Cardiff City v West Ham United latest odds, news and free bets

It has been a good season for Cardiff City, who have secured a top six finish in the Championship for the third season running while coming very close to beating Liverpool in the Carling Cup final

However, the Bluebirds have not enjoyed their play-off experiences in the past two seasons, with Dave Jones’ side having lost in the final to Blackpool two years ago before being knocked out by Reading twelve months later.

Now it is Malky Mackay at the helm and the Scot will hope for better fortune when his City team tackle West Ham on Thursday night, with the Welsh side available at 9/5 (Bet Victor free bets) to win the first leg.

Cardiff have already beaten the Hammers this season, although it was a 1-0 win at Upton Park on the opening weekend of the campaign and West Ham then came to the Cardiff City Stadium and claimed victory in the reverse fixture.

Indeed, Sam Allardyce’s side have shown a lot more confidence and zest on the road this term and they can boast 13 away wins during the regular season which was as many as champions Reading managed to achieve.

The Hammers are a 7/4 chance (Stan James) to win this first leg and perhaps that is the value bet considering they have scored an impressive 40 goals on the road this term, with Carlton Cole certain to lead the line for the visitors.

It wasn’t so long ago that Cole was turning out for England, although the former Chelsea striker will now be focusing on helping his team back into the Premier League and is a 7/1 chance to score the first goal of this game.

West Ham are strong favourites to qualify for the final although we all know that the Championship play-offs aren’t that easy to predict and it’s your call as to whether 4/7 is decent value about a side that are going to be under pressure in the second leg at home.

Cardiff are 6/4 to be going to Wembley Stadium for the second time this season and perhaps it will be a case of third time lucky for the Bluebirds who might suit the role of underdogs in this encounter.

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