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Match Preview: Cardiff City FC v Reading FC

Reading travel to the Cardiff City Stadium for the second time this season, on this occasion it is for their FA Cup fourth round tie. With both sides looking for a third victory over their opponents in this competition, Phil Owtram previews the action.

Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Cardiff City FC v Reading FC
FA Cup 4th Round
Saturday 24th January 2015, KO 3PM
Cardiff City Stadium
Referee: Lee Probert

Reading (3rd round: Huddersfield 0 – 1 Reading)
Form (all comps): LDWWD
Fulham v Reading: 2-1
Reading v Middlesbrough: 0-0
Huddersfield v Reading (FA Cup): 0-1
Reading v Norwich: 2-1
Brighton v Reading: 2-2

Reading beat Huddersfield in the third round to reach this stage of the competition in a tight game that saw Nick Blackman secure Reading’s stay in the competition with a strike on 69 minutes. New signing Nathaniel Chalobah will be available for selection this afternoon after he signed on loan from Chelsea on Thursday. This will be the fourth time these two sides have met in this competition with both sides progressing twice.

Cardiff (3rd round: Cardiff 3 – 1 Colchester)
Form (all comps): LLWWL
Middlesbrough v Cardiff: 2-1
Norwich v Cardiff: 3-2
Cardiff v Fulham: 1-0
Cardiff v Colchester (FA Cup): 3-1
Cardiff v Watford: 2-4

City beat League One Colchester to make it to this stage of the competition and a home tie is good news for them because they have won 18 and lost just 3 of their last 28 home FA Cup matches. This coupled with the fact Reading have only been victorious once in 11 matches in the Welsh capital means they have a tough task on their hands to make sure they travel back along the M4 after securing a fifth round tie.

Last five meetings
21 Nov 2014 Cardiff v Reading L 2-1 League Championship
02 Jan 2012 Cardiff v Reading L 3-1 League Championship
19 Nov 2011 Reading v Cardiff L 1-2 League Championship
17 May 2011 Cardiff v Reading W 0-3 League Championship Play-Offs
13 May 2011 Reading v Cardiff D 0-0 League Championship Play-Offs

Head to Head
This will be the 61st meeting between these two sides in all competitions after they first met in a 1926/7 FA Cup semi-final won by today’s hosts 3-0. This was one of 22 victories against the Royals who have won on 20 occasions when these two sides have met with 18 ending in a draw. Cardiff and Reading met in their Championship fixture at todays venue back in November with the Welsh side coming out on top, securing a 2-1 win thanks to a first half Alex Pearce own goal and a Peter Wittingham penalty concede by Pearce on the stroke of half time which also saw him sent off. These teams last met in the FA Cup in 2009 with Cardiff progressing after a 2-0 victory in the third round match. Reading have not won away to Cardiff since their 3-0 play-off semi-final victory in the 2010/11 season which was their first victory on Cardiff soil since 2006 and the first in 11 meetings.

Team News
Reading: New signings Jure Travner and Nathaniel Chalobah will go straight into the squad oafter signing a short-term deal and a loan deal until the end of the season respectively. The latter is likely to go straight into midfield while Jem Karacan is likely to be on the bench again. Anton Ferdinand had suffered another setback in a succession of injuries and will not be involved. Jamie Mackie is also out with a groin strain while Hope Akpan continues his recovery from a dislocated shoulder.

Cardiff: Brazilian Fabio is expected to make his first start in a month, in midfield. Scott Malone is struggling with an ankle problem and is unlikely to feature so Matt Connolly and John Brayford will continue as fullbacks. Peter Wittingham and Aron Gunnarsson could be rested.

Prediction: Cardiff 2-1 Reading