Carling Cup Semi Final Second Leg
Cardiff City are the odds-on, bookmakers favourites to beat Crystal Palace over 90 minutes but they need to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg to reach a Wembley final for the third time in four years.
The omens look good for Cardiff. The Bluebirds have won eight of their last nine at home, including a 2-0 victory against Palace last November. Malky Mackay’s side go into this match off the back of a 3-2 victory against Portsmouth, having trailed 2-1 with 21 minutes remaining.
City created a lot of chances in the second half and were rewarded two minutes into stoppage time when Craig Conway fired in a winner from distance.
Palace manager Dougie Freedman made 10 changes for Saturday’s trip to Blackpool and was perhaps unlucky to see his side lose 2-1, having lead 1-0 until five minutes remaining.
However, the result is also indicative to Palace’s recent performances away from Selhurst Park. The Eagles have lost four of their last six away matches after defeating Manchester United in the quarter final of this competition. Indeed, only the bottom two sides in the Championship have lost more games on the road than Freedman’s team.
Palace looked an organised, rock solid outfit in the first leg, with Wilfred Zaha a real threat. But, only two teams have outscored Cardiff at home this season – leaders Southampton and freescoring Peterborough.
With City keeper David Marshall dropping a clanger against Portsmouth and Tom Heaton completely misjudging the free kick that lead to Palace’s goal in the first leg, Macakay’s team are vulnerable at the back.
There are likely to be goals scored at both ends but Cardiff are set to score more.
Verdict: Cardiff City @ 1.80 (Ladbrokes)
- Crystal Palace @ 5.0 (Betfred)
- Draw @ 3.75 (Coral)
Scotland international Kenny Miller is unsurprisingly the bookmakers favourite to score the first goal at a best price of 5.5 (Paddy Power). The City striker netted his tenth goal of the season to break the deadlock against Portsmouth on Saturday and will be the focal point of most of the Bluebirds’ attacks on Tuesday night.
Selected other first goalscorers:
- Robert Earnshaw @ 6.5 (Ladbrokes)
- Joe Mason @ 7.5 (Betfred)
- Rudy Gestede @ 8.0 (Coral)
- Peter Whittingham @ 8.5 (Sky Bet)
- Chris Martin @ 11.0 (bet365)
- Glenn Murray @ 11.0 (bet365)
- Jermaine Easter @ 11.0 (bet365)
- Don Cowie @ 13.0 (Paddy Power)
- Sean Scannell @ 13.0 (Coral)
- Steffen Iversen @ 13.0 (bet365)
- Wilfred Zaha @ 13.0 (bet365)
- Aron Gunnarsson @ 15.0 (Betfred)
- No Goalscorer @ 9.0 (Bet Victor)
Cardiff midfielder Peter Whittingham looks a good shout for an anytime goalscorer at 3.6 (Paddy Power). He has scored eight goals in all competitions this season, including one against Palace in November. Whittingham has gone 11 league and cup games without scoring a goal – he is overdue getting his name on the score sheet.
Selected other anytime goalscorers:
- Robert Earnshaw @ 2.7 (Paddy Power)
- Joe Mason @ 2.88 (Paddy Power)
- Rudy Gestede @ 3.25 (Coral)
- Chris Martin @ 4.33 (bet365)
- Glenn Murray @ 4.33 (bet365)
- Jermaine Easter @ 4.33 (bet365)
- Sean Scannell @ 5.0 (Coral)
- Steffen Iversen @ 5.0 (Paddy Power)
- Wilfred Zaha @ 5.0 (bet365)
- Aron Gunnarsson @ 5.5 (Paddy Power)
- Darren Ambrose @ 6.0 (bet365)
A fairly low scoring match is predicted with the bookmakers favouring a narrow Cardiff victory or a draw over 90 minutes. A repeat of City’s 2-0 victory against Palace last November can be backed at 7.5 (Sportingbet).
Selected other correct scores:
- Cardiff City 1-0 @ 7.0 (Ladbrokes)
- Cardiff City 2-1 @ 8.5 (Bet Victor)
- Cardiff City 3-0 @ 17.0 (Paddy Power)
- Cardiff City 3-1 @ 17.0 (Ladbrokes)
- Cardiff City 3-2 @ 41.0 (Boylesports)
- Draw 0-0 @ 9.5 (Paddy Power)
- Draw 1-1 @ 7.5 (Ladbrokes)
- Draw 2-2 @ 21.0 (Sky Bet)
- Crystal Palace 1-0 @ 13.0 (bet365)
- Crystal Palace 2-0 @ 29.0 (Coral)
- Crystal Palace 2-1 @ 19.0 (bet365)
- Crystal Palace 3-0 @ 81.0 (Bet Victor)
- Crystal Palace 3-1 @ 67.0 (Boylesports)