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Antony Heath 6th May 2012 - 18:27

Championship Opta Facts - Play-Offs - Second Leg - May 7-8

Statistics and facts to help your football betting are available every week at William Hill courtesy of Opta Sportsdata, Europe's leading provider of sports performance statistics.

Championship Opta Facts - Play-Offs - Second Leg - May 7-8

West Ham United v Cardiff

West Ham are the first team to take a two-goal lead into the second leg of a Championship play-off match since Hull in 2008 (won the 2nd leg 4-1 at home vs Watford).

All 12 sides to have previously taken a two-goal or greater lead into the second leg of a Championship play-off semi-final have reached the final.

Jack Collison has scored three goals in his last two matches, including both in the first leg.

Cardiff have failed to find the net in five of their last seven meetings with West Ham (in all competitions).

The Hammers have reached the final in their two previous Championship play-offs appearances (2004 and 2005).

The last four meetings between the sides at Upton Park have ended 1-0, three times in the Hammers' favour, once in Cardiff's (earlier this season).

This is Cardiff's third appearance in the play-offs in the last three seasons - they lost in the semi-finals to Reading last year (3-0 on agg) and were beaten by Blackpool 3-2 in the final in 2010.

West Ham's win in the first leg ended a run of 10 league games unbeaten for Cardiff.

The East London side are unbeaten in seven games in all competitions (W5 D2).

The Hammers have won only two of their last nine games at home (D6 L1).

Cardiff are on a run of three straight wins on the road.

The team finishing third in the Play-offs has traditionally been promoted the most from the Championship, with eight of the 23 (35%) third placed sides gaining promotion since the current format was introduced in 1989.

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Birmingham City v Blackpool

Five of the eight sides to win 1-0 at home in the first leg of a Championship play-off semi-final have reached the final.

The 1-0 win in the first leg ended a run of four without a victory for Blackpool against Birmingham.

Blues' striker Marlon King scored in both of his side's league meetings with the Tangerines earlier this season.

Birmingham have won six of their last seven at home to the Seasiders.

The Blues threw away 31 points from winning positions in the Championship this season, more than any other club.

The Seasiders won a league-high 32 points from losing positions this season in the Championship.

Blackpool netted a Championship-high 27 goals in the final quarter-hour period of their games this season.

Blackpool are the only team to have won promotion via the playoffs (all divisions) on four separate occasions, including in 2010 when they reached the Premier League by beating Cardiff 3-2 in the final.

Birmingham have been involved in the play-offs in four previous seasons - beating Norwich in the final on penalties in 2002, losing a semi-final on penalties to Preston in 2001, losing in the semi-finals to Barnsley in 2000 and losing, again on penalties, to Watford in the semi-finals in 1999.

City are unbeaten in five at home, but have won only three of their last nine at St Andrews (all comps).

Blackpool have kept four clean sheets in their last five matches.

Blackpool's Stephen Dobbie is looking to be promoted via the Championship play-offs for the third successive season (Blackpool in 2010 and Swansea in 2011).

Since 1989, fourth place has been the unluckiest position in the Championship playoffs. Only four of the 23 fourth placed sides (17%) have gone on to win the play-offs.

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