MX23RW : Saturday, April 17 16:54:46| >> :120:71706:71706:
Feb 20, 2021 at 3pm UK at Cardiff City Stadium
CardiffCardiff City
PrestonPreston North End
Moore (2' pen.), Murphy (46'), Pack (71'), Harris (77')
Flint (65'), Bennett (90+2')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Cardiff City vs. Preston North End - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Cardiff City and Preston North End, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Cardiff City will be looking to maintain their winning run under Mick McCarthy when they host out-of-form Preston North End on Saturday afternoon.

The Bluebirds have won four and drawn two since McCarthy replaced Neil Harris last month, while Preston have lost three of their last four.

Match preview

Cardiff City manager Mick McCarthy pictured on February 16, 2021© Reuters

Cardiff's return of 14 points from the 18 on offer under McCarthy is the best of any side in the division over that timeframe.

From out of nowhere, the Bluebirds have dragged themselves right into the playoff mix and could potentially be in the top six come the middle of next week.

City are six points behind a stuttering Bournemouth side in the final playoff spot, with the two sides set to meet next Wednesday.

The most recent of Cardiff's wins came at Luton Town in midweek thanks to impressive long-range strikes from Harry Wilson and Will Vaulks.

Following that victory at Kenilworth Road, only Manchester United have won more games on their travels in English football's top four tiers than Cardiff since February 2020.

Liam Lindsay celebrates scoring for Preston North End against Blackburn Rovers in the Championship on February 12, 2021© Reuters

Cardiff's home form has not been as formidable over that period, though a draw against Millwall and a 3-1 win against Coventry City has at least ended a three-match losing run.

Preston's away results have been inconsistent to say the least, having alternated between defeat and victory in their last six games, most recently winning 2-1 at Blackburn Rovers.

Alex Neil's men followed that up with a 1-0 loss at home to Watford, however, and they have now won just two of their last nine overall.

That has seen North End slip down to 13th, four points behind Cardiff and 10 adrift of the playoffs - what is surely an insurmountable gap at this stage in the campaign.

Cardiff City Championship form: DDWWWW

Preston North End Championship form: WDLLWL

Team News

Cardiff City's Harry Wilson celebrates scoring with teammates against Barnsley on November 3, 2020© Reuters

McCarthy stuck with the same XI for the wins over Coventry and Luton, which may remain the case on Saturday afternoon.

Alex Smithies is back in the squad after recovering from illness, while Max Watters, Mark Harris and Leandro Bacuna are all pushing for recalls.

One player that is certain to retain his place in the side is striker Kieffer Moore, who has 13 goals in 26 Championship appearances this season.

Preston are without Patrick Bauer and Declan Rudd for this trip to South Wales and are unsure about the fitness of Louis Moult and Billy Bodin.

Full-back Greg Cunningham was an unused substitute against Watford and will play no part against parent club Cardiff due to an agreement in his loan deal.

Former Wales international Ched Evans should lead the visitors' line, despite scoring only once in his first five league appearances for Preston.

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Phillips; Morrison, Flint, Nelson; Ng, Vaulks, Pack, Bennett; Wilson, Moore, Murphy

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Iversen; Browne, Storey, Lindsay, Hughes; Whiteman, Molumby; Sinclair, Johnson, Barkhuizen, Evans

SM words green background

We say: Cardiff City 2-1 Preston North End

Preston may have alternated between defeat and victory in their last six away league games, but only Norwich City (nine) have won more times on their travels this term than North End's eight.

However, Cardiff have taken more points than any other side since January 27 and have won back-to-back league meetings with Preston, so we can see them coming out on top in this one.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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Cardiff City manager Mick McCarthy pictured on February 16, 2021
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