Live on Skysports 1: Fri 19.45: Reading can capitalise on Cardiff’s late season issues by beating them in the 1st leg of the playoffs.
Cardiff were right in the mix for Championship automatic promotion until the shock, 3-0 defeat at home to Middlesbrough in the campaign’s penultimate game and although the Bluebirds followed that result up with a draw in a dead rubber at Burnley, there’s certainly a chance that the disappointing end to the campaign will have caused some psychological damage.
Dave Jones has a job on his hands to pick up his players for the play-off push and in a mini-tournament that bookies are finding hard to call, Cardiff are 11/4 with Totesport to go on to gain promotion.
However, if they are to do that, it seems like they might have to do it the hard way as they look set to suffer a semi-final first leg defeat at Reading. The Royals, also 11/4 (Coral) to go up, are slight outsiders at evens with Paddy Power, to reach the final but at 5/4 courtesy of Stan James they’re decent value to give themselves a good chance by racking up a victory at the Madejski Stadium.
Brian McDermott’s side, who lost just one of their last 16 league matches, will nevertheless have to work hard for the victory, especially as Jones’ troops possess such a significant attacking threat and bolder punters might want to tackle bet365’s 3/1 for the Royals to nick it by a one goal margin.
Reading to beat Cardiff – 5/4 (Stan James)