MX23RW : Sunday, October 17 15:40:40| >> :600:189831:189831:
Oct 2, 2021 at 3pm UK at Cardiff City Stadium
CardiffCardiff City

Pack (32'), Ralls (37'), Collins (84'), McGuinness (90+3')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Hoilett (38')

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

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

Cardiff City will look to end a run of four consecutive defeats on Saturday, when they play host to Reading in Championship action.

The hosts come in on the back of two particularly heavy defeats at the hands of Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion, while their visitors also lost last time out after a run of three straight league wins.

Match preview

Cardiff City manager Mick McCarthy on September 28, 2021© Reuters

After a strong start to his spell as Cardiff manager last season, Mick McCarthy saw his side collect a commendable tally of 11 points from their first six outings of the new Championship term.

They have since suffered a notable dip in form though, with that strong run put to an end by 1-0 defeats to Coventry City and Bournemouth, before being thrashed 5-1 by Blackburn Rovers, as Ben Brereton Diaz hit a hat-trick alongside goals from Sam Gallagher and Tyrhys Dolan in a rampant display.

McCarthy's side were on the wrong end of another heavy scoreline last time out, as Karlan Grant, Alex Mowatt and Matt Phillips got on the scoresheet alongside a Curtis Nelson goal in a 4-0 away win for West Brom.

With the Bluebirds now sat in 18th spot in the second tier, and pressure quickly increasing on McCarthy after four straight losses, the boss will be desperate to see a reaction from his side on Saturday, as they welcome a Reading side who are also looking to return to winning ways.

Reading's Ovie Ejaria celebrates after scoring their first goal against Fulham in the Championship on September 18, 2021© Reuters

After a slow start to the campaign, Veljko Paunovic's side bounced back in style with three consecutive wins, firstly beating Peterborough United before an Ovie Ejaria brace saw them earn an eye-catching 2-1 away victory over promotion-chasing Fulham.

Alen Halilovic then fired the Royals to a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough, but they were unable to stretch the winning run to four games when they took on Derby County last time out.

Despite ongoing issues on and off the pitch, the Rams pulled off a somewhat surprising result, as Craig Forsyth netted the only goal at Pride Park.

Paunovic's men will now be keen to put that disappointing result behind them and make a return to winning ways on their travels on Saturday.

Cardiff City Championship form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Reading Championship form:
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Team News

Cardiff City's Curtis Nelson reacts after scoring an own goal on September 28, 2021© Reuters

Cardiff are expected to come into Saturday's game with a relatively clean bill of health after Joe Ralls returned to the squad from an injury last time out.

Despite their struggles, McCarthy will stick with his preferred shape, with Curtis Nelson, Aden Flint and captain Sean Morrison forming a back three.

Star striker Kieffer Moore has suffered a dip in form, coinciding with the Bluebirds' struggles, and the Welshman will continue his search for a first Championship goal since mid-August.

On the contrary to their hosts, Reading have a long list of injuries to deal with, as attackers Lucas Joao, Femi Azeez and Yakou Meite will miss out, leaving George Puscas to lead the line, while star midfielders Ovie Ejaria and John Swift will be vital going forward.

Swift has caught eyes so far this season, registering seven goals and five assists in 10 league appearances.

The Royals' absentees are not just in the forward line, with defenders Tom McIntyre, Tom Holmes and captain Liam Moore also missing out through injuries, forcing midfielder Josh Laurent and right-back Andy Yiadom forced to deputise at the heart of the back four last time out.

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Smithies; Morrison, Flint, Nelson; Sang, Vaulks, Pack, Brown; Harris; Moore, Collins

Reading possible starting lineup:
Southwood; Yiadom, Laurent, Dann, Rahman; Dele-Bashiru, Drinkwater; Halilovic, Swift, Ejaria; Puscas

SM words green background

We say: Cardiff City 0-2 Reading

Reading will be desperate to get back to winning ways, and they meet a Cardiff City side devoid of confidence, providing a great opportunity for them to quickly bounce back.

While they are hit with several injuries, Paunovic still has a strong starting XI at his disposal, and we see them outclassing the hosts.

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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