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Nic Ladds 4th Apr 2010 - 13:11

Cardiff can Chop-ra the Forest down

Forest's recent record of two wins in six has realistically seen them drop out of the race for an automatic promotion place. They have a tough opponent in Cardiff who have won five and drawn one of their last six.

Nottm Forest are now eleven points off second and should concentrate on entering the play-offs in good form and this match could be a preview of a huge play-off clash.

Cardiff are just three points behind Forest and will be confident after a late goal in their 2-1 win over bitter rivals Swansea.

I am apprehensive about matches this time of the season, especially between two teams that are comfortably in the play-offs and the players will surely be thinking of keeping fit for the big matches to come.

After such a strong start to the season, Forest (5/6) have started to show the cracks that comes with having such little depth in quality. Their reliance on their two front men has meant if they don't play well, neither does the team.

It is at home where they are strongest though with 16 wins, one draw and just three defeats at the City Ground all season. If Billy Davies wants to see his squad end well, at home is his best bet.

Cardiff (13/5) look like a decent price considering the form they are in, they can get goals from various places on the field and I think they will be one of the favourites going in to the play-offs.

Out of Nottm Forest, Swansea, Leicester and Cardiff, it is the Bluebirds I think could make the step up to the next level the easiest, the squad having much more quality than those around them.

Forest have totally relied on the scoring ability of Dexter Blackstock and Robbie Earnshaw, both notching 13 in all competitions, to see them through. If you take those two away, no player has scored more than three in the league and they have struggled.

If you think the home side can open the scoring it is sure to come from one of either Blackstock or Earnshaw who are both 5/1 to score first.

Cardiff have arguably one of the Championship's players of the season in their midfield. Peter Whittingham has an outstanding 19 league goals from midfield this season, 22 in all competitions. He is a decent 8/1 to score first or 11/4 any time.

Cardiff's main threat is still ex-Sunderland man Michael Chopra who is a real threat up front and has 16 league and 19 overall goals this season and is 6/1 to score first.

Cardiff have won their last three matches 2-1 and they haven't kept a clean sheet since in a month. I think the 2-1 scoreline to make another showing is good either way as I think both teams will score (10/11) but one team could easily edge it.

2-1 to Forest is 7/1 while 2-1 to Cardiff is 11/1. I will be having a bet on both of them but will cover the draw at 23/10 as I think both sides will want to play it safe in preparation for a promotion push.



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