- Reading host Cardiff City on the 42nd matchday of the EFL Championship on Friday, April 16th at 1:00 pm EST
- With five games remaining in the Championship season, Reading and Cardiff City sit in seventh and eighth place respectively, with seven points in between them
- Currently, the favorites to win the match are Reading with moneyline odds of +116
The EFL Championship season is winding down, and with only five games remaining, Reading vs Cardiff City takes place on Friday night at the Madejski Stadium. Both sides are currently out of the Promotional Playoff which features sides from third to sixth place. However, Reading only sits five points behind Barnsley and Bournemouth, whom they could leapfrog to get a chance at promotion. As 15 precious points remain on the table, a win against Cardiff City is imperative for Reading and their fans.[promoted-sportsbook]
Unfortunately for the favorites in this match, they have been quite out of form recently. Reading’s only win in their past six games came against 20th placed Derby County, a stat that will make Cardiff City optimistic. On the other hand, Cardiff City have also been exquisitely poor as of late, despite rolling off six straight wins just in February. Furthermore, one of Cardiff City’s best performers this season, Sean Morrison, will be out in the center of defense due to injury. This absence will make a huge opportunity for Reading’s offensive pairing of Lucas Joao and Michael Olise.
Reading vs Cardiff City Odds
|Matchup||Spread||Moneyline||Total at DraftKings|
|Reading vs Cardiff City||REA -0.5 (+116) | CAR +0.5 (-148)||REA +116 | CAR +250 | DRAW +215||Ov 2.5 (+125) | Un 2.5 (-157)|
Odds as of Apr 14
Can Lucas Joao Make the Difference?
As Sean Morrison sits out for Cardiff City on Friday night, the Bluebirds will have to make do with a different defensive pairing. This usually would not be a significant issue, unless you are facing one of the best offensive duos in the English Championship. Lucas Joao has been spectacular this year down the middle for Reading and will surely make life difficult for Curtis Nelson and whoever Mick McCarthy decides to pair alongside him.
"Belief, faith and focus" will be vital to taking three points in Friday's 'must win' encounter with the Bluebirds 🔵
Take a read of Pauno's thoughts ahead of the visit of Cardiff City on Friday night… 📰
— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) April 14, 2021
The 27-year-old is fourth on the Championship scoring charts, banging in 19 this year. Too often people also forget that Joao is a great servicer of the ball, as he also has amount seven assists for Reading. With former Liverpool player Ovie Ejaria and Michael Olise behind him, they have all the potential in the world to build up a quick goal tally against Cardiff City. An important thing to note about Reading is that they are rarely shut out of a game. While their defense can be rocky, they have only been kept out of the goal once in their past nine matches.
Reading vs Cardiff City EFL Championship Statistics
|1.37||Goals per game||1.39|
|11.4||Shots per game||11.6|
The Bluebirds Have Nothing More to Play For
As the season winds down, Cardiff City understands that they are in a position where they certainly cannot move much further up the table. Additionally, they do not have anything to lose by moving down a few spots in the table. While all the players are clear-cut professionals and they will want to leave an impression on the gaffer, they simply have less to play for. Meanwhile, Reading have a legitimate shot at promotion to get into the Premier League. Remember the saying, a hungry dog runs faster?
🗣 “The players were very disappointed at the lateness of both goals, but certainly the equaliser in the second half. We should be able to hang onto that, and everybody is feeling the same way. They’re all sick about it."
— Cardiff City FC (@CardiffCityFC) April 10, 2021
Nonetheless, in the reverse fixture this season, Reading also saw victory by a score of 2-1 away from home. Sadly for Cardiff City fans, they have not won this head-to-head match since 2015 when Russell Slade was in charge of the club.
Reading vs Cardiff City Best Bet
Overall, the best bet for this match is the Reading moneyline with odds of +116. This bet has tremendous value and is by far the best bet on the odds table. Historically, this result has played in Reading’s favor as of late. While both teams are on poor form, I expect Reading to go out and give this one a proper fight. Getting into the Premier League is no joke, and it is hard to see Cardiff City turning up as much as Reading will have to.
My Pick: Reading moneyline (+116)
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