In one of the games of the day in the Championship, Cardiff take on promotion hopefuls Aston Villa. I am really looking forward to this one, I am intrigues to see how Villa start, while Cardiff made a good start last weekend.
Cardiff themselves will feel like they could mount a promotion challenge if they perform well although I think a top half finish is a more realistic aim. However, a good start to the campaign for them and who knows what will happen this season.
A late winner secured all three points for Cardiff last weekend at Burton in a game they won 1-0. Don’t let that tight score line fool you, Cardiff deserved the victory and played well throughout the game to take a great three points back to Wales with them.
During midweek they progressed to the second round of the League Cup, but needed extra time to beat League One Portsmouth. They fought off a hard battling team in this one and showed great qualities to eventually find a way to win against a team that made it very difficult for them.
After two wins out of two, things are looking bright for Cardiff and it will be interesting to see how long they can keep their good form going. They look likely to finish mid-table, but could push for a top half finish if they start well.
Aston Villa Form
Aston Villa decided to take a slightly longer term plan in the Championship, though after a year in the league, this is the season where they are aiming for promotion. They spent well in January, and have added to that this summer so the focus will be on them as they look to return to the Premier League.
In their opening game, despite a very promising first half, they eventually drew 1-1 with Hull, a team who were relegated from the Premier League last season. They would love to have started with a victory, especially at home and will be looking to put that right this weekend when they travel to Cardiff.
During midweek, Aston Villa made nine changes for their trip to Colchester in the League Cup. The changes paid off, and they won the game 2-1 despite facing very tough, wet conditions that made playing football very difficult. Thanks to those conditions, it wasn’t the best game to watch, but Villa found a way to win.
This season is the second in a two year plan for Villa and pushing for promotion is a must. Promoted teams find a way to win, something Villa failed to do last weekend and they will want to put that right this weekend.
Kenneth Zohore opened his Cardiff account in the opening game and just like last season, he is going to be vital for them this season. The Dane was their top scorer last season and will lead the line again this season, Villa need to find a way to stop him.
After making nine changes for their cup game, I am sure Villa will revert to a similar line up that played Hull last weekend. That will give Gabby Agbonlahor another chance to score as he looks to rediscover his touch for Villa. Elsewhere, they have quality all over the pitch and as soon as Villa click, they are going to be tough to beat.
Top Betting Tips
This game puts together two good teams and we should be in for a great game, with plenty of goals. Cardiff have started the season well and will want to continue their run as they aim to finish in the top half of the table. Villa post their toughest test to date, but Cardiff are the sort of team that love a challenge and will no doubt rise to it.
I am expecting to see many goals in this one and a tight game, which I think will end in a draw. Alongside backing the draw, which is available at 11/5 with Ladbrokes I am also going to back a correct score. The score I am going to back is 2-2, which can be backed at 18/1 with William Hill. I think this represents good value, the two teams have little between them, they both know how to score goals and will be desperate to take something from this game to maintain their unbeaten records. In what looks set to be a very good game, I am going with a 2-2 draw.