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6th May 2012, 11:51pm

West Ham vs Cardiff Betting: West Ham can protect their lead in a low scoring second leg

West Ham vs Cardiff Betting: West Ham can protect their lead in a low scoring second leg


West Ham put more than one foot in the Championship playoff final on Thursday night when they went to Cardiff and won the first leg of their semi final 2-0 but they know they have to finish the job off in the second leg at Upton Park on Monday afternoon. Cardiff now have nothing to lose and can release the shackles and give it everything but are 12/1 with Paddy Power to qualify for the final.

Jack Collison was West Ham’s hero on the night as he netted both goals in a famous win. He is not surprisingly set to keep his place in the side as Sam Allardyce has no new injury problems and could well name an unchanged side. Allardyce will know the tie isn’t completely over so he will make sure his side are focused when they go onto the pitch as the first goal in the match is so important.

Cardiff have it all to do in this match but they are likely to have Don Cowie available to assist them in this mountainous task. Kevin McNaughton is more doubtful after both picked up knocks in the first leg. Cardiff did win at Upton Park in the league earlier in the season so it is possible but they know they can’t afford to concede a goal in this match else it really will be curtains for the Welsh side.

I think West Ham will keep this tight. They won’t take any undue risks in this match and leave themselves open to concede and while Cardiff have to go for everything at some point I don’t think West Ham will flood men forward to take advantage of any gaps so I see this as being another low scoring match. 0-0 can’t be ruled out but under 2.5 goals is my pick.

Back Under 2.5 goals for a 4/10 stake at 2.00 with Ladbrokes

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