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Nic Ladds 2nd May 2012 - 14:29

Championship Opta Facts - Play Offs

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.

Cardiff City v West Ham United

  • Cardiff have failed to find the net in four of their last six meetings with West Ham (in all competitions).
  • On home soil, the Bluebirds have enjoyed just one victory in their last nine clashes with the Hammers (in all competitions).
  • Cardiff drew a league-high 10 of the games in which they took the lead in the Championship this season, going ahead in 32 fixtures.
  • The Hammers netted a league-high 15 goals in the opening 15 minutes of their games.
  • The Bluebirds shipped 72% of their goals against after the break this season, a league-high proportion.
  • 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.
  • This is also the Hammers' third play-off appearance - in 2004 they lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace in the final while the following year they beat Preston 1-0 in the final.
  • The Bluebirds finished the season with a 10-game unbeaten run, the longest current run without defeat in the division.
  • Cardiff shipped just three goals in total in their last seven league games.
  • The Hammers bagged a total of 18 goals in their last six games.
  • 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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Blackpool v Birmingham City

  • Birmingham are unbeaten in their last four meetings with Blackpool, winning three and drawing one.
  • Blues' striker Marlon King scored in both of his side's league meetings with the Tangerines this season.
  • The last three clashes between the two sides have produced a total 10 goals, an average of 3.3 per game.
  • Tthe Blues threw away 31 points from winning positions, more than any other club.
  • The Seasiders, on the other hand, won a league-high 32 points from losing positions this season.
  • Blackpool netted a league-high 27 goals in the final quarter-hour period of their games.
  • 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.
  • Birmingham were unbeaten in their last nine game of the regular Championship season.
  • The Tangerines kept three clean sheets in their last four games in the Championship.
  • 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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