Aston Villa v Cardiff City. Match preview

Last updated : 10 April 2018 By Michael Morris

C:WindowsTempphp2DFC.tmpAston Villa's chances of winning automatic promotion from the Sky Bet Championship would disappear if they fail to topple second-placed Cardiff at Villa Park on Tuesday night, live on Sky Sports.

Steve Bruce's men crashed to a 3-1 defeat at Norwich on Saturday, meaning they failed to make up ground on Cardiff following the Bluebirds' 1-0 home defeat to Wolves less than 24 hours earlier. Bruce looks unlikely to make major changes, with Jonathan Kodjia seemingly set for another appearance off the bench.

And there will be little time for Villa to recover, whatever the outcome against Cardiff, as they face Leeds in another key Championship clash on Friday. Cardiff's biggest battle could be a mental one as they look to pick themselves up after missing two stoppage-time penalties that cost them dearly against Wolves.

Midfielders Aron Gunnarson and Callum Paterson are set to be involved - Gunnarson is continuing his comeback from injury, while Paterson took a blow to his chest in the Wolves game.

And Bluebirds manager Neil Warnock could decide on a recall for Joe Ralls, who is returning to full fitness and might get an opportunity against Villa. Cardiff are nine points behind Wolves, but two ahead of in-form Fulham with a game in hand.

Opta stats

Aston Villa have won 12 of their last 14 home matches against Cardiff in all competitions, drawing the other two.

The Bluebirds have won their last two Championship matches against Villa, winning 1-0 in January 2017 and 3-0 in August this season.

After a run of 10 wins in 12 Championship games, the Villans have won just one of their last five in the league (D1 L3).

Neil Warnock has lost all six of his away Football League meetings with Steve Bruce, with all six coming with different clubs (Bury, Sheffield United, Leeds United, Crystal Palace, Rotherham and Cardiff).

Robert Snodgrass has scored in three of his last five league matches against Cardiff (three goals), but hasn't ended on the winning side in any of those games (D1 L2).

Cardiff are winless in two Championship games, having won eight in a row previously.

Match officials

Assistants: Michael George and Shaun Hudson
Fourth Official: Andrew Madley