Preview: Cardiff City vs. Blackburn Rovers - prediction, team

sportsmole.co.uk, 8 April 2021, 14:01

Cardiff City and Blackburn Rovers will both be looking to recover from back-to-back losses when they face off in South Wales on Saturday afternoon.

The Bluebirds crashed 5-0 to Sheffield Wednesday last time out, while Blackburn were soundly beaten 2-0 by Bournemouth.

Match preview

© Reuters

Mick McCarthy deserves huge praise for guiding Cardiff up the table in his three months in charge, but the manner of Monday's loss at Hillsborough would have hurt the Yorkshireman.

City quite simply did not turn up and were three goals down inside 23 minutes en route to what McCarthy described as a "humbling experience" for his players.

The five goals conceded against Wednesday was as many as McCarthy's men had let in across their previous 10 league games combined.

That loss came on the back of a 1-0 home reverse at the hands of Nottingham Forest, leaving Cardiff eight points off the playoffs with six games to go.

A top-six finish is not quite mathematically impossible just yet, especially with sixth-placed Reading up next, but the Bluebirds now effectively need to win each remaining game.

© Reuters

That starts with Saturday's visit of Blackburn, who themselves have lost successive games without scoring since the international break.

Tony Mowbray 's charges went down 1-0 to Wycombe Wanderers and 2-0 to Bournemouth, making it one win in their last 14 matches.

The pressure is understandably growing on Mowbray, with his side completely collapsing since mid-December time to drop from sixth at one point to their current position of 17th.

Relegation cannot be entirely ruled out yet, sitting potentially just four points above the dotted line if Rotherham United win their games in hand to climb out of the dropzone.

Blackburn tend to do well against Cardiff, though, going four without defeat in this fixture since 2016, including a well-earned point in the reverse meeting six months ago.

Cardiff City Championship form:

D

L

D

W

L

L

Blackburn Rovers Championship form:

D

L

D

D

L

L

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Team News

© Reuters

McCarthy will surely be tempted to make mass changes to his side on the back of the thrashing to Wednesday, though back-up options are somewhat limited.

Harry Wilson was benched at Hillsborough but will likely return to the XI here, while Max Watters is a possible contender to replace Kieffer Moore, who is in need of a breather.

Sheyi Ojo and Junior Hoilett are two other options for the Bluebirds, as is returning defender Perry Ng, who can slot in at left wing-back.

As for Blackburn, Joe Rothwell added to Mowbray's list of absentees when limping off in the first half of Monday's defeat to Bournemouth.

Adam Armstrong did return from injury last time out, but he marked his comeback with a penalty miss late on.

Fellow attacker Harvey Elliott is growing more and more important for Rovers, having assisted 10 goals in the Championship this term - only Norwich City's Emiliano Buendia (15) has more.

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:

Phillips; Nelson, Flint, Brown; Sang, Ralls, Vaulks, Ng; Wilson, Moore, Ojo

Blackburn Rovers possible starting lineup:

Kaminski; Nyambe, Lenihan, Harwood-Bellis, Douglas; Holtby, Johnson, Trybull; Elliott, Armstrong, Gallagher

We say: Cardiff City 0-0 Blackburn Rovers

Both sides could really do with a victory this weekend to put a bad run of form behind them.

Cardiff are 12 points better off than Blackburn, but six of the last nine encounters between these sides have finished all square, which we can see being the case again here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.

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