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Nic Ladds 30th Dec 2008 - 16:09

Ospreys set a blue start of the year

Second top Ospreys travel to second bottom Cardiff where the Blues are 4/7 favourites with the Ospreys at 13/10.

Both Ospreys and Cardiff have both won three of their last four league games but Ospreys have only won one away match in their last six.

Unfortunately for the Ospreys the last six matches between these two sides have been won by the home team.

Ospreys have named full-back Lee Byrne on the wing as Gavin Henson remains at full-back. The pair are 14/1 and 16/1 respectively to score the first try.

An interesting move by coach Sean Holley is picking the young Dan Biggar ahead of the out-of-form James Hook.

The youngster will need to try and take charge of the game and he has big shoes to fill and is priced up at 20/1 to go over first in the match.

Cardiff welcome back Martyn Williams and Gethin Jenkins but lose Jamie Robinson and Gary Powell to injury. The returning players will certainly give the pack a much-needed boost.

Gareth Thomas at 14/1 and Thomas James at 12/1 to score first are both massive threats for the home side and Henson is likely to have a very busy afternoon at full-back.

Cardiff are desperate for the points to get themselves up the league while Ospreys are hoping to keep the pressure up on league leaders Munster.

This promises to be incredibly tight and a handicap line giving Ospreys a three point head start at 10/11 looks fair with the Blues the same price giving up three points.

Ospreys have the stronger looking team but as history tells us playing away seems to be a massive disadvantage.

Cardiff have an excellent kicking game and are incredibly strong from set pieces. Combine this with home advantage and the Blues are expected to just take the spoils in what will be a tense encounter.

Cardiff to win by 1-5 points at 4/1 and 6-10 points at 5/1 both look appealing.

This Magners League clash is a gem on what is an otherwise quiet sporting day and we should be in for a thoroughly entertaining affair between two giants of Welsh rugby.

Cardiff's coach Dai Thomas should be all smiles once the Blues triumph and signal in what can be an excellent year for Welsh rugby.

Cardiff to win by 6-10 points - 5/1

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