The final Championship match before the international break takes place on Sunday afternoon when Cardiff City host Bristol City in a pretty big match at the Cardiff City Stadium, with three points and a bit of local bragging rights up for grabs.
Bristol City fell out of the play-off spots while watching the other games on Saturday afternoon so will be looking for a win to get back in there. Cardiff are in a congested part of the table so a win will be useful to them too.
When you look at Cardiff City and their results they have only lost four times this term but their season doesn’t feel as good as that. Six draws have been one of the reasons why, as has a leaky defence. In fact their win over Birmingham City last weekend was their first in five matches so they will definitely be looking to build on that here, and enhancing the second best home record in the Championship this term.
They have won five of their seven matches on their own patch with the other two matches being draws against Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham which are hardly terrible results. They struggled initially this term when some big players but were out but as they return you sense the Bluebirds might just be warming up to the task and another victory here wouldn’t be a complete surprise.
Going into the season, a lot of judges fancied Bristol City to run well. We are on them outright this term so we are hoping they can clean up their ledger a little as draws are starting to hurt them. Only West Brom have lost fewer matches this season in the Championship but no team has more than their seven draws. They really need to begin putting successive wins together again in order to get right in the mix at the top end.
The Robins are without a win in four on their travels. I saw their only defeat away from home when they were outclassed by Luton Town, which doesn’t really bode well for them. Their other defeat was on the opening day of the campaign when Leeds United beat them. Clean sheets are becoming an issue for them, with just one shutout in their last seven outings so at least they know where they need to improve.
Cardiff City will be unable to use Danny Ward as he was sent off in the win over Birmingham last week and is banned as a result. Hat-trick man from that game Joe Ralls is a doubt here while Sean Morrison misses out with injury.
Bristol City are also without a key forward through suspension with Famara Diedhiou completing a three-match ban. Josh Brownhill is a doubt after a back spasm hit him hard in the draw with Barnsley last week.
Both sides are having difficulties keeping clean sheets this season and their matches are averaging a lot of goals as a result. Both teams have played 15 matches each this term and there have been 45 goals in the games of each of them. You don’t need to be a statistician to work out that the maths come out at an average of three per game.
Cardiff City are missing a key defender here in Morrison while Bristol City have just conceded two to both Wigan Athletic and Barnsley who are down the other end of the table and it wasn’t long ago Luton put three past them. I think when you assess what has gone this season and the likelihood both will want to protect their defence by attacking as much as they can, I like over 2.5 goals in this one.
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