Steve Morison's side went down 1-0 to runaway leaders Fulham at the weekend, while the Rams lost by the same scoreline to Luton Town.
Seemingly a foregone conclusion before the first ball was kicked, title favourites Fulham hoped to make Cardiff look over their shoulder that little bit more, especially with Morison's ranks being severely depleted by a bug before kickoff.
However, the illness-hit Bluebirds held their own during the encounter, although Aleksandar Mitrovic's 34th goal of the season on the 41-minute mark ultimately settled the contest as Cardiff's topsy-turvy fortunes continue.
Cardiff could have easily taken one point if not all three on another day, and Morison was understandably proud of his troops following the full-time whistle, but their position in the Championship table remains rather precarious.
Defeat to Marco Silva's men leaves Cardiff languishing in 20th spot but still comfortably 13 points clear of the relegation zone, and a tally of just three goals conceded from their last five second-tier encounters at home is also cause for optimism ahead of Tuesday's battle.
The great escape is no longer just a pipe dream for this deduction-hit Derby County side, but as is the case with their upcoming hosts, taking zero points from the last six on offer has not done their survival bid any favours.
Danny Hylton struck the only goal of the game for Luton Town on Saturday to condemn Wayne Rooney and his crop to another miserable afternoon on the road, but their fate has not been sealed just yet, with the 23rd-placed Rams eight points behind Reading in the safety of 21th spot.
Pride Park has certainly been kind to Derby this season as they endeavour to preserve their second-tier status, but away days fill the Rams faithful with dread, as their side have only won one of their last 15 Championship games on rival turf and have suffered defeats in each of their last four.
Derby will also need no reminding of how Cardiff humbled them 4-0 in this fixture during the 2020-21 campaign, with that defeat extending the Rams' winless run against the Bluebirds to four matches, but the odds may be in their favour here given the hosts' viral outbreak.
As for Derby, captain Tom Lawrence is serving the third and final game of a three-match ban after his sending off versus Peterborough United, while Kamil Jozwiak continues to recover from his ankle injury.
Rooney has no fresh concerns to worry about from the weekend's defeat, with Colin Kazim-Richards back fit and hopefully ready to lead the line once more, despite playing the full 90 on Saturday.
Richard Stearman and Festy Ebosele are waiting in the wings should fresh legs in defence be required, while Crystal Palace loanee Luke Plange is also ready should Rooney take no risks over Kazim-Richards's fitness.
Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Smithies; Drameh, Ng, Flint, McGuinness, Bagan; Doyle, Vaulks, Ralls; Collins, Davies
Derby County possible starting lineup:
Allsop; Stearman, Davies, Buchanan; Byrne, Bielik, Morrison, Forsyth; Bird, Kazim-Richards, Knight
We say: Cardiff City 0-0 Derby County
While it remains to be seen how many troops Morison will be able to recover from illness, a makeshift side left it all on the pitch against Fulham and cannot expect to be at 100% barely 72 hours later.
A lack of attacking depth could certainly prove costly for Cardiff, but Derby have been anything but ruthless on their travels too, and we can envisage defences taking centre stage in a drab midweek stalemate.
body check tags ::
Previews by email