After suffering a morale-sapping 4-0 defeat at the hands of Newcastle’s north-east neighbours Sunderland last week, Cardiff will know that leaving Tyneside with anything less than three points could see them relegated.
Since taking over the job in January, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has failed to halt his slides precipitous slide towards the bottom of the table, with just three wins in 16 games.
The Bluebirds face a Newcastle side, though, currently suffering through an even worse patch of form. With little to play for since the turn of the year, Newcastle have lost six straight and scored just once in that period. That form will offer a glimmer of hope to a Cardiff side which has shipped 17 goals in their last six games.
Despite sitting comfortably in the top half of the table, far from the relegation scrap, this game could have a significant bearing on Alan Pardew’s job status. The controversial manager, who has lost popularity amongst the fans after his now-infamous headbutt against Hull, could be replaced in the summer if Newcastle again show a lack of heart in their final two games.
Cardiff, meanwhile, could be relegated this weekend if they fail to win and either Sunderland or Norwich pick up three points.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Newcastle 1 (Cisse) Cardiff 2 (Noone, Campbell), FA Cup, January 2014
Cardiff 1 (Odemwingie) Newcastle 2 (Remy 2), Premier League, October 2013
Newcastle 5 (Carroll 2, Gyepes og, Lovenkrands 2) Cardiff 1 (Wildig), Championship, February 2010
Newcastle have lost six straight for the first time since the 86/87 season. If they lose against Cardiff, it will be their worst top flight run since 1977, when they lost 10 in a row.
Newcastle have only managed 13 points since the turn of the year – from a possible 54.
Cardiff have scored 23 of their 31 goals this season in the second half of games.
This fixture pits two of the most out of form sides in the league against each other. In their last 10 games, Newcastle and Cardiff have combined for 17 points out of a possible 60.
Newcastle to win: 2.05
Cardiff to win: 3.5
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.20pm