|Cardiff to win||11/4||888Sport|
|Both teams to score||21/20||Ladbrokes|
|Over 2.5 goals||11/8||Bet365|
Game 14 of the Premier League season gets started in Wales where Cardiff City and Wolverhampton Wanderers meet in a Friday 8.00pm kick-off.
Bringing the curtain up on what will be another enjoyable round of sport, it gives punters the chance to get the jump on traders and go into the weekend with profit in their pockets.
To achieve that we must separate two sides who head into the winter months struggling for form, bringing a combined two wins from their last five starts at this level. It’s all getting tense down at the wrong end of the table, but who will give themselves a leg-up?
The Bluebirds have struggled in their return to the top-flight of English football and start with stats showing two wins and a couple of draws against nine defeats.
That has them on eight points, level with the other two sides in the bottom three – Southampton and Fulham. Not what the fans had hoped for but it’s still far too early in the campaign to be reaching for the panic button and a win here would see the locals climb to 15th, at least overnight.
Neil Warnock’s side claimed a vital three points when beating Brighton 2-1 when last at this venue. The Seagulls took the lead inside six minutes that day and followers of the locals were left fearing the worst but a Paterson reply on 28 kick-started the turnaround.
Stephens was then sent off on 34 for a reckless challenge on Cunningham and Cardiff took advantage, Bamba scoring a 90th minute winner.
Wolves, unlike their hosts, started brightly following their second-tier title win and it looked in the early exchanges like they could prove to be this season’s surprise package.
That appears to have petered out however and one point taken from the last 15 available to them has dragged Nuno Santo’s side down through the list, settling in 11th. They now have an important month ahead with Everton in sixth six points ahead, Huddersfield in 15th six points behind.
Four defeats and a draw from their last five starts has everyone connected to the West Midlands club worried and they were last seen stumbling to their fifth loss of the season when suffering a surprise 2-0 reverse to Huddersfield at Molineux five days ago.
Aaron Mooy smashed home a double to heap on the pressure, including an opening goal inside six minutes that set the pace for the match. Santo labelled it one of his side’s worst performances since he arrived, and the gaffer will be hoping that forces a response from his troops.
Cardiff may enter eight places lower than their opponents with eight fewer points on the board, but they do boast the better recent form, having won two of their last five. The majority of those in attendance at the Cardiff City Stadium will take heart from that but bookmakers are happy to oppose the home win with 888Sport offering 11/4. That’s a more generous quote than we expected. Traders at Bet365 go 11/5 the draw.
That leaves Wolves as favourites to return to winning ways and odds-makers have been strong in their beliefs, with the 23/20 currently available at Ladbrokes being one of the better prices up for grabs. That’s surprising, given the visiting team’s recent form, and we see no value in backing Wolves as jolly until they stop the rot.
The stats show both teams have scored in four of the last five matches involving these sides and that’s worth knowing as it’s backed up by Wolves’ recent efforts, losing 3-2 at home to Spurs and getting a 1-1 at Arsenal.