Tag Archives: Kieffer Moore

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.

Recent Form

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: Middlesbrough V Cardiff City

Cardiff City have stormed into the play-off places after a winning run of six games. This weekend they will travel to their former manager’s team Middlesbrough, one of the teams now looking to knock City out of the top six.

In midweek Middlesbrough were beaten 3-1 at home by Bristol City, while Cardiff travelled to Bournemouth and picked up a 2-1 win. Middlesbrough were blown away in the first half against Bristol City as the Robins took a three-goal lead. Dael Fry got a late consolation for Boro’, who dropped down to ninth place.

Cardiff led two goals to nil after a dominant first half performance, with goals from Sean Morrison and a Kieffer Moore penalty. Shane Long, who came on as a sub, pulled one back for the host’s but despite forcing Cardiff in to defending most of the second half the Cherries were unable to find a second. The result meant Cardiff moved above Bournemouth into sixth place.

Team News

For Middlesbrough Ashley Fetcher has been ruled out of this game after pulling up in the early stages of the game on Tuesday. Yannick Bolasie and Marcus Tavernier have both been training but manager Neil Warnock has ruled them out of the visit of Cardiff:

“Tav and Yannick are both training, but we have to be careful with them,” Warnock said.

They are getting better, but with so many games coming up you don’t want to take unnecessary risks.

“Bolasie trained really well yesterday, and we’re going to have a meeting today to check up on him. Apparently he’s a week away.”

Former Cardiff winger Nathaniel Mendez-Lang could get his first start against his former club. The former Bluebird had his contact terminated on the eve of the season for what Cardiff called a “Serious breach of contact”. Information came out in January that he had twice shown traces of cocaine in his system resulting in two bans.

Cardiff will be glad that Joe Ralls will be in contention for the match after an ankle injury. Junior Hoilett is also available for the match squad but despite 60 minutes for the under 23’s this week Lee Tomlin is not fit enough yet for first team action. Jordi Osei-Tutu could be back for the 8th of March.

Recent Form and Past Meetings

Middlesbrough have lost five of their last eight, with just two wins. Despite the poor form they did manage a 2-0 away victory at Reading along with a goalless draw at leaders Norwich City.

Cardiff are unbeaten in eight games, having won six in a row. Four of these wins have come away from Cardiff City Stadium.

The teams drew 1-1 earlier in the season George Saville giving Middlesbrough a half time lead lead before Sheyi Ojo equalised. Prior to that The Bluebirds have won the previous four meetings.

The last win for the home side came in 2016. It may be a good omen for the hosts as that season they went on to finish second.

Managers Thoughts

Neil Warnock speaking ahead of the game against his former side:

“There’s probably one or two players there who I upset as well and no doubt tomorrow they’ll like to show me what they can do.

“But overall I took most of them there and I think they’ve got a great squad.

“I don’t think anyone will expect us to get anything with the form they’re in and then us getting beat the other night.

“But we’ve got to come up with a way of giving them a good game.

“I don’t think there are many teams at the moment who could beat Cardiff the way that they’re playing.

“I think they had 26% possession the other night against Bournemouth. All these people who want a certain style of football… well what about winning games and getting up the table like Mick has done?

“It’s the right way to go about it – winning games.

“We know we’ll have to contend with 10 long throws, 10 corner kicks and 10 free-kicks all coming in and we’ll have to cope with it or we’ll just be another notch on their gun.

“We haven’t got players the size of Morrison or Flinty but we have to find a way to cope with it. It’s all within the laws of the game.

“They’ve not lost a game since Mick came and they’re not going to change their style, and why should they? Mick’s not bothered about the beauty of football. He knows how to win games and that’s what football is about.

“Do you think Cardiff fans will be mad at him for all the long throws if they get to the Premier League? Course they won’t. It’s a fallacy all this style and what have you. Bournemouth had the style the other night but it was all in their own half!

“It’s up to us to find a way to cope with them.”

Cardiff Manager Mick McCarthy:

“We’ve got to travel up there, and I know we’ll be expecting a really tough game.

“They got beaten by Bristol City in midweek, so they’ll be wanting a reaction.

“I’m looking forward to the game. We’re all looking forward to the games because we’re winning them, and let’s hope that continues. If the players keep playing the way they have been, there’s no reason why we should be beaten.

“If anyone ever says one of my teams is nice to play against, I’d be annoyed and insulted. The best teams are horrible to play against, for whatever reason.

“Neil’s teams are likewise. If we came off on Saturday and I said to him: “You were really pleasant to play against”, I think he’d be as annoyed as I would be – and that’s not going to be the case.”

Key Players

Nathaniel Mendez-Lang could come back to haunt Cardiff. Cardiff’s players and supporters will know very well the quality of the winger. Neil Warnock was the man to bring him to City and knows how to get the best out of the player. He came play either side so Cardiff’s wing backs, Joe Bennett and Perry Ng will need to be at the top of their game.

