Cardiff City have been one of the perennial challengers for promotion in recent seasons, yet they always seem to fall short at the last minute in their pursuit of the promised land that is the Premier League.
To make matters worse for the Bluebirds, they have had to watch their great rivals Swansea City receive plaudits galore for their performances among the big boys this season.
However, with Malky Mackay at the helm, Cardiff are once again challenging for promotion and with just 17 games left to play the Welsh side are closing in on the two automatic promotion spots after recent wobbles by West Ham and Southampton.
If City are to achieve their aim this time around then the next few weeks could well prove to be pivotal come the end of the campaign.
After their visit to Leicester City at the weekend they face unpredictable Peterborough at home and then an improving Ipswich at Portman Road before their big day out at Wembley to play Liverpool in the Carling Cup final.
As big as a Wembley cup final is, Mackay will not want his players to be distracted from the important business of the league.
The two previous encounters between these sides this season have both ended level – a 0-0 at the Cardiff City Stadium in the league and a 2-2 draw in the Carling Cup just four days before that.
This is especially true given that their first game after the final is at home to current table-toppers West Ham, the result of which could conceivably play a crucial role in deciding who claims the top two places in the Championship table come the end of the season.
Before all that though, Cardiff have to deal with a tricky trip away to the big-spending Foxes at King Power Stadium, where they last won in the first leg of the 2009/10 play-off semi-final.
Despite having the fifth-best away record in the league, Cardiff have won just once in their previous eight away games in all competitions and even that was to Nottingham Forest, who can barely buy a home goal, let alone a win, at the moment.
However, Leicester have not won at home in the league since beating Blackpool at the end of November, so neither team stand out as a clear favourites.
This is reflected in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, which places Cardiff as slight favourites with odds of 21/20, while the home side are only just behind on 5/4 and the draw is priced at 11/5.
The draw may be at the longest odds with bwin, but the two previous encounters between these sides this season have both ended level – a 0-0 at the Cardiff City Stadium in the league and a 2-2 draw in the Carling Cup just four days before that.
Given the inconsistent form of the two teams in recent weeks, it may be worthwhile taking odds of 27/4 on a repeat of that 0-0 scoreline or 12/1 on another 2-2.
Another avenue to follow is to predict when the goals will come and the statistics suggest there will be more goals in the second half of the fixture.
The Foxes have conceded more in the second 45 minutes of their games and 27 of Cardiff’s 46 goals have come after the half-time interval. With this in mind, you can find odds of 23/20 on the game having more goals in the second half.
Punters signing up to a bwin account can claim a free £25 bet and placing this on those odds of 23/20 would see a return of £53.75 if successful.
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