Tag Archives: Cardiff City Stadium

CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW: Cardiff City v Nottingham Forest

Cardiff City will welcome Nottingham Forest to Cardiff City Stadium this Good Friday. The Bluebirds are looking to push their way into a play-off spot while Forest are looking to put more room between them and the relegation places.

The Bluebirds returned to winning ways in their game as they beat bitter rivals Swansea thanks to an Aden Flint header. It was the Bluebirds fist win after a run of three without one, however, Cardiff have only lost once since the arrival of Mick McCarthy. Forest are without a win in six with three draws and three defeats.

The sides have met twice this season with City winning in the reverse league meeting and Forest winning in an FA Cup third round tie. Cardiff have won eight out of the last ten league meetings between the sides.

Curtis Nelson and Perry Ng have recovered from injuries and could feature on Friday. Lee Tomlin, meanwhile, suffered a setback prior to a under 23’s games this week which will delay his return. Jordi Osei-Tutu is back in training, but will not play a part at the weekend.

For Forest defender Joe Worrall is still suffering from a rib injury and is a doubt for the trip to Cardiff. Former Cardiff man Harry Arter is still out with a calf injury. Joe Lolley is also likely out for the season, and Gaeten Bong is another who is a doubt for the trip to Wales.

Ahead of the game, Cardiff Manager Mick McCarthy said:

“I would prefer to be top and they are all chasing me! But considering when we played Bristol, we could have gone fourth or fifth bottom.

“You could sense the change around the place, the confidence. We are now nipping at those in front of us.

“If you’re in the top six, all you worry about is falling out of it.

“Even if you’re in the bottom three, you’re chasing to get out. Fourth or fifth bottom, you don’t want to drop in now.”

Forest Manager Chris Hughton told Nottinghamforest.co.uk:

“The only points in my mind at the moment are in the next game and trying to win that. It is such an unpredictable league this season, with performances and those teams that can beat any team on any given day.

“So many of the results show that and it is very difficult, you don’t know how that run in will be. You look at the teams towards the bottom of the table and any team is capable of putting together a decent run.

“We want to finish the season as well as we can and, at any stage of the season, there are always influences that can affect your thinking. There are players that over a short period of time put some better thoughts into your mind or change your mind about them.

“Also, we would rather go into the start of next season after a decent end to the season. Although there is a gap in between, you can psychologically have that little bit of momentum.”

Prediction: Cardiff City 2 – 0 Nottingham Forest

Championship Preview: Cardiff City v Watford

Two of the in-form teams clash in the Championship this weekend as Cardiff welcome Watford to Welsh Capital. Cardiff are on an eleven game unbeaten run, while Watford have won six of their last seven.

The Bluebirds stunned Watford in December when 1,973 fans were allowed in Vicarage Road, winning 1-0 from a Kieffer Moore goal. Watford sit second in the table with eyes on automatic promotion. Cardiff have emerged as play-off contenders following an upturn in form.

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Having won their last two home games against Derby and Preston both by four goals to nil, Cardiff City Stadium has been a happy hunting ground again for Cardiff. Another impressive 3-1 win against Coventry making it three straight home wins.

Watford lost their last game on the road 1-0 at Bournemouth. The Hornets, however, have picked up previous wins against Blackburn and Preston.

Team News

Lee Tomlin and Jordi Osei-Tutu will not be a part of this match squad for Cardiff but Perry Ng, who missed Cardiff’s trip to Huddersfield is possible for a return. Tom Sang came in for that game and performed well so could get another start. Joel Bagan suffered a dislocated shoulder will also miss out. With Joe Bennett out as well it means a possible start for Ciaran Brown.

Dan Gosling and Achfraf Lazaar will have fitness tests ahead of the trip to Cardiff. Troy Deeney and Tom Cleverley will both miss out with Cleverley possibly returning following the international break. Nathanial Chalobah is available after suspension.

Managers Thoughts

Mick McCarthy was glad of an extra break this week having played on Friday last weekend.

Speaking to Cardiffcity.co.uk:

“It’s been unusual actually but it’s been good for the players and for us as well because we had the weekend without a game.

