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Nic Ladds 28th Mar 2009 - 10:56

All Welsh final on the cards in EDF Trophy

The EDF Cup semi-finals take place today and we will soon find out if Ospreys can justify their odds of 13/8 favourites in the betting.

Both Gloucester against the Ospreys and Cardiff against Northampton take place at the Rioch Arena in Coventry and it looks like fans are in for a treat.

Both clashes are England v Wales and not only that, we will get a look at a lot of potential Lions' players in what should be two furiously contested battles with all sides going out to win.

So who will make the final? Will the Welsh make up for their Six Nations disappointment or will England translate their improving international form to domestic competition?

Gloucester v Ospreys - 14:30 live on BBC1

Gloucester have an extremely tough game against the Ospreys. The Welsh side are available at 8/11 in the betting with the Gloucester at 11/10.

The Cherry and Whites have a terrible record away from Kingsholm and have the tag of notorious bottlers, having won just one cup final out of six attempts.

The Welsh side are priced at 10/11 giving up two points on the handicap with Gloucester also 10/11 in receipt of the two.

The Ospreys do come in to the game with Lee Byrne and Mike Phillips only finds himself on the bench but in the likes of Gavin Henson, Tommy Bowe and Shane Williams, they have some of the best backs the Northern Hemisphere has to offer.

The three can be backed at 11/4, 7/4 and 5/4 respectively to score a try anytime with Williams 8/1 favourite in the first try-scorer market.

Gloucester meanwhile have Carlos Spencer missing which is a real blow as Spencer has the ability to galvanise the entire team and get them playing some majestic rugby.

Ryan Lamb is not a bad replacement but his form has been hit and miss all season and he will need to be firing today.

They will be bolstered however by the return of James Simpson-Daniel and Mike Tindall who are 12/1 and 16/1 respectively to go over first.

Gloucester will no doubt put up a fight but the Ospreys just look too strong for them and they are fancied to progress to Twickenham for the third year in a row in relatively comfortable fashion, even covering the alternative handicap which has them at 13/10 giving up 6 points.

Ospreys -6 points on alternative handicap 1 - 13/10

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Cardiff Blues v Northampton - 17:15 live on BBC1

This is a fascinating game as Cardiff have the team to win and this is reflected in the fact they are 1/2 favourites with Northampton available at 6/4 in the betting, but The Blues have only played two games since the end of January.

While their players will be rested, lack of match practice can often be the undoing of teams who come against battle hardened, match fit opponents, that which Northampton certainly are.

The feeling is The Saints will blitz The Blues early on while Cardiff will take a while to get in to their rhythm and come back later on.

It looks like that Northampton are going to win it will be by a decent margin as they'll have score the Welsh side out of the game early which suggests they can cover the handicap which has them with a 5 point start at odds of 10/11 while Cardiff are 10/11 giving up 5 points.

It is a big if though, and Cardiff have the likes of Leigh Halfpenny, Tom Shanklin and Jamie Roberts returning from International duty and the three are 2/1, 11/4 and 11/4 respectively to score a try anytime.

Northampton have some potential stars in Euan Murray and Ben Foden to call on and they will need to be at their best to turn over the Welsh favourites, and Foden can be backed at 14/1 to score first try and enhance his Lions' credentials.

This should be hugely entertaining and is tougher to call than the betting suggests. Cardiff could well make their class tell but their lack of competitive matches could be their undoing.

Either a narrow Welsh victory or a storming English one looks the call depending on how the match unfolds but the gut instinct here is Cardiff will get on top as the game goes on to set up a thrill all Welsh clash in the final with the Ospreys.

Tom Shanklin to score anytime - 11/4

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