Cardiff City v Bristol City
Monday 26 October – Kickoff: 1945hrs
Football – England – Premier League
Ahead of impending League Cup action this midweek, the Premier League takes a break and the focus of the live, televised clash on Monday see’s Bristol City travel to the Welsh capital as they bid to move clear of the relegation zone.
Following what was a disappointing season for Cardiff last term – their first back in this league following relegation – the pressure was very much on Russell Slade to improve fortunes on the park. A dozen games in and the Bluebirds have made a very solid start to their campaign, amassing 20 points in that period. It’s a points haul which is good enough to see them sit in eighth, just four points outside the playoff with Monday’s game in-hand still to come. Their home form has been particularly good – suffering only one defeat and winning four of their six matches at the Cardiff City Stadium, including an impressive win over Middlesbrough last week.
It has taken a while for Bristol City to become accustomed to life in the Championship but there are definite signs that last year’s runaway League One champions are finding the sort of form many thought them capable of. Two successive draws were followed by their first home win since May when getting the better of Nottingham Forest. The Robins backed that win up with another strong performance away to the current leaders, Brighton. Despite taking the lead in that game, Bristol City succumbed to a late goal and went down 2-1. Although the defeat brought to an end their three game unbeaten run, the game highlighted the capability of this squad to mix it with the best teams in the division.
Although it has been a good start to the season, Cardiff are yet to score more than two goals in one game, emphasising that the main strength of this team, thus far, has been in defence. Slade’s men have kept four clean sheets and have the fifth best goals against record in the Championship. They have scored the fewest number of goals of the current top 14, though, so if they manage to find a better balance in attack, Cardiff will certainly not be far away from a top six finish come the end of the season.
Bristol City’s sole away win of the campaign came at Middlesborough back in August, but Steve Cotterill will have taken confidence from their last three performances on the road. In addition to the narrow defeat to Brighton last time out, City picked up two valuable points with draws at Ipswich and Preston. The visit to Cardiff will be a similar test to those games so there will be no fear amongst the squad ahead of the game, particularly as they have scored in five straight Championship away games.
Cardiff v Bristol City Betting Tips
Despite being eight points worse off than Cardiff, Bristol City can boast the same number of goals scored than their opponent on Monday. In contrast to Slade’s team, however, is their inability to keep goals out at the other end – conceding the joint-second most goals in the league. It will be interesting to see how the game develops with two completely different approaches, clashing.
I fully expect Bristol City to climb the table in the upcoming weeks if they manage to sustain the level of performance shown recently. Cardiff are a very difficult team to beat, though, especially at home. They may have only conceded four home goals, but the visitors have shown they are capable of causing the best team’s in this league problems and I think they are good enough to get a result, here.
The two bets I like are for both teams to score (occurred in Bristol City’s last four away games) and a smaller bet on a correct score of 1-1. Both teams are in good for at present and I do not believe there is much between them. A point apiece would not be disastrous and it could end with the two cancelling each other out.
Both teams to score 8/11 @ Betfred
Correct score 1-1 @ 13/2 @ Betvictor