Cardiff City are sitting above the relegation zone and have a four-point advantage over the team in 22nd place. The team from Wales is struggling to find its touch in the league. One of the reasons behind this poor form is their inability to find the back of the net. Cardiff City have scored the least number of goals in the EFL Championship in 2022/23. In order to improve their goal-scoring record, they signed a former Sunderland and Crystal Palace striker from Forest Green. He is a 29-year-old striker, Connor Wickham. The Englishman has been unlucky in his career and has spent most of the time on the treatment table. His talent got wasted due to injuries during that time. However, he has a chance to revive it and give his best in the end stages of his career.
Connor Wickham was signed by Sunderland in 2011/12 season, when they were in the English Premier League. In the first three seasons at the club, Wickham was unlucky and featured in only 1/3 of the matches. The 2014-15 season was a breakthrough as the player made 36 appearances and was signed by Crystal Palace. There, he once again struggled with injuries and was released by the club. He was playing for League One side Forest Green at the start of this season. Cardiff City thought about giving him one more chance. We now look at some of the stats that show how the striker could ensure safety for his new side.
Revival at Forest Green
Connor Wickham made a move to EFL League One side Forest Green at the start of the season. The 29-year-old made 16 appearances for his side and scored six goals. The pizza chart above shows the percentile rank of the player in comparison to other centre-forwards in League One. It shows that Wickham only played 43% of the minutes of the current season. He is good with the ball at his feet and link play with the opposition players. The touch map above shows that the player appears everywhere on the field. He likes to play on the left flank and drift in from that side. He averages 2.77 touches inside the opposition’s penalty box per 90 minutes.
The striker netted six goals for his side, with two coming off the penalty spot. He is an experienced campaigner and can be relied for penalties. Wickham averaged 1.85 shots per 90 minutes in the League One. He had an accuracy rate of 46.2%. The shot map shows that most of the attempts were made from the left side of play. Wickham’s tall figure also allows him to contest aerial duels and particularly inside the opposition penalty box. He averaged 5.04 aerial duels with a 43.7% success rate. The player will look to get on the end of crosses and help his new side score goals.
Decent start at the new club
Connor Wickham has already made two appearances off the bench and has made an impact on the team. The striker provided an assist on his debut against Birmingham City, and that resulted in the second goal for his team in that match. He has played 60 minutes and taken two shots with a 100% accuracy rate. The striker will be hungry to add goals to his tally and take his side to safety. He is still looking for his first start.
As per the 1×2 betting odds, Wickham’s signing will lower Cardiff City’s xG rate a bit. He is an experienced campaigner and can lead his side to victory. As for the over/under goals, the rate for over goals will go lower against the teams ranked below them or close to them.
Connor Wickham is looking to revive his career after spending most of his time on the treatment table. He will be looking to make the most of the remaining time on the field. The striker has a bit of EPL experience, and he will look to bring that into this Cardiff City side and ensure their safety.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine