West Ham Cardiff Odds : Championship playoff decider at Upton Park
West Ham United will be looking to book their place in the Championship play-off final this evening when they host Cardiff City in the second-leg of a fascinating semi-final tie, as Ladbrokes report all the money has been on the Hammers.
Fresh from a 2-0 victory in Wales during the first-leg, Sam Allardyce’s men are in an excellent position to progress, with Cardiff having it all to do this evening.
Two Jack Collison goals were enough to give West Ham the advantage last week and now it is time for them to complete the job in front of their own supporters.
The Hammers are of course massive favourites to do just that, but an early Cardiff goal could lead to a nervous atmosphere. After all, Upton Park hasn’t been the fortress you might expect this season, dropping points on 12 occasions in total.
Allardyce’s team were extremely dominant in the first-leg though and another professional display will see them progress. The home fans will be with them from the off, no doubt about that.
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As for Cardiff, this is all too familiar territory for them, being their third year in succession in the play-offs. They certainly don’t seem to turn on the style when it comes to this stage of the season.
Malky Mackay would have been extremely disappointed with the first leg too. After confirming a play-off spot on the final day of the season, they had some momentum going into the home tie, but failed to deliver.
Now, they must produce one of the most famous comebacks in play-off history. They certainly have their work cut out to turn this around and opening the scoring is likely to be an almost essential requirement for them.
Looking at the team news, West Ham have no fresh injury concerns, while Cardiff are waiting on the fitness of Don Cowie and Kevin McNaughton before naming their side.
It should be a straight forward evening for West Ham, but nothing is ever that simple in football and especially in the play-offs. Expect a tense contest from 4.30pm this afternoon.