Strugglers Cardiff City welcome an out of sorts Wolves side in the Premier League clash on Friday night.
Neil Warnock’s Cardiff suffered a ninth defeat of the season at Everton last week and sit rooted in the bottom three, level on points with Southampton and Fulham.
Meanwhile, Wolves are winless in five after a surprise 2-0 defeat against lowly Huddersfield last Sunday.
Both on poor runs following promotion last season, this is already a crucial clash. Here’s 90min’s breakdown of the game.
How To Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Friday 31 November|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||20:00 (BST)|
|Where Is It Played?||Cardiff City Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Sky Sports Main Event|
Having served a one match suspension at Brighton, Neil Warnock was boosted by the return of Harry Arter last week and is set for a consecutive start.
However, strikers Gary Madine and Kenneth Zohore remain doubtful once again. Madine last featured at the start of the month, whilst the latter has been out of action since late October.
Nuno Espirito Santo will be without left-wing back Jonny after confirming the Portuguese will be out for up to six weeks, with Ruben Vinagre set to deputise.
The on-loan Atletico Madrid defender will miss several key fixtures including games against heavyweights Liverpool and Tottenham over the festive period.
|Cardiff||Etheridge; Cunningham, Bamba, Morrison, Manga; Gunnarsson, Arter, Camarasa, Ralls, Harris; Paterson.|
|Wolves||Patricio; Boly, Coady, Bennett; Vinagre, Neves, Moutinho, Doherty; Costa, Traore, Jimenez.|
Head to Head Record
Friday’s clash will be the first ever top flight meeting between the sides, whose Championship exploits were rewarded with promotion last season.
Wolves have won on 28 occasions to the Bluebirds' 19, whilst 14 have ended in stalemate.
Their last meeting came in a fiery affair in April, as Ruben Neves netted the only goal of the game on their way to the title – after Cardiff spurned two penalties in stoppage time.
Having spent one season in the top flight in 2013-14, Cardiff are enduring another tough return.
Off the bottom only on goal-difference, goal-scoring has particularly been a concern for Neil Warnock’s outfit – with just eleven in 13 games.
However, nine of those have come in Wales in their only two wins – including a 2-1 victory over Brighton last time out. Top scorer Callum Paterson has just three goals this campaign.
Wanderers recent form has seen them lose four of the last five league games, including defeats against bottom half sides Brighton, Watford and most recently Huddersfield.
Despite this run, Santo’s side have registered 16 points from a possible 39 – eight more than their fellow promoted sides.
This is how each team has fared in their last five fixtures:
|Everton 1-0 Cardiff (24/11)||Wolves 0-2 Huddersfield (25/11)|
|Cardiff 2-1 Brighton (10/11)||Arsenal 1-1 Wolves (11/11)|
|Cardiff 0-1 Leicester (03/11)||Wolves 2-3 Tottenham (03/11)|
|Liverpool 4-1 Cardiff (27/10)||Brighton 1-0 Wolves (27/10)|
|Cardiff 4-2 Fulham (20/10)||Wolves 0-2 Watford (20/10)|
Wolves have defeated West Ham and Crystal Palace away from Molineux, but will face a much tougher test against a physical Bluebirds.
Their opponents have picked up seven of their eight league points at home as they look to climb out of the relegation zone.
With both sides struggling for form, it's likely to be a tight affair, but Cardiff's recent home wins make them slight favourites ahead of the clash.
Prediction: Cardiff 1-0 Wolves
Source : 90min