Cardiff vs Wolves (Match Preview)
Cardiff City host Wolverhampton Wanderers tomorrow with the winners going into the FA Cup 6th round and a great chance of landing a plum Premiership tie, or progressing even further.
The form book largely goes out of the window for cup games but Wolves have struggled with consistency this season. Since an impressive 4-1 victory over Watford in the previous round, Wolves have beaten Sheffield Wednesday, lost against Stoke and Watford and drawn away at Blackpool. The visitors sit directly below Cardiff in the Championship table with only goal difference separating the sides.
Missing is key man Michael Kightly who provides a huge creative presence from midfield and chips in with goals. He has a persistent ankle injury and could miss the entire season.
Welsh International striker Freddie Eastwood is hoping for a cup start having failed to force his way into McCarthy's first XI and enduring a frustrating time at Molineux since a move from Southend United.
Andy Keogh is a threat in attack, while new signing Sylvain Ebanks-Blake has netted twice since a January move from Plymouth Argyle - he however is illegible having played for Plymouth already. Wolves will also be without Welsh midfielder and former Cardiff City target David Edwards, he looks a promising player for the future and is not far off the complete midfielder, he however is also cup-tied having represented Shrewsbury Town.
Cardiff City have hit a slump in form after a long unbeaten run stretching back to December. Dave Jones won the manager of the month award for January, but since then has witnessed defeats at the hands of Stoke City and Norwich City before a disappointing draw away at managerless Coventry City in midweek.
Joe Ledley will be missing for Cardiff with a hamstring tear. As well as missing his energetic and consistent midfield presence, Ledley has also been a major goal threat for Cardiff and features only behind Paul Parry in the CCFC scoring charts.
A lack of goals has been worrying for the Bluebirds. Against Norwich and Coventry they were guilty of lacking finishes to some promising moves. Hasselbaink up-front shows good touches but is involved only sporadically and lacks the pace to cause too many problems. Paul Parry has been playing out of position in attack and has done well, however, the natural winger needs the right kind of service and space behind defenders to flourish.
The game promises to be fascinating, both teams will fancy their chances of progressing and CCFC are expecting a near full house at Ninian Park. Both teams are above average in the Championship, but neither has realised their true potential this season. Vital Cardiff has predicted a 1-1 draw. Click here to leave your prediction or read others!