The point of the attack and the first line of defence. Kieffer Moore’s contribution for Cardiff this season is about more than his 15 goals. Leading the front line and holding up the ball to play in players like Harry Wilson and Sheyi Ojo. But when they are without the ball Moore is the first line of defence pressing down defenders.

Prediction; Middlesbrough 1 v 1 Cardiff City

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.

Recent Form

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: Barnsley V Cardiff City

New Cardiff City Manager Mick McCarthy will face hometown club Barnsley in his first game in charge of the welsh club. The new Cardiff boss played 314 times for the club where he stared his playing career.

McCarthy takes over from Neil Harris at Cardiff after a run of six defeats saw the club make the chance in manager. Barnsley have three wins and three defeats from their last six games. However in their last match in the FA Cup the host beat Championship leaders Norwich City 1-0 at Oakwell thanks to a Callum Styles goal.

Recent Meetings

Cardiff ran out three nil winners when the side meet in November at Cardiff City Stadium. Cardiff won the corresponding fixture last season by two goals to nil.

History favours The Bluebirds who have won the last five meetings of the teams.

Barnsley last win against City was in December 2012 in a thrilling game which ended 4-3 to The Tykes. Barnsley lead 3-1 at half time before Peter Whittingham pulled a goal back and Antony Pilkington levelled in the 89th minute. Ryan Williams got a winner for the visitors in fifth minute of added time.

Team News

Jordan Williams has returned to train today but this match may come too soon for the defender. Liam Kitching has had a set back recovering from a groin issue with Barnsley manager Valerian Ismael saying:

 “We have to completely reduce the intensity and build up slowly. We want to get him back as soon as possible because we have a lot of games but we don’t want to take any risks. We hope he will be back in two or three weeks but we don’t want to put pressure on him.”

New Cardiff forward Max Watters is a doubt after pulling out of training on Monday. Its a blow for the new signing. Lee Tomlin is still out with a long term injury. Greg Cunningham is back fit and available for this game.

Managers Thoughts

Barnsley manager Ismael has told the media he’s looking forward to the challenge of facing off against McCarthy:

 “I know he is a Barnsley guy. I am very delighted to face such a big manager, with his experience. It’s a big challenge. 

“It’s never easy to prepare a game when a new manager has come. But it is clear in this situation. We know exactly the way Cardiff plays football and I don’t think the new manager will take them in another direction.

“It will be a fight, all about the set pieces and the second ball and the desire to win the game. It will be a completely different game than against Norwich. We will be ready.

“I learned you need to have flexibility in your way to play football and which players to choose for the Championship. It was, for me, the breakthrough in the Championship because, after 90 minutes, I learned almost everything of what you need in the Championship. Since that game, we have developed the squad and the team. We are not finished, it is always a process, but we made big steps. 

“If you look at the starting 11 last time and this time, it will be a completely different team. We have a different mindset now. We are very happy with our performance, but we are unhappy with the points in the last games. It is all about getting the points now against Cardiff.” 

Cardiff manager McCarthy spoke at his pre match press briefing about the need to pick the players up, and bringing some confidence back:

How do you get confidence back into them? A solid team performance and getting results. Nothing else gets it back. They might enjoy training, it might be a bit more fun. I’ve been there when you’re losing games. It’s hard to come in with smiles on your face. So if the last two days have been a bit lighter and they enjoy it, it will only continue with a result against Barnsley. Then it’s Millwall. It all hinges on results, there’s no doubt about that.

“We’ve got to stop getting beaten. That’s first and foremost, and you do that by having a solid shape. That’s no disrespect to anybody else. When you get beat, you start to get a bit fragmented on the pitch and they look around and start blaming each other.

“I saw a bit of that in the first training session. But it can’t be one man’s fault. You can’t just blame Neil Harris. If you’re in that state where you’ve lost seven games in a row, if you concede, you see players drop straight away. We’re going to have to organise against Barnsley and a real solid performance. Only on the back of those will we get confidence back.”

Key Players

For Barnsley Callum Styles who scored as they beat Norwich in the FA Cup will be key. The midfielder has four goals and two assists so far this season. He also has four man of the match awards and a whoscored.com rating of 6.96.

Cardiff will be looking for Kieffer Moore to return to the form he was in before being out with an injury. The Wales and Cardiff striker has eight goals this season and ranks second in the Championship player ratings on whoscored.com with a rating of 7.52.

Prediction; Barnsley 0 v 1 Cardiff

New Managers normally mean a upturn in performances. McCarthy will have his Cardiff side organised and working hard. Barnsley will have more of the ball as Cardiff look to go back to basics.