Six months ago, both Cardiff City (17/20) and Nottingham Forest (16/5) were dreaming of Wembley and a chance to reach the promised land of the Premier League through the play-offs.
They failed that mission, just as they did a year earlier when Ian Holloway’s Blackpool defied the odds and triumphed against the Welsh side in the final.
Cardiff’s start to this campaign has given them a great chance to reach the play-offs again, or even go one better. Their 1-1 draw with Coventry on Tuesday evening was enough to lift them to third in the table.
On the other hand, Nottingham Forest, despite a recent revival under new boss Steve Cotterill, have got work to do before they can seriously be considered as promotion candidates this time around.
The Reds have had the better of the recent meetings between the two sides, winning both matches last season following two draws the year before.
Cardiff have scored in all but one of their games this season – a record that is only bettered by leaders Southampton.
However, despite their lofty position, only Coventry have let more leads slip, a stat that will give confidence to their resurgent rivals.
This game is likely to be all about the strikers. Only Southampton and Peterborough have scored more goals at home this season than the Bluebirds.
Peter Whittingham’s goal on Tuesday was his eighth of the campaign, with Kenny Miller not too far behind him on five. Second all-time goalscorer Robert Earnshaw is also likely to feature against the team he left in the summer.
Forest’s star man of late has been Marcus Tudgay. He has scored in three of the four wins Cotterill has managed since he took the reins by the Trent following Steve McClaren’s disastrous tenure.
With such firepower on show, goals are expected. You can get odds of 2/1 on there to be over 3.5 goals in the game.
Alternatively, as nobody has drawn more times this season in the Championship than hosts Cardiff, a 2-2 scoreline looks tempting at 25/2, and punters who use their free £25 bet will see a return of £337.50 if they correctly back that result.
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