FOOTBALL League man Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) shares his view on Monday night’s live Championship encounter between Cardiff and Bristol City.
Cardiff v Bristol City | Monday 19.45 | Sky Sports 1
Cardiff and Bristol City clash for the first Severnside derby since March 2013 on Monday night in what’s expected to be a highly-charged and spicy showdown from the Welsh capital.
To avoid possible flashpoints between the two sets of supporters, Robins fans will have to collect their tickets from a motorway services less than two hours before kick-off and understandably, many have chosen to boycott the fixture in protest.
Still, events on the pitch promise plenty for neutral armchair followers. Cardiff have been rated 7/5 (BetVictor) favourites with City 23/10 (Marathon) shots but a better bet might be to invest in a goal-heavy game. Both Teams To Score has been chalked up at 4/5 with 888 and going on both sides’ 2015/16 efforts, that price has a degree of mileage in it.
The Bluebirds have gone under the radar during Russell Slade’s reign. Many home fans weren’t enthused or pleased with the appointment and after several rocky months in charge, the former Leyton Orient boss has moulded Cardiff into a solid, if unspectacular, Championship unit.
The hosts have W5-D5-L2 to start their season but it’s their bright beginning at the Cardiff City Stadium that deserves most respect. Slade’s squad have returned impressive W4-D1-L1 figures when welcoming Championship opposition with only high-flying Hull City leaving Wales with maximum points.
Visiting Bristol City have arguably put their two best performances of the season together in their previous two outings. Steve Cotterill’s charges delivered Nottingham Forest two early blows to put them on their way to a vital victory in their last televised match before giving league leaders Brighton a real fright on Tuesday night when going down 2-1.
The Robins’ W2-D4-L6 return since dominating League One last term hasn’t done their displays justice and the W1-D2-L3 away record is naturally off-putting when set alongside Cardiff’s imperious results on home soil. The guests have also been beaten in six of their seven battles against top-half clubs and lost on each of their last five trips to the Welsh capital, remaining winless there since 2002.
But these fixtures tend to produce goals and drama. The last seven head-to-head duels have featured at least three goals and although Cardiff have failed to break the Over 2.5 Goals barrier in five of their last six, an attack-minded Bristol City should be more than capable of making this match an enjoyable, high-scoring Monday night tussle.
The Robins have been nilled just twice in their first dozen games and only once since their opening day defeat at Sheffield Wednesday. Clean sheets have been equally as rare and that’s led to a very healthy 8/12 (67%) of BTTS winners. On their travels, Bristol City have delivered in the same market on 4/6 (67%) occasions, including their most recent four.
Cardiff’s Both Teams To Score trends aren’t as profitable at their capital base – 2/6 (33%) – but include their away results and 7/12 (58%) have rewarded BTTS backers. Without any standout prices in the match odds markets, I’m happier taking the plunge on both teams getting on the scoresheet at 4/5 (888).
Cardiff v Bristol City – Both Teams To Score (4/5 888)