Preview: Cardiff City vs. Bristol Rovers – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s friendly clash between Cardiff City and Bristol Rovers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Cardiff City will be looking to maintain their unbeaten status in their pre-season preparations when they face Bristol Rovers in a friendly match on Tuesday afternoon.

The Bluebirds have seen off two Welsh Premier League outfits and drawn with Cambridge United in the past week, while Rovers will travel across the border as they gear up for another League One campaign.

Match preview

Cardiff City's Sheyi Ojo scores their second goal on January 8, 2023© Reuters

Cardiff have kicked off a new era under Erol Bulut with two victories against Welsh opposition at the Cardiff City Stadium, with Champions League-bound The New Saints being the second-tier side’s latest victims last Tuesday.

The Bluebirds fielded a fairly strong XI and were rewarded, as Callum Robinson, Mark McGuinness and Ollie Tanner all found the net to beat the Welsh Premier Division champions 3-1.

Following a 21st-placed finish in the Championship last term, Sabri Lamouchi has been replaced in the managerial hotseat by former Fenerbahce coach Bulut, with his challenge in Wales being the first time he has managed outside of Turkey.

With both Connor Wickham and the dangerous Sory Kaba leaving the club at the end of the 2022-23 term, the arrival of 24-year-old Ike Ugbo to Cardiff’s attacking ranks has been widely welcomed by supporters.

The Canadian – whose talent was nurtured in Chelsea’s Cobham academy – scored twice for Troyes in Ligue 1 last season, however the emphasis is now on him to be a regular starter in the Championship.

Bristol Rovers are preparing for a second year in League One after finishing in the relative comfort of 17th during their first campaign back in the third tier since 2020-21.

Joey Barton will now look to build a squad capable of challenging at the head of the table, with a view to eventually earn promotion in order to join fierce rivals Bristol City in the Championship.

Rovers enjoyed a 2-0 success over National League side on Saturday afternoon, with attackers Scott Sinclair and John Marquis getting on the scoresheet for the visitors at Silverlake Stadium.

Barton’s men made the step up to League One football with grace, and individually Aaron Collins found his feet quickly in the third tier, scoring 16 goals, the same number as he netted in League Two during the 2021-22 term.

Cardiff City friendly form:

Cardiff City form (all competitions):

Bristol Rovers friendly form:

Bristol Rovers form (all competitions):

Team News

Cardiff announced their third summer signing in the form of forward Yakou Meite on Saturday, and the former Reading attacker could be handed his debut for the Welsh club on Tuesday afternoon.

Bulut elected to make 11 changes after 60 minutes of their behind-closed-doors clash with Cambridge on Friday, and the ex-Fenerbahce boss could employ similar tactics in this one, although the likes of Robinson, Mahlon Romeo and Andy Rinomhota should be handed starts this time.

Bristol Rovers are set to give further pre-season minutes to George Friend in this clash – the 35-year-old is back at the club he spent a period at as a child after leaving Birmingham City.

Young goalkeeper Jed Ward was handed a start in the victory at Eastleigh last time out, and the 20-year-old could be between the sticks on Tuesday afternoon following a loan spell at Hungerford Town in 2022-23.

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Allsop; Romeo, McGuiness, Simpson, Bagan; Rinomhota, Ralls, R Colwill, Ojo; Ugbo, Robinson

Bristol Rovers possible starting lineup:
J Ward; Gibbons, Wilson, Connolly, Finley; G Ward; Jones, Sinclair; Loft, Collins

SM words green background

We say: Cardiff City 1-1 Bristol Rovers

It is always hard to predict pre-season matches which ultimately are aimed to give players much-needed minutes on the pitch, however we are expecting an even contest between Cardiff and Bristol Rovers.

Both are yet to be beaten in their respective summers, and we can imagine a share of the imaginary spoils on Tuesday afternoon in South Wales.

No Data Analysis info

ID:518110:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect11309:

Previews by email

Click here to get Sports Mole‘s daily email of previews and predictions for every major game!