The two sides automatically promoted from the Championship meet to open up the next round of Premier League matches on Friday night when Cardiff City entertain Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Both will see this as an opportunity for three valuable points so that should ensure we see a competitive match and what it might lack in quality it will certainly make up for in fight, spirit and determination.
It has been a tough beginning to life back in the top flight for Cardiff City but they have been much more competitive in recent times than they were at the beginning of the campaign. They were blown away in matches against the elite sides earlier in the season but in more favourable fixtures since then they have picked up their two wins and challenged better sides in matches.
The Welsh side have to ensure they remain tight at the back if they are going to get themselves out of trouble because they don’t look like they have the personnel, or are set up, to score multiple goals to win matches. In saying that, they could do with being a little more expansive in these home matches they are expected to win.
It looked like it was going to be a routine first season back in the big time for Wolverhampton Wanderers when they eased their way into the top half of the table with a strong start but things have taken a nose dive since then. They head into this match without a win in five and off the back of a disappointing and worrying defeat at home to Huddersfield Town last time out.
Wolves have proven tough to break down in the most part this season. They have a good organisation about them and a stability to their side but they haven’t really convinced going forward at any stage despite no lack of creativity in their midfield. They must find a way to score more regularly if they are going to make it back into the top half and beyond.
Josh Murphy could return to the side for the Bluebirds in this one but Kenneth Zohore is a doubt with a calf injury. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Gary Madine and Jazz Richards are doubts after recent injury issues.
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo is expected to shake things up a bit after their defeat at the weekend. One man who he will not be able to include is the Spanish defender Jonny Otto who remains out with a knee problem.
I think this could be one of those tense affairs. I say that because both teams have a real need to win. These are the matches that Cardiff City have to be winning if they are going to survive this season while Wolves need to snap their winless run and this would appear to be an ideal chance to do that.
I look at both these sides and I don’t really see many goals in either of them so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this ends up as a draw and a goalless one at that but if there is to be a winner I sense Cardiff’s need is stronger and they might find a way past a suddenly fragile looking Wolves team. I’ll take Cardiff on the Asian line where we win half our bet on a draw but I can’t resist a small go on no goalscorer too.
WON – Back Cardiff City (+0.25AH) to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers for a 4/10 stake at 2.05 with Betfred
Back No Goalscorer for a 1/10 stake at 8.00 with Betfred
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