Cardiff City retained their perfect home record last Saturday as they beat Hull City 2-1 and will look to extend that run even further when they welcome fellow promotion chasers Middlesbrough this weekend.
After suffering two successive away defeats that saw them drop out of the top two in the Championship, the Bluebirds got back in the groove last weekend as they recorded their eighth win out of eight at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Although their away record may only be the 18th best in the league, Cardiff’s fantastic home performances have ensured that they are on course for yet another top-six finish come May.
Three more points against Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon would go a long way towards helping Malky Mackay’s side secure their long-awaited promotion to the Premier League.
The Bluebirds are 11/10 favourites for the upcoming clash in bwin’s 3-way betting market, reflecting their immaculate record in South Wales, while Middlesbrough are priced at 12/5 and the draw is available at 9/4.
Achieving another victory at home will certainly be easier said than done against Boro though, as Tony Mowbray’s team have propelled themselves to second in the table, one point above Cardiff, thanks to a nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
High-scoring wins over Charlton and most recently Sheffield Wednesday, who were beaten 3-1 on Friday night, have been the highlights of a run of results that has made them 6/1 second favourites to win the Championship and 2/1 to achieve promotion.
If the north-east side are to end Cardiff’s 100% record then they will have to call upon a defence which has only conceded 20 goals, at a rate of 1.25 per game, to stifle the league’s top scorers.
Cardiff have found the net with ease and average 2.06 goals per game, while they have also only scored less than twice at home once, in the opening game of the season. It’s no surprise, then, to see 9/50 on over 1.5 goals being scored and 13/20 on over 2.5 goals.
Faced with these statistics and odds, it’s hard to put up a defence for Middlesbrough, but they have conceded just four goals in their past seven away games and have won on their past two visits to the Welsh capital.
Boro are certainly in the kind of form to upset Mackay’s men and if you fancy a flutter on them, rather than taking the 27/10, I would recommend 23/2 on the game finishing 2-1 to the away side, as Cardiff will surely score at least once.
However, my preference is the odds-against shout on Cardiff picking up all three points, with a small play on the hosts triumphing 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 at 333/100.
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