Prediction and odds for the game: Cardiff (7/4) v Fulham (17/10)
We are backing the draw at odds of 21/10
When: Monday, 27th July 2020, Kick-off 19:45
Where: The Cardiff City Stadium
On Monday night, Cardiff City host Fulham at the Cardiff City Stadium in the Championship play-off semi-final first leg.
The Welsh team finished ten points adrift of the automatic promotion spots and eight points behind their opponents who ended the season in fourth place. A three-game winning run at the end of the season secured their position in the play-offs. Their goalscoring prowess was key to that late-season good form, as they scored at least twice against Derby, Middlesbrough and Hull.
There are usually goals in Cardiff’s games and that is not always in a positive sense, as the Bluebirds kept just one clean sheet in their final five league games of the campaign.
The team from the Welsh capital have won their last two home games in the Championship against Derby and Hull City. However, before the victories, they had been inconsistent on home soil in the second tier, as they have won just three of their last nine home matches in the second tier.
The Bluebirds have remained prolific in front of goal of late on home soil in the Championship, scoring at least two goals in five of their previous six matches.
The Cottagers missed out on automatic promotion by just two points after they finished the Championship campaign with a seven-game unbeaten run. Draws against promotion rivals West Brom and midtable Wigan Athletic in their last three Championship games prove decisive in Scott Parker’s team missing out on going up automatically. Just one defeat in their previous eight Championship outings is a decent record for the Cottagers.
The visitors recent league outings have been low-scoring, with under 2.5 goals scored in five of their previous six Championship games. This game could well follow the trend, with semi-final first legs often cagey affairs.
Fulham are unbeaten in their previous four away games in the Championship. However, on the flip-side, they have also won just two of their last eight league outings on their travels in the second tier. Like their Championship games in general of late, their recent away matches in the league have been low-scoring, with under 2.5 goals scored in their previous three games on the road.
These two teams both finished the Championship campaign on a positive note. There is not much between them and we believe this will be a close affair, which is why we are backing the draw. The other bet we are recommending is under 2.5 goals scored, once again due to the likely cagey nature of the clash.
Verdict: We are backing the draw at odds of 21/10 and/or under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 8/13. (All odds are taken from Bet365).
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Will either team gain a first-leg advantage in this clash?