“It was a real intense schedule, certainly as we ended up playing Wednesday-Saturday, Tuesday-Friday. It was good for them all to get a bit of a break and they’re all feeling a bit fresher and a bit sharper. Hopefully that will benefit us on Saturday.

“They are second in the table, playing well and have the ability to grind out one-nillers as they don’t give much away. Yet they’ve got some flair players too.

“So, if we can win this game, that would put us in a great position and give us a whole lot more confidence if we beat second in the league – but there’s a lot of ifs there!”

Speaking to WatfordFC.com, Xisco Munoz said:

“We know we need to go there like gladiators, play very hard and give our best, with power, intensity and ambition.

“We know what we need, it’s not easy the numbers they have. It’s excellent work from their coach, we have big respect for him. It’s important everybody knows this next game is an amazing challenge for us because we want to break this situation for them.

“Our team now has more time on the ball, creates more chances to score. We know we need to stay alert and pay attention with set pieces and we need to give them more problems. We have our style and our players and we’re hungry every game to take the points”.

Prediction: Cardiff 1-0 Watford

This a game for Cardiff’s style of play. Having had an extra rest Cardiff’s attacking three should have the fresh legs for the high intensity press that has seen the Bluebirds rack up three home wins and score eleven goals.

Championship Preview: Cardiff City v Preston North End

Cardiff City welcome Preston to the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday in the Championship. The Bluebirds have won their last four games and are unbeaten in six matches. The run has seen the Welsh club move to seventh in the table.

Preston, who currently sit 13th have lost three of their last six, but have won two both away from home.

Recent Meetings

Cardiff have won the last two meetings of the teams both at Deepdale. Preston have picked up a draw and win on their last two visits to Cardiff. The overall record between the side is even with 36 wins apiece and 23 draws.

Team News

New Cardiff signing Jonny Williams has trained is available to make his debut. Sheyi Ojo is also back available for selection. Lee Tomlin continues his recovery having a run out with the under 23’s.

Key players Keiffer Moore and Josh Murphy are doubts after picking up knocks in Cardiff’s win at Luton. Midfielder Joe Ralls will miss this game as he recovers from an ankle injury.

Preston will wait on the availability of midfielder Ryan Ledson who missed the visit of Watford.

Billy Bodin has picked up a knock after a troubling time with injuries.

Managers Thoughts

Cardiff manager Mick McCarthy spoke ahead of the game and was asked about Preston’s away record:

“That’s every week!

“I don’t think it matters if you’re home or away if I’m honest.

“When you’re away from home, you travel the day before and you’re in game mode from Friday, in the hotel, you’re wired for that game.

“Travelling might even have a bit of an advantage. You’re on the bus and you’re ready for the game, already thinking about it.

“It’s up to us to make sure we get another home result.”

Preston’s Alex Neil is looking forward to facing The Bluebirds and Mick McCarthy:

“They are always difficult games against Mick’s teams.

“We faced his Ipswich Town in the Play-Offs when I was at Norwich and we just managed to beat them, but if they manage to make the Play-Offs this season, they aren’t a team you want to be facing.

“Mick has been in this league for years and he knows how to get the job done.

“He has turned around Cardiff’s fortunes and they are now looking to get into the top six, but equally, we need to try and get some more points on the board as well. It is going to be an important game for both teams.

“They are riding high and will be confident, but some of our best performances have been on the road this year in terms of going and getting good results against difficult opponents.”

Key Players

Harry Wilson has four goals and seven assists this season for Cardiff. He scored the first goal as Cardiff beat Luton on Tuesday despite having had a quiet game up until then. The type of player who may be out of a game for long periods but can pull off a piece of magic at any time.

Scott Sinclair has scored eight goals this season and the former Swansea player will pose a treat to Cardiff’s wing backs. With a pass percentage of almost 80% the experienced winger will be hard to stop.

Prediction: Cardiff City 2- 1 Preston North End

This game will be tight and the first goal will be key. Cardiff have had the quality in the side all season but now look like the confidence of a top six side has returned.

Championship Preview: Cardiff City V Coventry City

Coventry City will visit Cardiff City Stadium this weekend to face Cardiff. The Bluebirds have seen a upturn in form since the arrival of Mick McCarthy having picked up two wins and two draws. Coventry have one just one of their last six matches. Cardiff are six points ahead of the Sky Blues in the table.

