Cardiff City will put one foot in the Premier League with victory over Barnsley tonight – just don’t expect it to be a thriller.
The long-time Championship leaders have played 19 league games at the Cardiff City Stadium this term and a mere two of them have featured four or more goals.
That is a pretty remarkable statistic for a team who are five points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand, as you would expect them to have racked up some big scorelines on their own patch during the season.
However, the good news is that it opens up one very enticing bet for this evening’s clash in South Wales.
Fewer than four goals to be scored in the game looks too short at 17/50, but combining this with a victory for Cardiff, who have the division’s best home record, makes much more appeal at 13/10.
In other words, new customers successfully backing this selection with their free £20 bet after registering with bwin could pocket winnings of £46 if successful.
The recent upturn in form enjoyed by Barnsley under new boss David Flitcroft could also work in favour of this punt, as while the Tykes are underdogs, they are unlikely to be on the end of a drubbing.
Flitcroft has won 11 of his games 19 in charge and an impressive goalless draw at play-off contenders Crystal Palace last weekend shows they know how to compete with the top Championship sides on the road.
Barnsley are battling hard for survival – they are perched just a solitary point clear of the drop zone – and will set out their stall to frustrate the champions-elect and nick a goal on the break.
Indeed, each of the Tykes’ last three games on the road have also featured under 3.5 goals, while there have been just 11 notched in total in their previous six outings, both home and away, at an average of fewer than two per game.
But a win for Cardiff tonight, which is priced at 31/50 (the draw is 14/5 and Barnsley are 4/1), will ensure they need just two further points from their remaining four games to clinch promotion to the Premier League.
Boss Malky Mackay will be urging his players to get the job done as quickly as possible and with the scent of the top flight in their nostrils, their extra class should see them edge out a spirited Barnsley – and land our 13/10 shot.