Prediction & odds for the game: Carlisle (15/4) v Cardiff (8/11)
When: Wednesday, 15th January 2020 @ 7.45pm K.O
Where: Brunton Park
Carlisle United will attempt to pull off an unlikely upset in their FA Cup third round replay against Cardiff City.
Saying this season hasn’t gone to plan for Carlisle would be a dramatic understatement. The Northerners are struggling to piece together any sort of consistency in League 2, to the point where their position in the Football League is under serious threat once again. However, as we’ve seen so many times over the years, the distraction of the FA Cup can often be a welcome surprise for a lot of teams that are situated quite far down the totem pole.
Carlisle’s only win as of late was a narrow success over Walsall in the league, although the 2-2 draw against Cardiff in the initial tie and a 0-0 draw against Bradford were obviously good results, too. Whenever they do lose, though, they tend to get blown out. Case in point: 3-0 loss to Plymouth, 4-1 loss to Crewe, 3-0 loss to Colchester.
An immediate return to the Premier League was always going to be unlikely for Cardiff City with the club going through a string of changes over the last few years. At this moment in time, they currently find themselves in a midtable position, and while they aren’t a million miles away from the top six, time is running out. If they can get the win here and head into the fourth round, it could do wonders for their confidence between now and the end of the campaign.
Cardiff have been on an utterly baffling run as of late starting off with positive draws against Preston and Millwall before a morale-boosting win over playoff chasers Sheffield Wednesday. Then, out of nowhere, they were taken to the cleaners in a 6-1 battering by Queens Park Rangers. They were then held to a 2-2 draw by Carlisle before being unable to beat rivals Swansea in a lively 0-0 derby day draw.
We’ve got a lot of high hopes for this replay, especially after what we saw the first time around down in Wales. Alas, this time, we think it’ll be the Bluebirds that come flying out of the gate in order to try and get the job done early and set up shop for the evening. Alas, that probably isn’t going to work out all too well, mainly because Carlisle have a whole lot of heart and won’t stop fighting until the very end. We think Cardiff will hold on for the win, but it’s certainly going to be a rollercoaster ride along the way.
Goals, goals, goals. That’s what we’re both predicting and hoping for, which is why we’re going to go ahead and back the over 2.5 goals market.
Verdict: Back the away win at odds of 8/11 and the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 3/4. (All odds are taken from bet365).