Reading v Cardiff City Betting Tips: Home comforts to see Royals through

15:00/Jan 28

Football writer Thomas Giles previews the upcoming Championship match between Reading and Cardiff City.

This Championship match sees two teams who were in the Premier League not so long ago go head to head as Reading play host to Cardiff City at The Madejski.

After losing three matches on the bounce in all competitions, Reading got back to winning ways last time out with a victory over play-off hopefuls Fulham which boosted them up back up to fourth in the league and well inside those top six places.

New manager Jaap Stam has certainly got his side playing attractive football and it is yielding results. With attractive football generally comes goals and Reading have scored plenty having found the back of the net 39 times in the league this season. However, attractive football can also mean that a team is quite open at the back, which Reading have often been as shown by their record of 36 conceded – the worst of the top six teams. However, the fact they kept a clean sheet last time out against a generally high-scoring Fulham side will be a confidence booster to Stam’s men.

Home form has been excellent for the Royals having won six of their last seven home matches in all competitions, scoring 13 and conceding just four. This impressive record at the Madejski Stadium means they are third in the Championship’s ‘Home Form’ table.

As mentioned on previous Cardiff tips, the Bluebirds performed a masterstroke by bringing in Championship veteran Neil Warnock towards the start of the season. After being in the relegation mire in the early weeks of the campaign, Warnock has led his side to 16th in the table and a huge eight points separates them and the relegation zone. Three wins in four matches has certainly been the highlight of recent weeks, while they acquitted themselves very well in losing by just a single away at table toppers Brighton & Hove Albion during the week.

Warnock has tried to bring his famed defensive solidity to the Welsh capital and his side are slowly getting the hang of such tactics having kept two clean sheets in their last four outings. Their record of 41 conceded in just 27 league matches obviously looks bad but things are slowing down on this front.

Going forward has been a bit of a problem for the Bluebirds but, if they keep up their improved defensive performances, then they should be OK come the end of the season.

Away form has been pretty patchy for Cardiff with just one win in their last six matches and even that victory came against an out-of-form Bristol City. Furthermore, they have not kept a clean sheet on their travels since their 0-0 draw against Birmingham City on opening day.

Given their superb home form, I expect Reading to come out on top here and am surprised that the bookmakers are offering a price as good as 6/5. Cardiff are improving, but Reading are looking solid on home soil and can continue their forward push.

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Reading v Cardiff City
28.01.2017 15:00 \B\S\T
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