, finding a way to win when others wouldn't, and after a rough patch, I think they're back. Cardiff will present tough opposition, but I think Preston will find a way to take the three points.