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Stuart Dalgleish 18th May 2010 - 12:47

Cardiff are going back to Black

It's an understatement to say that this is a massive game for Cardiff City; while there are two teams taking part, the outcome of this match could have disastrous repercussions for the Welsh side.

I don't want to just bad mouth Peter Ridsdale, but I can't help but think that yet again he'll get away with it should Cardiff get promoted.

The financial situation during his time at Leeds United was well documented, he then left there to become chairman at Barnsley where he left the club in a bit of a mess money wise also and somehow he's managed to be able to get a job as chairman of a third team, Cardiff.

It doesn't really teach a good lesson if you can just go from club to club ruining their financial situation, then just get away with it scot free if your team secures a huge cash injection; that is exactly what will happen if the Bluebirds go up, they'll be guaranteed an estimated £90 million should they emerge triumphant from Saturday's match, effectively wiping out the debt that they find themselves in.

The Welsh team are favourites for the game at odds of 7/5 (4/6 to get promoted), but they mustn't underestimate Blackpool (2/1 to win in 90 minutes, 11/10 to get promoted) who've drawn twice with them already this season (11/5 a draw in this game) and also saw off a Nottingham Forest side who were the first team to qualify for the play-offs and were big favourites for the semi-final tie.

If Cardiff are top half regulars, the Tangerines are far from it.

Huge credit must go to Ian Holloway, as his side were more fancied for a relegation battle than a crack at the play-offs this season, I'm personally pleased for him as I feel he's been harshly treated at other clubs and is a really likeable chap that deserves his chance to manage in the Premier League.

He's worked on a tiny budget in comparison to their opponents but he's got his team playing neat and tidy football, with goals coming from all areas of the park. In particular midfield man Charlie Adam (8/1 first goal, 11/4 to score in 90 minutes) has impressed this season with 18 goals in all competitions, including the winner in the first leg of the semi-final against Forest, and is absolutely key to Pool's chances on Saturday.

Seamus Coleman (40/1 first goal, 12/1 in 90 mins) is also vital for the Seasiders, the young Irishman has only played 11 games in his loan spell from Everton but has made quite an impression on the Bloomfield Road faithful with his runs from fullback. This will be his last game in a Blackpool shirt though as he has made clear of his intention to return to Goodison Park, he's just signed an extension to his contract there so will look to try break into their first team for next season.

One player who will definitely hope to have not played his last Blackpool game will be Brett Ormerod (9/1 first, 11/4 in 90 mins), the striker has scored for Pool in every division of the Football League and has also been on the scoresheet in a previous play-off final for the Seasiders- a 4-2 victory over Leyton Orient, wouldn't it be a story if he got the goal that fired them to the Premier League for the first time?

Of course it won't be an easy task for the Lancashire outfit as they will be facing some of the best players outside of the top flight.

Peter Whittingham (13/2 first, 7/4 in 90 mins) has had an excellent season scoring 23 times in all competitions, and should shake off his groin strain in time to play.

One of four players to reach double figures for Cardiff, the winger didn't enjoy a particularly successful period the last time he played in the Premier League for Aston Villa but this season he's been absolutely outstanding, not just scoring goals but setting plenty up for his team mates too.

Another player who has excelled this year is Michael Chopra (5/1 first, evens in 90 mins); the Geordie, similarly to Whittingham, hasn't had the best experience of Premier League football so far, but perhaps that's because he's moved to another club straight after a good season at a lower level and has had to adapt to different formations and surroundings, I can't help but think he'll be much better equipped to succeed this time in the PL as he'll step up with the same group of players.

City defender Anthony Gerrard (40/1 first, 12/1 in 90 mins) has been out of action for a few weeks but he too is expected to overcome his calf injury in time for the Wembley showdown.

Blackpool have no injury worries and will look to name an unchanged team for their sixth straight game.

I make no apologies for saying it but my heart will be cheering on 'the underdogs', but I think that Cardiff will just have too much for them on the day and I expect them to go up, as ever though these games are tight so Cardiff on penalties or extra time (both 9/1) should be considered and also under 1.5 goals at 9/4 could prove profitable.

For Blackpool to triumph after 90 minutes the prices are 10/1 on penalties and 11/1 in extra time.

If you're a neutral you can sit back and enjoy the match with our In-Play service which will be offering you a wide range of in-running betting opportunities, of course if you're a fan of either team it's unlikely you'll be able to relax!


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