Football – England – Championship
Sunday 2nd December 2012 – Kickoff: 1500hrs
Championship leaders Cardiff City plan a miserable return for former manager Dave Jones when he brings his Sheffield Wednesday side to the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Indeed, another defeat here for Jones could condemn him to yet another managerial dismissal and given Wednesday’s recent dismal form this looks to be inevitable rather than just a possibility. Cardiff City have emerged as one of the form teams in the Championship right now and deservedly lead the division albeit by one point over rivals Crystal Palace who are also enjoying a fantastic season so far.
The Bluebirds’ home record stands at a magnificent 9-0-0 20/5 and they’ve won three of their last four matches overall with wins over Hull City and Middlesbrough at home and a 2-1 win at struggling Barnsley along with a valuable point at Derby County in midweek.
Cardiff City though have been dismissive of all visitors to their home ground so far and they’ve not only maintained their 100% winning record, scored in every home match so far, but have also kept four clean sheets into the bargain as well. Golascoring playmaker Peter Whittingham (7 goals, 7 assists) and striker Heidur Helguson (7 goals, 2 assists) lead the way but they also have numerous key attacking players like Aron Gunnarsson (5 goals, 2 assists), former Brighton midfielder Craig Noone (4 goals, 6 assists), Jordan Mutch and Craig Bellamy.
Whilst Cardiff have been sweeping aside all-comers at Cardiff City Stadium, the exact opposite has been happening for Sheffield Wednesday in recent weeks and they travel to Wales this afternoon looking to avoid a sixth straight Championship defeat. Losses against Blackpool, Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest, Leicester City and Watford has left Dave Jones’s tenure at Hillsbrough in serious doubt and another defeat on Sunday could well be the final nail in the coffin.
Sheffield Wednesday’s away record stands at a very disappointing 1-2-6 10/16 with their solitary win on their travels being at fellow strugglers Ipswich Town at the end of October. However, this away win is something of a collector’s item as The Owls have won just once in their last nineteen matches on the road at this level; it would be fair to say that they don’t travel well.
Michail Antonio (4 goals, 6 assists) has been the bright spark in an otherwise unremarkable squad and despite Jay Bothroyd and Chris O’Grady promising to be threatening in attack, they have just not given Jones the returns he’s expected from them.
Cardiff City possess far more attacking options and their confidence is sky-high while I feel the players at Sheffield Wednesday know it’s only a matter of time before Jones is sacked and they appear to have lost interest in playing for him. This should be an easy home win therefore for The Bluebirds and I’ll take them to win this one 2-1.
Pick: Cardiff City straight win @ 1.68 Pinnacle looks straight-forward enough