Foot Predictions shows Wednesday’s championship clash between Bournemouth and Cardiff City, including hunches, preview and possible lineups.
Playoff candidates Bournemouth and Cardiff City face off on Wednesday night as the battle for a final in the top six raged.
Cardiff have won five consecutive games and reduced the gap to sixth place stutterer Bournemouth to three points in this great game at Vitality Stadium.
Mick McCarthy it may not have been the most popular of the nominations at Cardiff, but the seasoned coach did wonders for guiding his team straight into the playoff image.
City have not lost in seven games under McCarthy, following a previous run of five straight losses that ended the Neil Harrismandate of.
Cardiff defeated the Preston North End 4-0 last time and won their fifth consecutive victory, without conceding goals in three of those matches.
It was one of the most complete team performances of the Bluebirds in the campaign, with Kieffer Moore, Josh Murphy, Marlon Pack and Mark Harris everyone registering.
Victory became much more comfortable thanks to Dillon Phillips2-0 double penalty defense, denying both Paul Gallagher and Ched Evans within two minutes.
Suddenly, the Welsh team is now just three points off the playoffs and could move up to the top six on Wednesday for the first time this season.
For that to happen, we need to beat Bournemouth by two goals and, based on the recent form of both teams, this is certainly not out of the question.
Cherries placed provisional chief Jonathan Woodgate in charge until the end of the campaign, at which point Thierry Henry is a favorite to take on the long run.
Woodgate’s men lost 2-1 to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday and have now won just two of their last nine league games, although they have played in the last two home games.
However, since February 2018, the south coast team has not won three consecutive home league matches.
As for Cardiff, the team hopes to get four away wins in the round for the first time since a series of five in February 2013.
Bournemouth Championship form: LLWDWL
Bournemouth form (all competitions): LWWDWL
Cardiff City Championship form: DWWWWW
All news from the teams
Arnaut Danjuma remains a fitness question for Bournemouth, while Steve Cook, Jack Stacey and Dominic Solanke all were discarded.
Woodgate still has many attack options, however, with Sam Surridge and David Brooks pushing for recalls to the initial lineup.
Shane Long left the mark with his first goal for the club last time, but the loan from Southampton is in danger of falling from the XI here.
As for Cardiff, McCarthy remains without long-term injuries absent Lee Tomlin, Isaac Vassell and Jordi Osei-Tutu.
January Signature Jonny Williams has been named among the alternates against Preston and may make his first appearance on Wednesday, although he is likely to be on the bench.
Moore, Murphy and Harry Wilson all impressed against the North End over the weekend and will certainly keep their seats in the squad.
Possible starting lineup for Bournemouth:
Begovic; Smith, Mepham, Carter-Vickers, Kelly; Lerma, Cook, Billing; Brooks, Surridge, Stanislas
Possible initial line-up for Cardiff City:
Phillips; Flint, Nelson, Morrison; Ng, Pack, Vaulks, Bennett; Wilson, Moore, Murphy
Probability: Bournemouth 1-1 Cardiff City
Cardiff are the team in the best phase of the Championship, with 15 points won in the last 15 games, while Bournemouth have won only twice in the last nine games.
However, Cherries have won five of their last six home games against Cardiff – losing the other 3-1 in 2002 – and we can see them stalling City’s winning streak here.
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