EFL kicks off this weekend’s round of fixtures with a top of Sky Bet Championship six pointer, as Cardiff City welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to the Cardiff City Stadium.
Table topping Wolves know that they could take a step closer to the title, should they extend their current six point lead over second placed Cardiff.
Joe Ralls could return for Cardiff after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Defender, Matt Connolly is in line for a recall despite not being fully fit yet.
Jazz Richards and Danny Ward remain ruled out for the Bluebirds.
Wolves will have midfielders, Matt Doherty and Ruben Neves back from suspension for this major clash.
Striker, Diego Jota is expected to start after shaking off a knock.
Cardiff City enter this match on a 12 match unbeaten run of ten wins and two draws.
During that run, they have scored 26 goals and conceded eight times.
Their top scorer in that period is utility player, Callum Paterson with seven goals.
Paterson has also scored in four of last five games for the Bluebirds.
Since their 13 match unbeaten run ended in mid January at home to Nottingham Forest, Wolves still been strong despite suffering two defeats.
Those two defeats came away at hands of promotion rivals, Fulham and Aston Villa.
Since the loss at Villa Park, Wolves are unbeaten in their last four with Benfik Afobe their top scorer on three goals.
- Since doing the double over Cardiff in 2014-15, Wolves have lost four of last five meetings.
- Only twice in that run, has the winning goal margin been by two goals or more.
- In last five trips to Cardiff, Wolves have won two and lost three.
Where can game be won or lost?
|Per Game Average||Cardiff City (home)||Wolves (away)|
|Shots on Target||6.3||4.25|
|Goals per First Half %||47.4||60|
|Goals per Second Half %||52.6||40|
Straight away, those foul averages stand out because both sides clearly like to draw a lot of fouls.
Cardiff might have one of the worst home fouls average but at least they are more disciplined than Wolves, who have four red cards away from Molineux.
Somehow both teams still manage decent goal averages despite committing lot of fouls, so definitely should see goals here with clinical finishing being key.
Ultimately, Wolves can lose this through shambolic discipline but their goal average in first half could well become key like it was at Middlesbrough when clung on for a 2-1 win despite going down to nine men and conceding one.
A repeat here is possible but Cardiff are stronger in second half and more consistently attacking throughout, so expect them to go and win this game in that scenario.
The result more or less rest on Wolves’ discipline and what they do in first half.
If they aren’t able to get a two goal gap by half time and then their discipline woes set in again, I fancy Cardiff to really get something from this because they’re a strong side going forward.
Prediction: Cardiff City 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Result: Cardiff City 0-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers