Cardiff City kick-off the sporting weekend on Friday night, hosting Reading at Cardiff City Stadium. Nigel Adkins' side have won just once on their travels this season, while Russell Slade is yet to taste anything other than success at our home ground as City manager.
Tickets for this match are still available. Please call 0845 345 1400 or buy tickets online now
Former Royals Adam le Fondre, Matthew Connolly and Sean Morrison could all be named in the City squad
Bluebirds Academy graduate Chris Gunter could also be in line to start
Simon Cox (7) currently tops the goal-scoring charts for Reading
Reading's last win in the Welsh Capital came in the 2011 play-off semi final, securing their spot at Wembley
Ben Turner and Danny Gabbidon both made their first league appearances of the campaign last time out against Birmingham
KEY OPPOSITION PLAYER: Glenn Murray
Murray’s half-season loan spell from Crystal Palace has already seen the striker bag five goals in eleven games this term for the Royals. The imposing forward looked destined for big things during the 2012/13 season, hitting the back of the net 30 times in just 42 league appearances for the Eagles as they earned promotion but a serious knee injury in the second leg of their play-off semi final against former club Brighton saw him miss a substantial part of the following campaign. While his future is currently up in the air with the January transfer window approaching, the Cumbrian-born striker is certainly impressing at the top of the Football League once more.
ONE TO WATCH: Garath McCleary
While an unseen entity this season, tricky winger Garath McCleary has proven in the past to be a game changer. A fractured vertebra during the summer months has meant McCleary is yet to feature for Nigel Adkins' side during the 2014/15 campaign, but he assured the press earlier this week his fitness will not be an issue if called upon during Friday's night match. McCleary was plucked from non-league football by Nottingham Forest, and moved over to the Madjeski after four years at the City Ground, making 73 league appearances so far for the Royals.
RECENT FORM (ALL COMPETITIONS)
Last time out: Birmingham City 0-0 Cardiff City - Saturday 8th November 2014, Sky Bet Championship
In an end-to-end match at St Andrew's, Cardiff City and Birmingham City shared the points in a goal-less draw.Two minutes from the break and with most in the Stadium stood still, Macheda spurned the half’s best chance. A pinpoint Whittingham ball was brought down superbly by the forward who had deftly broken the Blues offside trap, only for him to draw out a fantastic save from Randolph from a one on one position. Both side's had goals disallowed for offside in the second period. With a minute left to play, Birmingham substitute Wes Thomas saw red. In a seemingly innocuous incident, with the referee calling back play from the City 18 yard box for a Blues free kick up field, the striker swiped towards the face of Sean Morrison. It was a silly moment for the striker and made for a tense finish at St. Andrew’s.
Cardiff City: Marshall, Connolly, Turner, Morrison(Gabbidon), Brayford, Noone (Fabio), Gunnarsson, Whittingham, Pilkington, Le Fondre, Macheda (Maynard). Subs Not Used: Moore, Kim Bo-kyung, Adeyemi, Ralls.
Last time out: Reading 0-1 Charlton Athletic – Saturday 8th November 2014, Sky Bet Championship
Igor Vetokele settled a scrappy game at the Madejski as his header gave Charlton a win against Reading. The hosts went close through Glenn Murray's header and had the better of the chances until the Addicks scored. Chris Solly got free to swing in a cross and Angolan Vetokele flicked home his eighth goal of the season. The home side then saw Oliver Norwood hit the post from 20 yards but they could not find a way through.
2011/12: Monday 2nd January 2012, Championship: Cardiff City 3-1 Reading
Cardiff City began the new year with an emphatic win over fellow play-off challengers Reading. Joe Mason struck first, Aron Gunnarsson headed in the second and Kenny Miller stroked home for the third all within 36 minutes. Former Bluebird Jobi McAnuff gave the Royals hope with a late first-half effort but it was disappointment for the Royals in the Welsh Capital.
This superb result at the Cardiff home of football saw City complete a season-double over the Royals, following a 2-1 victory at the Madjeski earlier in the campaign.