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Opinion: Can Cardiff City make a serious push for promotion into the Premier League this season?

Outside Cardiff City Football Stadium, home of the Bluebirds team, Cardiff

There were positives to take for Cardiff City during the 2023/24 Championship campaign, as they finished 12th in the second-tier standings after some eye-catching results, particularly in the second-half of the season. The Bluebirds have now spent five seasons out of the top-flight, and their supporters will be eager to see them return to the Premier League at the earliest possible opportunity. The 12th place finish for Cardiff was their strongest finish in the last three league campaigns though, and so they can certainly take encouragement on that front heading into the 2024/25 Championship season, which gets underway in just under two months time. 

There’s been a vast improvement at the Cardiff City Stadium in particular, as they had the 14th best home record in the Championship, which might not seem the strongest by any means, but given that they had the second-worst home record in the 2021/22 season, and fifth-worst in the 2022/23 campaign, it’s pleasing progress for the Bluebirds, and something that they can build on moving forwards into the new season. 

It’s set to be an interesting pre-season ahead for Cardiff, as they adjust to life under new management, with Erol Bulut taking charge of the club earlier this month. The 49-year-old had most recently managed in Turkey with Gaziantep, but has also had a managerial spell with Turkish giants Fenerbahce. The coming months could be a busy one as Bulut looks to build his squad ahead of the Championship season, and if he can recruit effectively, then you’d like to think that Cardiff can mount a serious push for a top-six finish this season, especially if they can build on some of the momentum they had towards the back end of last year’s campaign. 

Their season could be defined in this summer’s transfer window, and not only do they need to recruit well, but they also should be looking to keep hold of some key players that could play an important role for the Bluebirds this term. One of those is Isaak Davies, who spent last season on loan with Belgian side KV Kortrijk, and he certainly caught the eye for all the right reasons. The Welshman netted 12 goals in 36 appearances for them, and could be in line to challenge for a spot in the Cardiff front-line. 

Davies’ good run of form elsewhere couldn’t have come at a better time, as Cardiff have struggled for goals in attacking areas of their team. Defender Perry Ng and Karlan Grant finished as the club’s top goalscorers last term, and with the likes of Yakou Meite and Kion Etete struggling for consistency in front of goal, you’d imagine that it’ll be a no-brainer for Bulut to include Davies in his starting XI next season. 

If he can replicate his goalscoring form for the Bluebirds, then we could see them challenging for the play-off positions in the Championship. Betting sites remain sceptical though, with an odds converter translating the current odds into a mere 14% chance of a top six finish.