With Manchester City and Liverpool being paired together, it’s a fantastic chance for Palace or Cardiff to be lining up at Wembley Stadium in a few weeks’ time and competing for the first meaningful piece of silverware this season.
Dougie Freedman has done tremendously well since taking charge of the Eagles last season, ensuring they survived in the Championship and they sit comfortably in mid-table this time around.
Palace were the surprise winners against Manchester United in the previous round and they can be backed at 2/1 (bet365 – £200 free bets) to claim a first leg victory on Tuesday night, something which seems like a big price considering the south London side are pretty solid at home.
However, the home side are coming off the back of two consecutive defeats, with Leicester winning at Selhurst Park before Derby claimed a 1-0 victory at Pride Park. This is perhaps why Cardiff are the slight favourites to start the second leg in South Wales with an advantage.
Malky Mackay replaced Dave Jones in the summer and the former Watford manager has done pretty well so far this season, with City third in the Championship and just two points off the summit.
Cardiff won’t be too bothered to bow out of the FA Cup and they acquitted themselves well when losing 4-2 at The Hawthorns, having claimed victory in their previous two Championship matches as well as beating Blackburn in the previous round of the Carling Cup.
The visitors are a 13/8 chance (William Hill – £25 free betting) to win this game, with Joe Mason and Kenny Miller expected to lead the line for the visitors and the former has been among the goals recently which makes him an attractive bet at 7/1.
However, it is worth pondering that this is a huge occasion for both teams and nerves might get the better of them, especially as matches at Selhurst this season have tended to be low-scoring affairs.
The bookies are taking no chances with their 4/6 quote about Under 2.5 Goals and it is hard to see this involving too many goals, although a 1-0 win to Palace looks nicely priced at 15/2 considering that the Eagles will surely need some kind of lead to take to Cardiff.