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Preview: Cardiff City vs. Charlton Athletic - predictions, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Championship clash between Cardiff City and Charlton Athletic, including team news and predicted lineups.

Two sides boasting perfect records since the Championship resumed face off on Tuesday evening as Cardiff City host fellow in-form side Charlton Athletic.

Cardiff have climbed into the playoffs thanks to back-to-back wins over the past week or so, while Charlton have opened up a three-point gap on the relegation zone.

Match preview

Cardiff's Nathaniel Mendez-Laing celebrates scoring against Preston on June 27, 2020© Reuters

For the first time since being relegated from the Premier League last year, Cardiff are in possession of a playoff spot, having beaten Leeds United and Preston North End.

The 2-0 victory over Leeds was an ultimate smash-and-grab, with the Bluebirds capitalising on a couple of errors to snatch three massive points.

Saturday's 3-1 triumph at Deepdale, meanwhile, was a case of Neil Harris's side biding their time before scoring three second-half goals against the side they replaced sixth place.

Going further back, it is now three wins in a row for City either side of the three-month hiatus, seeing them not only climb into the playoffs but also open up a three-point gap on the sides in seventh and eighth.

Charlton are themselves on a massive high ahead of this midweek trip to South Wales, having recorded successive 1-0 wins over Hull City and Queens Park Rangers.

The QPR clash was rightly billed as a six-pointer, and the Jason Pearce-inspired victory could very well prove to be the turning point in the Addicks' season.

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer on June 20, 2020© Reuters

However, the bottom half of the division remains incredibly tight, with just three points separating Huddersfield Town in 22nd and Charlton in 18th.

Athletic now have a run of three games against playoff-chasing clubs, starting with this showdown against a Cardiff side they have a good record against in recent times.

The Londoners have lost just one of the last eight encounters between the sides since 2008, each of those matches being contested in the second tier.

Five of those matches have finished all square, though, including the reverse fixture this season when Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Lee Tomlin struck in the second half to cancel out goals from Conor Gallagher and Jonathan Leko.

That was Harris's first game in charge of the Bluebirds and it is safe to say that the Englishman has made a big impact since arriving at the Cardiff City Stadium.

With seven games to go, it is now a case of holding on to sixth in the hope of securing an immediate return to the Premier League.

Cardiff's Championship form: LLDWWW

Charlton's Championship form: WLLLWW

Team News

Cardiff City's Robert Glatzel celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates on September 13, 2019© Reuters

Harris named an unchanged lineup between the wins over Leeds and Preston, but changes can surely be expected on Tuesday given the quick turnaround in fixtures.

Mendez-Laing and Tomlin have both impressed from the bench after returning from long-term injury layoffs, while Robert Glatzel has two goals in two games as a substitute.

Callum Paterson, tasked with filling a big void up top as Glatzel has adapted to English football, had an off day at Deepdale and may be given a breather here.

Charlton have also used the same XI players from the start in their two games since Championship action resumed earlier this month.

Jonny Williams was a second-half sub against Hull but was kept on the bench against QPR. At a ground that the Wales international knows well, his fresh legs could come to good use.

Former Cardiff defender Deji Oshilaja's versatility has been a major help for Lee Bowyer and he is expected to start at left-back, despite coming off against QPR.

Cardiff possible starting lineup:
Smithies; Sanderson, Morrison, Nelson, Bennett; Vaulks, Ralls; Mendez-Laing, Tomlin, Hoilett; Glatzel

Charlton possible starting lineup:
Phillips; Matthews, Lockyer, Pearce, Oshilaja; McGeady, Pratley, Cullen, Morgan; Bonne, Hemed

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We say: Cardiff 1-1 Charlton

Both teams are in good form and have plenty still left to play for with seven games to go. Five of the last eight encounters between the sides have finished level and we expect the spoils to be shared on Tuesday.


Who will win Tuesday's Championship clash between Cardiff City and Charlton Athletic?

Cardiff City
Charlton Athletic
Cardiff City
Charlton Athletic
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Preston boss Alex Neil on February 8, 2020
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