The case for Cardiff to outfox the Foxes
Cardiff have a seemingly easy task to make it to this year's Championship play-off final. They managed a 1-0 away win over Leicester in the first leg and everything points to a comprehensive home victory for the Bluebirds here.
The Foxes might feel a bit aggrieved to not come out of the first leg with at least a draw although it took 80 minutes for them to get going, they really piled the pressure on Cardiff late on. They could have had a couple of penalties and forced some good saves out of David Marshall.
Despite Leicester's (13/5) late flurry, without a goal to take to Wales, their chances are very slim of getting any further this season. It is, lest we forget, a very admirable season from Nigel Pearson's men. Last season they were in League One and getting so close to back-to-back promotions is a massive achievement.
Cardiff (11/10) just look too strong, they are without doubt the favourites to go up, their squad has more quality and experience than any other side competing in the play-offs. If you want a lot of stats to convince you that Cardiff are huge favourites then read on!
Cardiff have suffered just one defeat in their last 12 matches so they are on terrific form. They have also beaten Leicester at home twice already this season, in league and FA Cup, so they know the key to unlocking this side.
Overhauling a first-leg deficit is pretty rare in play-off history; just one side has done it and won promotion, Bolton back in 1995.
Cardiff's goal in the first leg came from a Peter Whittingham free-kick. This is significant for two reasons; Cardiff are lethal from set-pieces, scoring more than any other side in the league (25).
Also it made Whittingham the Championship's joint top-scorer with 20 goals and considering he has bagged three in four against the Foxes this season he is a cracking bet to score first at 6/1 or 7/4 any time.
Cardiff are also pretty good at holding on to leads. They lost just once all season after going ahead so the concentration and discipline is clearly instilled in them to not be complacent and ruin this great chance.
I just think the price of 11/10 on a Cardiff win seems good value considering all the facts. Although both sides finished on the same amount of points, I just think Cardiff are massive favourites to win this match and get to the final, even if they did not have a one goal lead on aggregate.
Leicester might take some confidence from the fact their away form has been pretty impressive with 31 points picked up on the road. With a sold out crowd inside the Cardiff City Stadium this match is going to be more like a cup final itself with the home side cheering their side on to Wembley.
Cardiff players will also be highly motivated by the club's uncertain future should they not be promoted. Their financial situation is reported to be on a downward spiral and with the club needing the cash so much, the squad really are playing for their futures.
I think Cardiff have so many threats across the park, it could be quite a comfortable win. I will personally be looking at the 3-0 (16/1) and 3-1 (16/1) scorelines as well as Cardiff -1 goal on the handicap at 14/5.