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View From The Town End: Cardiff City

Our last stop before the International break takes us to South Wales as we get the lowdown on what Reading FC can expect from Cardiff City.

Harry Trump/Getty Images

This week's View From The Town End comes from Sportsmole writer and Cardiff fan Dan Lewis - @Daniel_Lewis92

How would you sum up Cardiff's start to the season?

Two well-earned points on the road is certainly a decent enough way to kick things off, claiming draws at both Birmingham City and Fulham in recent weeks, but the performances have hardly been what many had been hoping for - particularly at home. The change to a 3-5-2 formation has yet to truly pay off, with 420 minutes of the season passing by before a Cardiff player actually got on the scoresheet.

How's the transfer front looking going into the final week of the window?

Things did get better against Fulham last time out when Anthony Pilkington and Joe Ralls scored long-range belters, although that was also a little concerning in its own way. Two own goals and two 'worldies' so far this season, but zero in terms of cutting-edge football. This side lacks creativity, as it has done for a few years now, while the strikers are simply not cut out for this division. Paul Trollope is actively looking for wing-back and goalkeeping back-up, but right now a talented No. 10 and a clinical No.9 are desperately needed.

You predicted seventh spot when we spoke in the pre-season, see anything to change that prediction?

We are now five games into the season and, on the whole, I would say things have panned out exactly as expected. City are expected to be nothing more than a mid-table side this term, albeit one of the 'better' also-rans, and five points from four games keeps us on track for that.

Any fond memories of games between the sides?

With Reading being one of the closest games on the fixture list, geographically speaking, this is a clash that I have been lucky (unlucky?) enough to have seen a fair few times in recent years. I wasn't around for the famous FA Cup semi-final win in 1927 (just a few years before my time!), but the 2-1 victory in 2011 came at a time when Cardiff were well and truly on the up; a time when supporters were united behind the team. One
of my favourite away days.

Any not so fond ones?

An easy one, this - the 3-0 play-off semi-final defeat in 2011. That was seen as one final chance for arguably Cardiff's most-talented ever group to go up under Dave Jones, but we just completely crumbled as we so often used to in the big games. Also a shout-out to Adam Federici who denied us victory in the final seconds to ruin my Boxing Day a few years back.

Any player we should be wary of on Saturday?

No. Honestly - no. Lex Immers was our biggest threat when coming in on loan last season, yet he has been pushed into a more reserved role this term after signing permanently. Our strikers will probably hit a few goals between them this season so you may be the unlucky victims this weekend but, other than perhaps a Peter Whittingham set-piece, there is not a great deal to be concerned about.... unless you have a defender with the own-goal-scoring capabilities of Shane Duffy in your ranks?

Anyone from Reading you're wary of?

I'm a big fan of John Swift and felt that he was exactly the type of player Cardiff should have gone after this summer. A couple of goals already from him suggests that he has hit the ground running, too. Chris Gunter is another obvious contender, but sometimes I get the feeling that he is perhaps more loved in these parts than he is at his own club!

Score prediction?

A goal either way wins it. We have still yet to witness a Cardiff player score on home soil this season and, unless something magical happens this weekend and the team clicks into place in the space of a week, I am going to back Reading to nick it in extra time.

Finally, any advice for travelling Royals?

Just the standard advice really: Arrive early if you can and take in some of the city. The weather forecast doesn't look great, though, so maybe bring an umbrella!