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

Under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t expect a team leading 2-0 from the away leg to have any problems qualifying for a Wembley final, although there is little normal about the play-offs or West Ham’s home form this season

Sam Allardyce’s team would have been Championship champions this season if they hadn’t fluffed their lines at Upton Park on several occasions and that included the opening game of the campaign when Cardiff pinched a late winner to get their season off to a flyer.

The Bluebirds certainly have nothing to lose from Monday’s second leg which is Cardiff’s final attempt to salvage something from a journey which has seen them reach a Carling Cup final and landed another top six finish.

You can back City at 9/2 (BetVictor free bets) to claim victory on Monday night which is a big price considering they will be under no pressure in this second leg and West Ham know that a 1-0 or 2-1 defeat will still mean they are lining up against Blackpool or Birmingham in the final.

Jack Collison bagged a brace in south Wales last week to ensure that the Hammers are firmly in the driving seat, although we know that the home supporters will be getting on their team’s back if the visitors grab an early goal and there could be a nervous atmosphere at the Boleyn Ground.

Perhaps West Ham will hammer home their advantage and odds of 7/10 (William Hill free £25 bet) that the home side make it a comprehensive aggregate victory over their Welsh opponents by winning on the night.

It was the east London team that had the cutting edge in attack during the first leg and Ricardo Vaz Te looked particularly dangerous, with Carlton Cole also expected to continue in attack with Allardyce likely to brief his team to continue attacking rather than risk trying to defend for ninety minutes.

West Ham are amazingly short at 1/14 (Sky Bet) to qualify from the tie, with their opponents on offer at 12/1 with Paddy Power and Malky Mackay will be hoping that his team can earn their 9th away win of the season in the Championship.

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