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Opposition Lowdown: Steve Morison’s Cardiff City

Reading’s first home game of the season sees the visit of Cardiff City to the Select Car Leasing Stadium. Steven examines the opposition.

Cardiff City v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Cardiff City FC/Getty Images


Cardiff finished the 2021/22 season in 18th position in the Championship, seeing stronger form away from home than they did at the Cardiff City Stadium. However, they come into this weekend’s game hot off the heels of a 1-0 home win against recently relegated Norwich City.

The Boss

Steve Morison: Former striker Morison took over the reins at Cardiff in November 2021, originally on an interim basis after the sacking of experienced manager Mick McCarthy. However, a strong start as Cardiff boss resulted in Morison being offered a contract extension to the end of the 2022/23 season. Morison has overhauled the Cardiff squad this summer and has promised more “progressive football” from his side this season.


The Cardiff squad has undergone a transformation this summer with 11 players, including ex-Royals Sean Morrison and Leandro Bacuna, leaving the Welsh Capital, as well as 14 new players coming in. Notable incomings include midfielders Andy Rinomhota (Reading) and Romaine Sawyers (West Brom) in addition to wingers Sheyi Ojo (Liverpool) and Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City).

Cardiff will be missing defender Perry Ng this weekend after he was sent off for two bookable offences in their opening-day fixture against Norwich. They are also expected to be without new signing Ebou Adams and youngsters Rubin Colwill and Isaak Davies, who all continue to recover from injuries.

Expected line-up

Allsop, Romeo, Nelson, Kipre, Collins, Wintle, Rinomhota, Ojo, Sawyers, O’Dowda, Watters

Key player

Romain Sawyers: Although he only signed for Cardiff in the summer, talented midfielder Sawyers is expected to be a key player for the Bluebirds this season. The former Brentford and West Brom midfielder scored Cardiff’s only goal in their win over Norwich last weekend, stroking home a calm shot from just outside the box. Sawyers can play in centre midfield or in the number 10 role and is creative playmaker with a good eye for a pass.

One to watch

Kion Etete: 20-year-old striker Etete signed from Tottenham Hotspur on a permanent deal on Thursday and is hoping to take part in this weekend’s game. Taking the number nine shirt, Etete will be aiming to become Cardiff’s main attacking outlet this season. Standing tall at 6ft 4in, Etete will offer an athletic and physical presence up top for the Bluebirds.