Cardiff City vs Bristol City preview: How to watch, team news, kick-off time, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Cardiff City and Bristol City players surround referee Jarred Gillett during an EFL Championship match at Ashton Gate / (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

On Saturday, Mick McCarthy's high-flying Bluebirds host Bristol City at the Cardiff City Stadium, where they will be passionate in their conquest to continue momentum gained from a positive opening start.

Having enlisted four new recruits in preparation for the campaign, City have gelled extremely well, remaining undefeated in their first four encounters and picking up vital wins over Blackpool and Millwall.

It was the victory over Gary Rowett's brigade which has sought to truly instil confidence into supporters, though. Emphatically, Cardiff romped to a 3-1 win last weekend, with cult hero Aden Flint finding the back of the net twice alongside his trusted defensive partner, Sean Morrison.

A real motivator has been handed as of late given how successfully the squad have brought into McCarthy's methods and have been able to utilise their strengths optimally, something which will undoubtedly pay dividends over the course of the season.

And while a somewhat opposing aura emanated following a midweek defeat to Premier League outfit Brighton and Hove Albion in the second round of the EFL Cup, optimism is still positioned high within the Welsh capital.

The Seagulls ran out 2-0 victors courtesy of strikes from Jakub Moder and Andi Zeqiri, both of whom featured in a new-look side that illuminated an onus on resting key players for the league.

Young starlets Antef Tsoungui, Marc Leonard, Evan Ferguson, Odel Offiah, Moises Caicedo and the highly-regarded Andrew Moran all embraced a monumental evening under the floodlights by making their senior bows, whereas Cardiff also handed two competitive debuts to Tavio D'Almeida and Sam Bowen

Tomorrow's hosts will now be looking to cast off the pang of defeat and focus on the upcoming showdown, where they are expected to field a significantly stronger side as they target two successive triumphs over their cross-border rivals.

Bristol City, meanwhile, find themselves in a real expedition to generate much needed rhythm and confidence in the season's premature phase, having endured a turbulent patch under Nigel Pearson backdating to last term. 

They initiated the new campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to newly-promoted Blackpool, before losing to Middlesbrough and then avenging the 3-2 defeat on Teesside by overcoming Reading in their subsequent encounter.

Consistently evidently appears the conundrum that needs to be cracked, though, as they then proceeded to lose 1-0 to Russell Martin's Swansea City last weekend owing to a Joel Piroe strike in the first half.

However, the defeat means that they have now gained eight days rest and have been able to conjure additional planning in preparation to lock horns with the Cardiff, which ignites a stark contrast to the Bluebirds- who will have played three times in a week. 

Tied against Forest Green Rovers in the inaugural round of the EFL Cup, the Robins crashed out in Gloucestershire after losing on penalties. The extra physical preservation is a tool they will be looking to use to maximum effect on Saturday, no doubt. 

  • Team news

Cardiff are still waiting on the fitness of Lee Tomlin and Isaac Vassell, both of whom have been subjected to a large amount of time on the sidelines due to varying injury troubles over the last 12 months.

It is believed that they are both readying contention, though, with Vassell having completed the full 90 minutes for Cardiff's U23s against Wigan Athletic last week. 

A dampener has surfaced, however, following Morrison's woes on Tuesday evening. After just recovering from injuries sustained last term, the skipper hobbled off after half an hour, and it is hoped that it was only a precaution.

Morrison is integral to the solidity and unity that his side operate with from a defensive perspective, and shoulders that unique know-how to gel the backline. His diligence in defence coupled with a domineering aerial potency and a real goal threat means his absence will be sorely felt if he misses out tomorrow afternoon.

On the other hand, Pearson has confirmed that both Callum O'Dowda and Joe Williams are ineligible for the fixture, with the duo still training and constructing fitness in a bit to return to action.

At present, they both represent Bristol City’s only unavaliable players and Pearson will be relieved that he can field a near-full strength side, as he looks to inject an identity into his team this year.

  • Predicted line-ups

Cardiff (3-4-3):

Phillips; Brown, Flint, Nelson; Ng, Pack, Ralls, Bagan; Harris, Moore, Giles

Bristol (4-2-3-1):

Bentley; Simpson, Kalas, Atkinson, Dasilva; King, James; Scott, Weimann, Pring; Martin

 

  • Ones to watch

Cardiff - Kieffer Moore

A figure of speculation at present admist reported interest from Wolverhampton Wanderers, all eyes will rest upon Kieffer Moore- as they so often do anyway, with hopes pinned on the 28-year-old spearheading a genuine promotion charge.

The hulking forward amassed 20 goals last time out for the Welsh club and will be chomping at the bit to translate that form into the current season, where already, he has opened his account, scoring against the Tangerines after converting from an expertise Ryan Giles delivery.

In his first start of the season, at home to Millwall, Moore showcased his flexible skillset that extends well beyond the realms of simply scoring. Though he did not strike gold in-front of goal- hitting the woodwork- his ability to create space physically and draw fouls allowed Cardiff to play with more impetus going forward.

The fact he appeared as a substitute midweek may just signify that he will be a component of McCarthy's upcoming starting eleven, something which will strike fear into his soon-to-be opponents, you would imagine.

Bristol City - Andreas Weimann 

Despite not long recovering from an ACL injury suffered in a 1-1 home draw to Swansea last October, Andreas Weimann has made an instant impact upon his return, showing why he was missed so much with two goals in four matches.

A positionally flexible attacking player capable of operating as an advanced midfielder as well as out wide or up top as the team's focal point, Weimann's influence for Bristol will be crucial all season long as they look to build on a disappointing finish last campaign.

As well as offering a goalscoring edge, the former Aston Villa ace can often serve as a creative outlet and the likes of Chris Martin and Antoine Semenyo can be expected to well and truly thrive from his service.

  • Previous meetings

Prior matches between the two rivals have encapsulated carnage, chaos and drama.

Last time, Cardiff consumed the bragging rights in the early stages of McCarthy's tenure with an inspiring 2-0 win at Ashton Gate through goals from Curtis Nelson and Moore.

Before that, Bristol City claimed a vital 1-0 victory in Wales thanks to an early Chris Martin strike. There has been a clear pattern of both teams trumping each other across the season. 

  • How to watch

The match is scheduled for 12:30 BST, although it will not be streamed on any major broadcasting networks.

Instead, both Cardiff City TV and Robins TV- the official streaming sites for the two clubs- are both showing the clash, due to the early kick-off time coming before the newly-reinvigorated prohibitation of live broadcast of any fixture in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from 2:45-5:15pm on Saturday afternoon.

The option also remains intact for supporters to listen to the action through an audio pass.

 

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