This is undoubtedly the showdown of the Championship schedule, with both of these promotion hopefuls preparing to go head-to-head at the Cardiff City Stadium. However, even though expectations are high for both teams, both managers will be slightly disappointed with the manner in which they have started the campaign with Cardiff sat in 15th spot while their opponents are just several places higher in 11th.
There’s no doubt that Cardiff are a completely different outfit this term and after making several high profile acquisitions, the Bluebirds are attempting to go one step better than previous campaigns and gain promotion to the Premier League. Judging by their activity in the recent transfer window, Malky Mackay has certainly been backed to the hilt and the Bluebirds will be hoping the likes of Tommy Smith, Craig Noone and Nicky Maynard provide the attacking impetus required to launch a genuine promotion bid. The Welsh outfit will certainly have to improve on their recent showings, with the club accumulating just four points from their opening three games. Such a return has come after an opening day win over Huddersfield, a goalless draw with Brighton and a recent 4-2 loss to Bristol City.
Wolves have also managed to net the four points from their opening games, with the Molineux outfit bouncing back from an opening day defeat to Leeds to record a victory over Barnsley and a draw with Derby last week. Such form is probably disappointing to supporters of the club, who were hoping for a revolution under Nordic manager Stale Solbakken. Moreover, many expect things to only get worse, with Wolves losing two key players in the form of Steven Fletcher and Matt Jarvis over recent days. Even though Solbakken has attempted to bolster his squad with several recruits from abroad, it remains to be seen if they will have the same effect as the departed duo.
As for team news, Cardiff have been dealt a blow for the clash with Craig Bellamy set to miss out as he struggles with a calf issue. However, Mackay will at least have new signings Craig Noone and Nicky Maynard available, while Ben Turner is also back in contention following a foot injury. Another boost to the Bluebirds comes in the form of Kim BO-Kyung, with the South Korean set to make his debut after he finally obtained a work permit. There’s little to report for the visitors on the other hand, with Stale Solbakken just sweating on the fitness of Karl Henry who struggles with a hamstring issue. However, other than that Wolves don’t have any other concerns, although Solbakken is poised to make changes after resting several players in the League Cup game during the week.
In terms of a prediction, we can only tip a Cardiff victory. The Bluebirds have strengthened substantially over recent days, while Wolves have actually lost their key players. Bearing this in mind, we think this will end in a 2-0 win for Malky Mackay’s side.