Cardiff City will aim for their first win in March on Tuesday night as they welcome Leicester City to the Welsh capital for a game that could have significant effects on the race for promotion to the Premier League.
Cardiff go into the mid-week fixture with a four point advantage at the top of the Championship over Hull City, who beat Burnley on Monday, so three points at the Cardiff City Stadium could go a long way to sending them into the top flight for the first time since 1962.
The chance to take such a commanding position at the top of the table is testament to their excellent start to the campaign as just recently they have struggled to win games, dropping eight points from their past four matches.
In particular, Malky Mackay’s team have seen a decline in their results at home where they won ten on the bounce at the beginning of the season. But since losing to Peterborough just before Christmas, they have only managed three wins from six attempts.
After that Posh defeat, City’s away form has covered for their drop at home with 16 points from a possible 21 on the road since.
This, then, is why Cardiff have managed to maintain their lead and why they are 11/10 to claim victory against Leicester in bwin’s 3-way betting market.
The Foxes are priced at 23/10 to earn an away victory and 23/10 again to claim a draw, but these odds may have been shorter a few weeks ago before their promotion form disappeared rapidly.
After victory over Wolves on the 31st January, Nigel Pearson’s side were Cardiff’s closest challengers for the title in second spot, but February and March have only brought one win and just a total of five points from a possible 21.
This slump sees them start Tuesday in 5th place, 13 points adrift of their opponents and in danger of dropping out of the play-offs at the key point in the season.
Unfortunately for the Foxes, Cardiff is not the ideal place for them to kick start their stalling season as the Welsh side have the second strongest home record in the league and have conceded fewer goals (12) at home than any other side.
This is a particular problem for Leicester as they have struggled to find the net on their travels with an average of exactly one per game and are 8/5 to not score, compared to Cardiff who are a much bigger 13/5 to not trouble the score sheet.
Whether Leicester do manage to score or not, recent results would suggest that there will not be any more than three goals in the game as you have to go back to mid-January and a 4-0 win for Leicester over Bristol City for the last time either side were involved in a match with more than three strikes, hence the odds on under 3.5 goals being 1/4.
Any goals that the crowd do see on Tuesday are statistically more likely to come in the second-half as Cardiff have struck four more times in the second 45 minutes of home games and Leicester five more times in the second period of away matches, therefore the top bet for the game is 5/4 on more goals in the second-half.