Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set for a Championship baptism of fire this Friday with a trip to Blackburn Rovers always likely to be a tough opening task for any side, let alone one still reeling from relegation.
The Bluebirds are the 15/8 outsiders for victory at Ewood Park, with Rovers on at 7/5 for the win while the draw is available at 23/10 with Ladbrokes.
Underdogs for victory on the night, Cardiff could also be set for an unhappy reunion of sorts, should Blackburn striker Rudy Gestede recover from a recent bout of flu. With that in mind, here are three of the best bets for this tasty Championship encounter.
Blackburn hit top gear too late for a play-off charge last term but with manager Gary Bowyer keeping his team together over the summer, the dynamic forward pairing of Gestede and Jordan Rhodes should pick up where they left off.
Four of Roversï¿½ previous five fixtures in the Championship last term featured over 3.5 goals and Cardiffï¿½s recent encounters, meanwhile, have been equally goal-heavy with over 3.5 recorded in each of their last three friendlies.
Sold by Cardiff after failing to make the grade in the Premier League, Gestede was a revelation for Blackburn last term, scoring 12 goals in 21 Championship appearances for the Lancashire club with many of those strikes coming towards the back-end of the campaign.
Gestede scored six times in Roversï¿½ final three league fixtures and also netted in three of their last four at Ewood Park. Provided he is fully recovered from his recent illness, a modicum of revenge may be exacted by the former Metz star.
Blackburn scored an average of 2.8 goals a game over their finalï¿½10ï¿½Championship fixtures last term and with Rhodes and Gestede in tow, a similar tally could be on the cards against a Cardiff team that endured real defensive problems in the Premier League last term.
Three of the Bluebirdsï¿½ last four defeats in the league came during games in which the opposition managed between two and three goals, while two of their last three friendly encounters have featured the same number of goals at the wrong end.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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