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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Cardiff and Wolves should provide an entertaining spectacle

Championship top two set to slug it out

League leaders Wolves face a huge test
1 of 1

Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports Football, 7.45pm Friday

The Sky Bet Championship takes centre stage with a showdown between the division’s top two and punters are advised to go for entertainment.

Neil Warnock’s Cardiff and Wolves, managed by Nuno Espirito Santo, are odds-on to be playing Premier League football next season no matter what happens at the Cardiff City Stadium.

What should unfold is a decent spectacle between two sides who like to be positive, boast attacking players but are looking leggy at the end of a tiring recent schedule. All the ingredients, therefore, for a bet on both teams scoring.

Warnock says Wolves are favourites for the match and the layers concur even though it’s the Welsh side who are in the better form.

Unbeaten in the league since New Year’s Day, they’ve won nine and drawn two of their last 11 and despite producing one of their more forgettable performances at Bramall Lane on Monday still managed to fight back in injury time to snatch a 1-1 draw.

They boast the best home record in the second tier – 15 wins from 20 – and have already won at Molineux this season, 2-1 in August.

To that end, Cardiff's odds might look quite seductive, particularly as they have had an extra 24 hours to prepare for this contest.

The match probably couldn’t have come at a better time for the Bluebirds. Not only are they on a sizzling streak but Wolves have stuttered of late with four wins in their last nine.

They looked shot at Middlesbrough on Good Friday after finishing the game with nine men and were vulnerable again in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Hull where they had to come from behind.

At least star midfielder Ruben Neves has had a break – he was one of the red-card victims at the Riverside so sat out the Hull game – and you can’t overlook the fact that Wolves boast the best away record in the division.

The chances of them getting overhauled at the last look slim since Cardiff’s run-in is a brute and Wolves will doubtless be happy to come away from the Welsh capital with a point to protect their six-point cushion.

But they don’t play like a side who actively search for goalless draws and with 36 goals conceded they aren’t exactly watertight.

Both teams to score
2pts Evs Hills

Match odds

Sky Bet Championship standings

Team news
Joe Ralls is available after injury and Matt Connolly is close to a return. Jazz Richards remains sidelined.

Matt Doherty and Ruben Neves return from suspensions.

Key stat
Both teams have scored in Cardiff’s last five matches.

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They don’t play like a side who actively search for 0-0s and with 36 goals conceded they aren’t exactly watertight
E.W. Terms
Sky bet