Lee Johnson’s Robins go into this weekend’s Severnside Derby at Ashton Gate in good form, but our tipster is siding with Neil Warnock’s men
Neither Bristol City nor Cardiff were among the pre-season promotion favourites, but Saturday’s early kick-off will impact the chances both have of making the top two.
The Robins are one of the division’s form teams and with a victory, they would go to within one point of their neighbours in second place, whilst the visitors have an opportunity to extend the gap in the automatic promotion race to four points before Sheffield United kick-off.
The Bluebirds are 2/1 (3.0) to notch their 10th win of the campaign at Ashton Gate, while a draw is 6/4 (2.50) and Bristol City are 6/4 (2.50) to record a third straight win, having recently defeated Sunderland and Fulham.
The hosts deserve credit for their performances this term but questions remain over their ability to perform at their best against similarly-talented outfits as in their five games against top 10 opposition, they have won just once, so Cardiff Draw No Bet at 11/10 (2.10) holds appeal.
Warnock’s side, meanwhile, have won three in five against the top 10, and those victories came away to leaders Wolves and with three-goal margins at home to Aston Villa and Leeds.
Cardiff are not averse to playing possession-based outfits like Bristol City as the counter attack allows them to utilise the pace and power of their two wide men, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing – who is 13/5 (3.60) to score anytime – and Junior Hoilett, who can be found at the same price.
Bristol City have a selection issue up top with Famara Diedhou out for three months, making the Championship’s joint-top scorer Bobby Reid almost certain to start and available 6/4 (2.50) to reach double-figures on Saturday. Alternatively, Lee Johnson could turn to tall striker Milan Djuric; the Bosnian is yet to start a league game this season but averages a goal every 54 minutes, making him a tempting bet at 15/2 (7.50) to score last.
Whoever leads their attack will face dominant centre-backs Sean Morrison and Bruno Manga, part of a Cardiff rear-guard that has conceded just two goals in their last five games.; indeed, the 11/4 (3.75) price on the away side keeping a clean sheet looks tempting, as does the 9/2 (5.50) on them winning to nil.
Given that only two places separate these sides however, the insurance of the Cardiff draw no bet at 11/10 (2.10) is a solid punt, and means that our stake will be returned should this match end all-square.