MX23RW : Tuesday, January 19 23:42:50| >> :120:11530:11530:
Dec 11, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at Brentford Community Stadium
Attendance: 10,417
Brentford
2-1
CardiffCardiff City
FT

Preview: Brentford vs. Cardiff City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Brentford's meeting with Cardiff City in the Championship on Wednesday, including a prediction, team news and predicted lineups.

Two teams who are neck and neck in the Championship table meet on Wednesday when Cardiff City travel to London to face Brentford.

The home side are ninth in the table, just one point behind Cardiff in eighth place, with the Bluebirds enjoying a strong run of form following Neil Warnock's departure.


Match preview

Henrik Dalsgaard in action for Brentford in October 2019© Reuters

The last two games highlight in bold terms that this Brentford side has the capacity to produce simultaneously thrilling and dismal performances within days of each other.

A recent 7-0 home win over Luton Town highlighted the fluidity and boldness of this young side - an average age of just 23.7 years - and their capacity to produce some of the best football in the division.

On the other side of things, however, there are performances like the 2-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, during which Thomas Frank's side failed to make their presence felt over 90 minutes.

If they are to push for promotion this season - they are only five points behind third-placed Fulham - then Brentford's players must find a way of raising their basic level of performance on a game-by-game basis.

Beating the club that sits directly above them in Cardiff, therefore, would serve as a symbolically important victory for a team whose football deserves to provoke a push for Premier League football.

Cardiff City manager Neil Harris on November 30, 2019© Reuters

Warnock's departure from the manager role by mutual consent a month ago came as a surprise to many, but Cardiff's form since then has vindicated the decision.

Under Neil Harris, Cardiff have climbed from the bottom half of the table to being one point off the playoff spots following a run of three wins from four games.

Having experienced the Premier League last season, performing remarkably well given the resources at their disposal, there is an element of steeliness about the Bluebirds.

That much is clear when you look at the club's home record, losing just once all season, although there will be concerns over how Cardiff have only won once on the road in 10 outings.

Starting with the game on Wednesday, Cardiff may need to figure out how to win away from home if they are to bounce straight back into the Premier League come May.

Recent Brentford form: LWWLWL
Recent Cardiff City form: WLDWWW


Team News

Brentford boss Thomas Frank on August 31, 2019© Reuters

The home side are blessed by the fact that they have no discernible injury problems ahead of this fixture.

As a result, manager Frank will hand another start to striker Ollie Watkins, who has claimed 12 goals in 20 Championship games so far this term.

Cardiff, on the other hand, could see the return of Matthew Connolly happen very soon, with the defender injured since January.

Joe Ralls and Robert Glatzel are two other players with an outside chance of returning for this game, although Isaac Vassell is definitely out due to a thigh problem.

Brentford possible starting lineup:
Raya; Roerslev, Jeanvier, Pinnock, Henry; Norgaard, Mokotjo, Dasilva; Mbeumo, Benrahma, Watkins

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Etheridge; Peltier, Flint, Nelson, Bennett; Pack, Bacuna; Mendez-Laing, Tomlin, Hoilett; Madine


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We say: Brentford 2-1 Cardiff City

Expect a cagey and extremely tight affair played between two teams with very little to separate them, with Brentford's capacity for thrilling football combined with Cardiff's away record making the home side slight favourites for this encounter.


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Patrick Bamford celebrates scoring for Leeds on November 30, 2019
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Championship roundup: Impressive Leeds go top of league
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Norwich CityNorwich24155433211250
2Swansea CitySwansea24137429131646
3Reading2413473728943
4Bournemouth25119538211742
5Brentford22118336211541
6Watford23117527171040
7Stoke CityStoke2591063026437
8Middlesbrough22106628181036
9Bristol City2311392524136
10Barnsley25104112732-534
11Blackburn RoversBlackburn2496939281133
12Luton TownLuton249692126-533
13Preston North EndPreston24102123033-332
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2494112834-631
15Cardiff CityCardiff2385103027329
16Millwall2351172024-426
17Birmingham CityBirmingham2468101829-1126
18Coventry CityCoventry2468102234-1226
19Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2467111927-825
20Queens Park RangersQPR235992230-824
21Derby CountyDerby2457121525-1022
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham2255122332-920
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds2367101523-819
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe2336141635-1915

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