Reading hosts Cardiff City on Friday night with their hopes of promotion playoff qualification slipping away. The Royals are five points behind Bournemouth and Barnsley in the race for playoff qualification with just five games left to play. Reading are winless in five of their last six games in the division. That run of form has seen Reading fall out of the top six altogether.

Cardiff City are on a three-game winless run and their hopes of playoff qualification are also evaporating. They are 12 points back of the playoffs with just 15 points left to play for. A loss or draw with Cardiff City and wins for Barnsley and Bournemouth will end their aims of making the top six.

The Royals claimed a 2-1 away win against the Bluebirds earlier this season. Michael Morrison and Lucas Joao scored for Reading before Cardiff City’s Lee Tomlin got on the scoresheet in the 81st minute to give Cardiff City hope of a comeback. That comeback came up just short, however.

Reading are unbeaten in 10 straight games versus Cardiff City in all competitions. Six of those 10 fixtures ended in draws. Cardiff City have not defeated Reading since the 2015-16 Championship campaign. Manager Veljko Paunovi? will hope his side can continue their trend of unbeaten games versus the Bluebirds.

Reading vs Cardiff City Betting Odds

 

Neither side are in good form going into the fixture. Reading took just six points from the last 18 on offer in the Championship. They were outscored eight to seven by opponents in the last six fixtures in the league.

Cardiff City took five points from the last 18 available. They scored a ridiculously low four goals during that six-game timeframe. Mick McCarthy’s hiring gave Cardiff City a major boost, but that uptick in form has ended. Their last three games ended without wins and two of those fixtures were losses.

Reading are 5/4 to win at full-time according to leading sportsbooks. The Royals are unbeaten in four straight matches in the Championship. They have taken 34 points from 60 available at the Madejski Stadium. The Royals are +10 in goal difference. The last four matches in all competitions between Reading and Cardiff City finished with both teams scoring goals. The last two fixtures saw over 2.5 goals scored by the Championship rivals.

Cardiff City are at odds of 13/5 to claim a win at full-time versus Reading. If Cardiff City are to win, they must overturn a 10-game winless streak versus the Royals. The Bluebirds have been good on the road in 2020-21. They have taken 33 points from 60 on offer. They are just +2 in goal difference on their travels, however. Twenty-three goals have been plundered while 21 have been allowed.

Reading vs Cardiff City Team News

With Cardiff City nearly assured of playing in the Championship next season rather than making the promotion playoffs in a few weeks, the club are already looking toward next season’s team. One player that won’t be back for next season is on-loan Liverpool player Harry Wilson. The winger has four goals and 11 assists in the Championship. It is still unlikely that Wilson has a future at Anfield, but the Reds could finally sell the creative midfielder.

Fellow on-loan Liverpool player Sheyi Ojo is set to leave the club as well. Jordi Osei-Tutu won’t return either. With all three of these players set to leave the club and return to their parent teams, they will want to impressive over the next few weeks. McCarthy has four players on the injury list going into the weekend. Defenders Sean Morrison and Joel Bagan are both doubts due to their respective injuries. Defenders Joe Bennett and Souleymane Bamba are both ruled out for the remainder of the campaign.

Reading’s Michael Morrison is unlikely to be available for the fixture. The defender has a hamstring strain. John Swift is a doubt for the game. He continues to recover from a hamstring injury. Meanwhile, Tom McIntyre and Felipe Araruna could both potentially make the squad.

The Royals are lead in goals by Joao. The forward has 19 goals in 35 league appearances. He has tallied 34% of Reading’s goals this season. Joao has the Championship’s fourth-most goals.

Reading vs Cardiff City Prediction

Both teams to score: YES @ 19/20 - BET NOW

 

The last four games in all competitions between Reading and Cardiff City finished with both teams scoring goals. Cardiff City are coming off of a 2-2 draw with Blackburn Rovers. They can score goals under McCarthy, but also are guilty of conceding them. Five of Reading’s last six games in the Championship finished with both sides finding the back of the net.

Lucas Joao to score anytime @ 7/5 - BET NOW

 

Portuguese forward Lucas Joao has tallied 19 goals in 35 games for the Royals in 2020-21. He is likely to be linked to teams elsewhere in the summer. Joao recently scored on matchday 40 against Derby County. The forward scored in the reverse fixture to help Reading claim all three points in south Wales.

Over 2.5 goals scored @ 5/4 - BET NOW

 

The last two games in all competitions between the clubs finished with over 2.5 goals scored. They Reading got positive results from both games. The Bluebirds are unbeaten in 10 straight games versus Cardiff City and could make it 11 consecutive games without victory.

Two of Reading’s last five Championship games finished with over 2.5 goals scored. The Royals should continue their excellent form versus Cardiff City this weekend with a win or draw. Cardiff City are struggling at the tail end of the season and should once again fail to win.

Cardiff City’s last two matches both ended with over 2.5 goals scored. Expect them to concede to Reading with a result that will see them eliminated from playoff contention. Reading may be able to keep their hopes of finishing in the top six alive with a positive result.

Reading vs Cardiff Tips

Here are our Reading vs Cardiff tips for Friday's Championship match at the Madjeski Stadium.

1. Both teams to score: YES @ 19/20

2. Lucas Joao to score anytime @ 7/5

3. Over 2.5 goals scored @ 5/4