The Bluebirds may be without a point in over a month but they are still five points better off than QPR, who find themselves in relegation danger.
Cardiff's losing streak continued at the weekend with a 2-1 reverse at home to league leaders Norwich City.
Neil Harris is now clinging onto his job following a run of six defeats in seven in all competitions, five of those losses coming in the Championship.
The hope for Cardiff is that it is still not too late to mount a charge for the playoffs, but if that is to happen they need to start making up the 11-point deficit on sixth place.
The immediate aim for QPR, meanwhile, is to simply climb away from the bottom three. Mark Warburton's men head into the midweek games five points above the dropzone.
Following the postponement of their weekend clash with Wycombe Wanderers, who have been heavily hit by coronavirus cases, Warburton's men have had a full week's rest.
On the back of their win over Luton, QPR are now out to win successive away league games for the first time since September 2019.
However, they have lost on their last two visits to the Cardiff City Stadium, while the home side has won this fixture in each of their last six league meetings.
Cardiff City Championship form: LWLLLL
Cardiff City form (all competitions): WLLLLL
Queens Park Rangers Championship form: LDDLDW
Queens Park Rangers form (all competitions): DDLDLW
New signing Watters may go straight into Cardiff's starting lineup, though Kieffer Moore made his injury return from the bench last time out and is another option.
As for the visitors, Bright Osayi-Samuel is eligible to play despite signing a pre-contract agreement with Fenerbahce last week.
Austin seems certain to lead the line, the striker having marked his second debut for the club with an important goal against Luton last time out.
Warburton may opt to stick with largely the same XI with a week's rest between games, though Albert Adomah is among those pushing for a recall.
Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Smithies; Bacuna, Bennett, Nelson, Bagan; Wilson, Vaulks, Ralls, Ojo; Watters, Moore
Queens Park Rangers possible starting lineup:
Dieng; Kane, Barbet, Dickie, Hamalainen; Cameron, Ball; Osayi-Samuel, Chair, Adomah; Austin
We say: Cardiff City 2-1 Queens Park Rangers
Cardiff have been in terrible form of late and are running out of time to turn things around. QPR returned to winning ways last time out, but they are five points worse off than their opponents.
Boosted by some transfer activity this week, we are backing the Bluebirds to make it three home league wins in a row against Rangers on Wednesday night.
Top betting tip
body check tags ::