4 Key Battles That Could Decide the Premier League Clash Between Cardiff City & Wolves on Friday

Cardiff City and Wolves battle it out in Wales on matchday 14, with both sides looking to bounce back from defeats last weekend.


Neil Warnock's Blues were narrowly beaten 1-0 at the hands of Everton, while Wolves were put to the sword by Huddersfield at Molineux. 


Despite Cardiff's accumulation of away defeats, their home form has given Warnock's men a glimmer of hope going into this crucial fixture - which could see his side momentarily move out of the drop zone.


Home wins against Fulham and Brighton have built momentum ahead of the game, against a Wolves outfit low in confidence.


Nuno Espirito Santo's side are winless in five league games and have seen a number of key players underperform. Having been out-fought last Sunday, midfield duo Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho will be looking to regain form and push their side back up the table.


There are several battles taking place across the park that could determine Friday's clash. Here are four of them.


1. Bruno Ecuele Manga vs. Helder Costa

Capable of causing havoc on either side, Costa's speed and agility will be fully tested against the physicality of Manga. 


But for all his counterpart's trickery, Costa is yet to contribute in the goal or assist department - a statistic he'll be keen to change.


Gabon international Manga has kept out some of the most division's dangerous forwards so far this term, including Bernard last week in his side's narrow defeat. A tough tackler, Manga will have to tread carefully.

2. Aron Gunnarsson vs. Ruben Neves

Icelandic international Gunnarsson has been key for Cardiff in recent weeks.


Protecting the back four with his strength and tenacity on the ball, Gunnarsson provides also interlinks play with his fellow midfield counterparts in the defensive third. After a gritty display, he and his side were slightly unfortunate to come away with nothing last time out.


Ruben Neves is making inroads at Wolves and despite his recent under-par performances, his creative panache makes him a match winner on his day. 


His passing range and long shot speciality could be the difference between the two. 

3. Ruben Vinagre vs. Kadeem Harris

Starring in Cardiff's first league win over Fulham in October, Harris is making quite an impression in the top flight.


Having once held the record for the youngest ever player to feature for minnows Wycombe, Harris joined his current side in 2012 and the 25-year-old is enjoying a purple patch of form.


Jonny's injury lay-off means youngster Vinagre is set to feature again and while the Portuguese looked comfortable going forward last Sunday, his defensive ability was questioned at times. 


Likewise, his pace and attack minded nature could cause problems, but Harris may fancy his chances against his inexperienced number. 


Either way, it should be an enthralling tussle.


4. Sol Bamba vs. Willy Boly

Perhaps the biggest battle of the weekend, these two heavyweights will look to thwart each other at every given oppoerunity.


Fan favourite Bamba has netted two this campaign including an injury time winner against Brighton in their last home game - already half of his tally achieved last season.


Meanwhile, 6ft 5in Boly and his Wolves teammates have kept four clean sheets so far and although they've conceded more of late, his presence at the back can't be underestimated. He scored in the club's notable draw with Manchester City in August.


Both have a tenacity and willingness to put their body on the lines, which will undoubtedly be demonstrated in Friday's clash.