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

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

Cardiff City and Barnsley square off on Saturday afternoon looking to build on their encouraging performances during the last Championship campaign.

While the Bluebirds improved under Mick McCarthy before missing out on the playoffs, Barnsley made the top six before being edged out in the semi-finals.

Match preview

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

Having pushed hard for promotion after McCarthy's arrival in January, many people associated with Cardiff were disappointed that they could not get over the line for sixth position.

Nevertheless, on the back of 39 points being recorded from 22 matches, it is difficult to maintain any criticism of McCarthy and his squad when they recorded one of the best returns over that period.

Like at many of their rivals, there have been more outgoings than players being brought in to strengthen the squad, but McCarthy will be happy with his business thus far.

There have been signs in pre-season that the delivery of Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee Ryan Giles can help Kieffer Moore better his return of 20 goals during the last campaign.

That said, the arrival of James Collins as competition for the Wales international could prove crucial if the Bluebirds are to last the pace.

Cardiff City's Kieffer Moore celebrates scoring their first goal against Reading in the Championship on April 16, 2021© Reuters

From Barnsley's perspective, they will realistically drop down to candidates for relegation now that Valerien Ismael has moved to West Bromwich Albion.

However, the Tykes hierarchy have a strong track record when it comes to managerial appointments, and there is little reason why Markus Schopp cannot build on Ismael's successful stint at Oakwell.

The departures of Michael Sollbauer and Alex Mowatt will be felt in the dressing room, but Schopp will be on the lookout for figures who can fill their boots over the next nine months.

Neither Obbi Oulare or Aaron Leya Iseka have the best track record when it comes to goals, although there are high expectations of Josh Benson after he featured for Burnley in the Premier League last season.

Cardiff City pre-season friendlies form:
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Barnsley pre-season friendlies form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

Team News

Cardiff City's Perry Ng in action with Middlesbrough's Marcus Tavernier on February 27, 2021© Reuters

With Moore struggling for fitness, Collins is expected to get the nod in attack for Cardiff's opening fixture.

Will Vaulks is serving a suspension, leaving it likely that a two-man midfield will be selected with Leandro Bacuna and Giles offering creativity further forward.

Benson is competing with Callum Styles and Romal Palmer for a place in the centre of Barnsley's midfield.

Liam Kitching could be handed an opportunity in defence with Cauley Woodrow, Carlton Morris and Dominik Frieser named in a front three.

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Smithies; Ng, Morrison, Flint, Nelson, Bagan; Ralls, Pack; Bacuna, Collins, Giles

Barnsley possible starting lineup:
Collins; Sibbick, Helik, Kitching; Brittain, Palmer, Styles, Odour; Woodrow, Morris, Frieser

SM words green background

We say: Cardiff City 2-1 Barnsley

With Schopp still adapting to English football, there is no doubt that Barnsley would be delighted with a share of the spoils on Saturday. However, we feel that Cardiff will do enough to claim all three points with Moore getting on the scoresheet.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away 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/Away:data

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General view of Barnsley's Oakwell ground from January 2018
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Barnsley: Transfer ins and outs - Summer 2021
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