Coventry won the reverse fixture in November by a goal to nil. Tyler Walker got the goal in the game at St Andrews. This was Coventry’s first win against Cardiff since a 1-0 win in 2007. In between these games Cardiff have won eight of the meetings between the sides.

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Cardiff are unbeaten since McCarthy took over in January. Two draws have been followed by two away wins against Bristol City and Rotherham. This will be McCarthy’s second home match and will be hoping to make it three wins in a row.

Coventry held Watford to a goal less draw in their last match. This followed a 2-1 home defeat to Nottingham Forest and a draw with landlords Birmingham City. Coventry sit three points above the drop zone.

Team News

Mick McCarthy has said new signing Jonny Williams will not be ready for the weekends match. Alex Smithies will also miss the match, he is still suffering from the illness which forced him off against Bristol City. Leandro Bacuna, who was not in the squad for the trip to Rotherham is fit and could return this weekend. Jordi Osei-Tutu and Lee Tomlin are still out with injuries.

Coventry Live reported on the clubs long injury list. Tyler Walker is set to return to the match squad for the trip to Cardiff after a calf strain. Goalkeeper Ben Wilson has finished isolating and will be available. Amadou Bakayoko is also likely to be back in the matchday squad. This match will likely come to soon for captain Liam Kelly who should re-join the squad on Monday. Fankaty Dabo and Matty Godden are longer term injuries and will not be involved.

Managers Thoughts

Mick McCarthy spoke about the returning confidence that his side are showing:

Clearly, I’ve had it myself, I’m not immune to it, when you lose games, confidence goes, belief goes, and people look for answers. Sometimes they’re just looking at others and not at themselves.

How do you restore that?

It didn’t look like it would be restored 2-0 down at Barnsley, but the 2-2 draw showed the willingness to work and fight back. That started it.

Another draw, two great wins and restores the self belief that you can win games again.

We’ve had two really good results. But what we can’t do is be complacent. We’ve got eight points from four games, but we don’t suddenly start believing we are this team who can press all the way.

We have got to win tomorrow and get something out of the next game at Luton.

If we can do that for six, seven, eight games, then we can start believing. What I don’t want to do is to start bigging it up and then suddenly find we trip ourselves up against Coventry tomorrow.

“I only look as far as the next game. That’s a bit boring I know.

“But if you’re saying to me on Monday ‘Oh Mick another great three points’, I’ll be delighted. But there’s a big ‘if’ there as Coventry are going to be a hard nut to crack.”

Coventry manager Mark Robins told the club’s website:

It’s a big challenge, that’s for sure, they’ve got aspirations of getting into the top six, they’ve not long been out of the Premier League.

Mick’s is a really experienced manager, a great bloke, a really top man and he’s got a wealth of experience, you can see results are coming from his leadership at this moment in time.

He’s unbeaten to date and they’ve got a squad full of talented players, it’s a tough match, but a really good game in the lead up to the next three games because all three are tasty games.

His Ipswich team were a tough nut to crack; they were physical but had some really good quality as well and always made it difficult.

“The players at their disposal, he’s going to make good use of them, and you can see that now, it’s a really good game for us to look forward to and try and get our teeth stuck into.”

Key Players

For Cardiff’s game to work they rely on striker Kieffer Moore who has netted 11 goals so far this season. Winning 11 aerials per game the striker links up with Cardiff’s attacking midfielders Harry Wilson and Sheyi Ojo. Moore is currently ranked number one in the championship by whoscored.com. The Bluebirds have not lost a game in which the welsh striker has scored.

Gustavo Hamer will be a key figure for Coventry as the defensive midfielder will have to deal with the inform Cardiff number 10’s. Hamer has five goals and two assists so far this season and will be a danger for Cardiff as well. He has a pass percentage of 74.6 and a whoscored.com rating of 7.06.

Prediction; Cardiff 2 – 0 Coventry

Cardiff have found a new system under McCarthy that seems to suit the players and should have the quality to see off the Sky Blues.

