The 25-year-old, who hurt his ankle at Fleetwood nearly three weeks ago, returned to training earlier this week as he continues to try and push himself back into the squad in time.
Should McArdle pass a late fitness test he is still likely to face competition from the fit-again Andrew Davies, plus fellow centre-backs Michael Nelson and Carl McHugh.
Zavon Hines is pushing for a place on the wing despite not featuring in City's previous two league games.
Kyel Reid is battling for a starting role but Hines may get the nod from manager Phil Parkinson having started in both semi-final legs against Aston Villa.
Forward Garry Thompson is expected to start but there will be a free berth in attack with Andy Gray ineligible having already featured in the competition for Leeds.