The Hornets are hoping to consolidate their position in the automatic promotion places with a win this weekend, while the Bluebirds are looking to extend their 11-match unbeaten run.
A goalless draw away at Huddersfield Town extended their unbeaten league run to 11 matches – their best run since a 13-game stretch between January and April 2018 during their last Championship promotion-winning season.
The Bluebirds were languishing in 14th place before McCarthy took charge but since then he has guided them to within four points of the playoffs.
Cardiff have already beaten Watford this campaign, when Kieffer Moore secured a slender 1-0 victory at Vicarage Road in December, which came after the Welsh outfit had lost all of their previous three meetings.
With 11 Championship games still remaining Cardiff will fancy their chances of sneaking into the top six, and McCarthy will hope that his players can replicate recent performances against a fellow promotion hopeful.
Watford claimed their fourth successive home victory when they secured a narrow 1-0 win against Nottingham Forest last weekend.
Adam Masina's first goal of the season was enough to separate the two sides at Vicarage Road, moving the Hornets into the top two for the first time since early November.
Like McCarthy at Cardiff, the appointment of Xisco at Watford has been a success; the Spaniard has won 10 of his 15 Championship matches which has kept the Hornets in the hunt for an immediate return to the Premier League.
Only league leaders Norwich City (33) have won more Championship points than Watford (32) since Xisco's first game in charge on Boxing Day.
The Hornets are looking to win three consecutive away league matches against Cardiff for the first time since September 2007, after convincingly winning their last encounter 5-1 in the Welsh capital.
Watford are still to play Norwich as well as automatic promotion rivals Brentford and Swansea City later this campaign, and Xisco will hope that his side can keep their momentum going into the home straight.
Osei-Tutu remains on loan from Arsenal despite missing the last five months of the season with a hamstring injury.
Left-back Joel Bagan is to meet with a specialist to ascertain whether he needs surgery on his dislocated shoulder, which he sustained in the victory against Derby.
Colombian international Carlos Sanchez, who made his debut against Forest, is in contention to make his first start for the club this weekend.
Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Phillips; Morrison, Flint, Nelson; Ng, Vaulks, Pack, Ojo; Wilson, Hoilett; Moore
Watford possible starting lineup:
Bachmann; Femenia, Sierralta, Troost-Ekong, Masina; Sarr, Hughes, Chalobah, Sema; Gray, Pedro
We say: Cardiff City 1-1 Watford
Both sides head into this Championship encounter in good form and have hopes of keeping their momentum going this weekend. Cardiff were able to frustrate Watford last time out, and we can see the Bluebirds causing problems once again, with a score draw on the cards.
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