Can Cardiff City's strike force cope without Joe Mason?

That will be the question on everybody's lips when the Bluebirds arrive at the John Smith's Stadium on Saturday - after Wolves announced they are in advanced discussions to sign the striker.

Cardiff aren't blessed with overwhelming firepower - in fact, out of the Championship's top ten, only Brighton have netted fewer league goals this season than Russell Slade's men.

Town, eight places below Cardiff, have scored twice more in the league this season with 37 strikes to their name.

Sky Bet Championship - Huddersfield Town v Preston North End - Nahki Wells opens the scoring.

And yet Cardiff will kick off on Saturday five points off the play-off places and still harbouring dreams of a Premier League push.

However, any sale of Mason may put those fantasies on hold. The Irishman is the top scorer with six strikes to his name, while Kenwyne Jones (5 goals) has already departed for pastures new with Al Jazira, where he is on loan until the end of the current campaign.

Already subject to a transfer embargo, the Bluebirds will not be able to bring anyone in permanently to replace them.

Slade's side have won two of their last eight games but are in better form recently, winning two out of four league encounters since the turn of the year.

Their league position has been built on defence rather than attack - they've conceded 31 goals to Huddersfield's 39 and kept eight clean sheets, compared with Town's six.

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However, shutouts have been hard to come by in recent months. The 1-0 win over Paul Lambert's Blackburn at the start of this month was the first clean sheet since early November.

If Town are looking for more positive omens ahead of the weekend, a quick glance at City's away form should do it. Saturday's opponents have a much better record in front of their own fans this season than on the road - Cardiff have won just three of their 14 away games so far, picking up 14 points.

Compare that with six victories and 27 points on home turf and there is reason for optimism.

However, no Town fan will need reminding of Anthony Pilkington's qualities, and a reshuffled Huddersfield defence without Mark Hudson and Tommy Smith will be need to be at the top of their game to prevent another former Terrier from enjoying a return to Yorkshire rather too much.

CARDIFF, WALES - DECEMBER 29: Anthony Pilkington of Cardiff City reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Cardiff City and Nottingham Forest at the Cardiff City Stadium on December 29, 2015 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Pilkington was sold to Norwich in 2011 after more than a century of appearances in a Huddersfield shirt and enjoyed three seasons in the Premier League before making the move to the Welsh capital.

Five goals and two assists in the league this season make him one of Cardiff's most dangerous assets - and if Mason joins Jones the other side of the exit door than it will be the 27-year-old Irishman, alongside teammate Craig Noone, who will be expected to pick up the considerable slack.

But they have had success from set pieces - two words sure to send dread into the hearts of many a Town supporter. Of those 35 goals, eight have come via the dead ball situation - and a further two from the penalty spot.

Tough tacklers, beware.

Whoever is picked at full back should expect a busy afternoon, with Cardiff making just 25% of their attacking forays down the centre of the field, and favouring goal attempts from distance.

Town have a higher passing accuracy than this weekend's visitors (76.5% success compared with City's 73%) but Cardiff have seen a lot more success from dribbles - 54.5% compared with Town's 48.7%.

There isn't much between them in terms of tackles though, with Town winning 72.6% of their attempts and Cardiff seeing a 74% success rate.

Whatever the figures, Wagner's men will be out to right the wrongs of September, when it was an unhappy trip across the border for the Town faithful to watch their team lose 2-0.

Pilkington and Mason were the scorers that day as Cardiff continued a then unbeaten start to the season.

The destination of the three points is likely to come down to whether a reshuffled Town defence can keep out Cardiff's depleted attack.

But under David Wagner, a reinvigorated Town have a good chance to go on and claim all three points against another top 10 side.