MX23RW : Tuesday, October 27 12:48:24| >> :60:1635:1635:
Sep 26, 2020 at 3pm UK at Cardiff City Stadium
CardiffCardiff City
1-2
ReadingReading
Tomlin (81')
Hoilett (18'), Moore (53')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Morrison (47'), Joao (66')
Olise (90+5')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Cardiff City and Reading, including team news and predicted lineups.

Championship pacesetters Reading will be aiming to extend their winning start to the season when they travel to Cardiff City on Saturday afternoon.

The Royals have picked up maximum points from their first two matches to top the pile, while Cardiff have made a mixed start to the campaign with three points from six.


Match preview

Not a great deal was expected of Reading this season, with even supporters questioning the appointment of relative unknown head coach Veljko Paunovic.

However, the former Chicago Fire boss has made a perfect start to his Royals tenure - in the league, at least - thanks to 2-0 wins over Derby County and Barnsley.

Helped by red cards for Michal Helik and Mads Andersen, Reading got the job done against Barnsley in their most recent outing, with Yakou Meite and Michael Olise netting.

Paunovic is now looking to become the first non-British manager to win his first three Championship matches in charge since Marcelo Bielsa did so for Leeds in August 2018.

The Berkshire outfit do not tend to come away from Cardiff with maximum points, though, winning just one of their last nine away league meetings with the Bluebirds.

Cardiff manager Neil Harris pictured in July 2020© Reuters

Cardiff are aiming to string together back-to-back wins after easing to a 2-0 victory at Nottingham Forest last weekend through Kieffer Moore's first-half double.

That came on the back of disappointing 3-0 and 2-0 defeats to Northampton Town and Sheffield Wednesday respectively in the first set of fixtures in the EFL Cup and Championship.

Neil Harris will certainly hope that a corner has been turned with that win at the City Ground, with Moore going a long way to showing why he was such a bargain buy at just £2m.

City may have lost comfortably to Wednesday in their opening league game, but they have lost their opening two home matches of a season twice in the last 21 years.

It is far too early in the campaign to label this a pivotal game for City, though the mood around the club could alter drastically depending on the outcome of Saturday's result.

Cardiff City Championship form: LW
Cardiff City form (all competitions): LLW

Reading Championship form: WW
Reading form (all competitions): WWLW


Team News

Lee Tomlin celebrates scoring for Cardiff on February 8, 2020© Reuters

Meite marked his return from suspension with a goal against Barnsley last weekend and should come back into the starting lineup for this trip to the Welsh capital.

Reading have an injury crisis of sorts at right-back, so Felipe Araruna should start for a third game running, with Omar Richards on the left.

Paunovic made his first signing as Royals boss on Wednesday with the arrival of Lewis Gibson on loan from Everton, but this game may come too soon for him to make his debut.

As for Cardiff, the fitness of star man Lee Tomlin remains a big worry for Harris - the playmaker has not been able to start any of Cardiff's three matches so far this season.

That is likely to be the case here, even if he did get some minutes under his belt for the Under-23s side in the week, while left-back Joe Bennett hobbled off last weekend.

Harris has the option to rotate things slightly in midfield and attack, though it may well be a case of sticking with a winning formula should Bennett be fit.

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Smithies; Osei-Tutu, Morrison, Nelson, Bennett; Bacuna, Ralls, Pack; Ojo, Moore, Hoilett

Reading possible starting lineup:
Cabral; Araruna, Morrison, Moore, Richards; Rinomhota, Laurent; Olise, Swift, Ejaria; Joao


SM words green background

We say: Cardiff City 1-1 Reading

Reading have made an impressive start to their campaign by winning three games out of four in all competitions. Cardiff looked a lot better in their most recent outing and are expected to challenge for promotion this term, but they are winless in nine against the Royals and may have to settle for a point this weekend.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:data

ID:415697:cQx

Who will win Saturday's Premier League clash between Cardiff City and Reading?

Cardiff City
Draw
Reading
Cardiff City
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Reading
0.0%
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Reading's Sone Aluko celebrates with team mates after winning the penalty shootout on February 4, 2020
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