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Reading FC v Cardiff City FC: Match Preview

Reading FC host Cardiff City FC in the Championship looking to ease their relegation fears with a win.

Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Reading FC v Cardiff City FC
League Championship
Saturday 4th April, KO 3PM
Madejski Stadium
Referee: Scott Duncan

Reading (19th)
Form (all comps): LWLWD
Charlton v Reading: 3-2
Reading v Bradford (FA Cup): 3-0
Watford v Reading: 4-1
Reading v Brighton: 2-1
Bradford v Reading (FA Cup): 0-0

Manager: Steve Clarke

Reading came back down to earth with a bump just five days after they secured their place in this season’s FA Cup semi-finals, going down 3-2 to an in-form Charlton side at The Valley. Steve Clarke’s men took the lead and went into half time 1-0 to the good thanks to a Pavel Pogrebnyak goal before a Yoni Buyens double and a goal from former Royal Simon Church put the hosts in an unassailable lead in the second half. Pogrebnyak did get a second for himself and Reading late on but it was a mere consolation as the Royals slipped to 19th in the Championship table, increasing the relegation anxiety. The Hoops now host Cardiff at Madejski Stadium as they look to add to the daylight between themselves and the drop zone.

Cardiff (14th)
Form (all comps): WDWLW
Cardiff v Birmingham: 2-0
Cardiff v Bournemouth: 1-1
Brentford v Cardiff: 1-2
Cardiff v Charlton: 1-2
Rotherham v Cardiff: 1-3

Manager: Russell Slade

After a previous run of one win in ten, Russell Slade’s men have now won three of their last five matches climbing to 14th in the table. What enhances this form further is a credible draw against 2nd placed Bournemouth and a victory away from home against 5th placed Brentford. The Bluebird’s previous three away games have also yielded victories and they will come into this one believing they can extend that winning streak against struggling Reading.

Last five meetings
17 May 2011 Cardiff v Reading W 0-3 League Championship Play-Offs
19 Nov 2011 Reading v Cardiff L 1-2 League Championship
02 Jan 2012 Cardiff v Reading L 3-1 League Championship
21 Nov 2014 Cardiff v Reading L 2-1 League Championship
24 Jan 2015 Cardiff v Reading W 1-2 FA Cup

Head to Head
This will be the 62nd meeting between these two sides in all competitions after they first met in a 1926/7 FA Cup semi-final - won 3-0 by Cardiff. This was one of 22 victories against the Royals who have won on 21 occasions when these two sides have met with 18 ending in a draw. Cardiff and Reading most recently met in the FA Cup in January when they secured a 2-1 victory at the Cardiff City Stadium. In the Championship fixture at the same venue back in November the Welsh side came out on top, securing a 2-1 win thanks to a first half Alex Pearce own goal and a Peter Wittingham penalty conceded by Pearce on the stroke of half time which also saw him sent off. You have to go back to 2006 for the last time Reading won at home to Cardiff.

Team News
Reading: Reading could hand debuts to loan signings Nathan Ake and Kwesi Appiah, who have arrived from Chelsea and Crystal Palace respectively.

Steve Clarke will be without midfielder Danny Williams (suspension) and striker Simon Cox, who picked up a knock in training.

Cardiff: Cardiff manager Russell Slade could field a new strike force against the Royals with Conor McAleny and Eoin Doyle set to start up front. Federico Macheda (back) misses out.

Prediction: Reading 2-1 Cardiff