Championship Preview: Cardiff City V Millwall

Millwall will travel to Cardiff on Saturday in the Championship. Mick McCarthy will come up against his former club in his first home game for Cardiff. The Bluebirds came from two behind on Wednesday, to rescue a draw at Barnsley. A result which stopped a run of six defeats. Millwall drew with promotion chasing Watford on Tuesday.

Both sides have 30 points so far this season with Cardiff being 15th and Millwall 16th. Cardiff are above on goal difference. Cardiff’s draw on Tuesday comes after the team suffered six defeats. Millwall beat Huddersfield 1-0 on their last away game, with former Cardiff defender Scott Malone getting the goal.

Recent Meetings

The last six meetings between the sides have ended in draws. Last season saw a 1-1 draw at Cardiff City Stadium, Aden Flint scoring for City with Jed Wallace scoring for the Lions. The teams met earlier this season at The Den, the game ending 1-1. Matt Smith gave Millwall the lead after 35 minutes, before Kieffer Moore levelled the game on 79 minutes.

Team News

Junior Hoilett has been ruled out after tightening up after the Barnsley game but will be in contention for next weekends Seven-side derby. Joe Bennett who missed the Barnsley match is available. Lee Tomlin will be back training in a couple of weeks, with McCarthy targeting a return around February 20th. Osei-Tutu is still five to six away from making a return.

Connor Mahoney and Billy Mitchell will likely miss the trip to Cardiff. The pair are still working on returning to full fitness after injuries. Defender Murray Wallace will miss the Cardiff game. Former Cardiff forward Kenneth Zohore could start against his former team.

Managers Thoughts

Mick McCarthy is set to take charge of Cardiff at home for the first time and was asked about playing his first game without fans:

“I’ve said in my programme notes that I’m delighted to be here. I’ve always admired the club, but I didn’t realise how big a club it is. Whenever I’ve come down, it’s always been a great atmosphere.”

McCarthy also shared his views on his previous club,

“Millwall is a club still very close to my heart. I am still very much in the vicinity of Millwall support. I have loads of pals that still support them. If I’m not playing against them I want them to do well, but if I am playing against them, I obviously want to win. They’re not getting beat on a regular basis, so they’re a tough nut to crack.”

After seeing his players in match action for the first time McCarthy said,

“You’re always learning something. No experience is wasted.

“I guess when you’ve lost seven on the bounce. People question the desire and fight. That was evident against Barnsley. I’ve rarely been in a game as hard fought and ferocious as that. Wasn’t one for the purists I have to be honest. It just showed to me that there’s plenty of fight in these lads. If you don’t stand up to that kind of assault on Wednesday, I admire Barnsley for the way they went about it, and they worked their socks off. To get a draw is a very good point.”

Millwall manager Gary Rowett, meanwhile, wants his side to keep improving:

“We were sat last season mid-table and we managed to finish eighth,”

Rowett said:

“And at no time was our focus on, ‘we have to finish in the play-offs’, it was purely about remaining competitive and pushing towards the top parts of the division.

“I think we’re the same now. We’re disappointed with our first half of the season and we want to improve. We don’t want to be where we are, but at the same time we’re respectful that it’s a unique season.

“There are a lot of good sides in the division.

“We’ve got to just accept that we are where we are and we’ve got to improve. That’s our aim.

“If improving means starting to climb the table then we’ll see where that takes us.

“I’d like us to get ourselves back into a better position. If performances result in that then fantastic.”

Key Players

Cardiff will look to top scorer Keiffer Moore who netted his ninth goal of the season at Barnsley. Cardiff have not lost a game when Keiffer Moore has scored. Moore wins an average of 11 aerials a game allowing a direct route from defence to attack. He is ranked number two in the division according to whoscored.com with a rating of 7.57

Stopping Moore will be a difficult task but Lions defender Jake Cooper could be the key to stopping him. Having a whoscored.com rating of 7.13 the defender has an average of 5 aerial wins per match.

Prediction; Cardiff 1 v 1 Millwall

Both sides are on the same points and neither is in flying form. History is with the draw, the side have mostly drawn over the years. There have been 28 draws, with Cardiff winning 21 times to Millwall’s 20. Just in the last ten years there have been nine draws. This is not a game for the football purists.