Football specialist James O’Rourke (@JamesOR1) previews Cardiff City v Crystal Palace and provides us with his best bets for Saturday evening’s Premier League encounter by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: +0.21pts
Cardiff v Crystal Palace Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 04/05/19
- Time: 17:30
- Venue: Cardiff City Stadium
- Channel: BT Sport
It would be fair to say that this is a more important game for Cardiff City on Saturday night. The maths is simple, they need to win, or elsewhere relegation back into the Championship will be confirmed. With closest rivals Brighton & Hove Albion expected to lose their final two matches versus Arsenal and Man City, Cardiff therefore are likely to need two wins themselves. They head to Old Trafford on the final day, but firstly they need to gain three points from this encounter with mid-table Crystal Palace.
A home win for the Bluebirds however is easier said than done versus Roy Hodgson’s side, who are known to travel very well. They possess one of the stronger away records in the Premier League, including wins at the Etihad Stadium. The last time they faced Cardiff away in 2014, they would win 3-0, over a team then managed by Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. How things change! Telling Hodgson that this game means nothing however won’t go down too well, even if the highest they can potentially finish is 11th. Their last away match saw them win at the Emirates, so they’ll give Cardiff a stern test.
Cardiff did win back-to-back games in February, but form has drastically dipped ever since. They’ve suffered defeat in eight of their last 10 in the league. Whilst some will therefore argue the odds are firmly against them achieving that over the next two weekends, you can bet your bottom dollar than Neil Warnock don’t be giving up their spot in the Premier League without a fight. Three points against his former club would likely take matters to the final day, with Brighton next in action on Sunday.
Cardiff could elect to name an unchanged starting eleven for this game, despite defeat to Fulham last time out. This is simple due to the lack of strength in depth they have available because of a rather lengthy injury list. Harry Arter, Sol Bamba, Joe Ralls and Callum Paterson are just some of the names unavailable to Neil Warnock.
As for Palace, Roy Hodgson also has a rather settled starting eleven at present, but he could be tempted to make a change or two, as would most mid-table sides in these remaining matches. Andros Townsend is probably at the head of the queue should some alterations be considered. James Tomkins and Jeffery Schlupp have been out in recent games, whilst Mamadou Sakho has been injured since February.
Potential Cardiff City Starting XI: Etheridge, Peltier, Morrison. Manga, Bennett, Gunnarsson, Bacuna, Hoilett, Camarasa, Mendez-Laing, Niasse.
Potential Crystal Palace Starting XI: Guaita, Wan-Bissaka, Kelly, Dann, van Aanholt, McArthur, Milivojevic, Kouyate, Townsend, Benteke, Zaha.
Head To Head
- The earlier season contest between these two at Selhurst Park ended in a 0-0 draw. The Eagles had over 30 shots on goal over the 90 minutes, but were unable to beat Neil Etheridge. That remains the only recent meeting, with the two last playing in the same division in the 2013/14 Premier League campaign.
- Crystal Palace did however win on their most recent visit to the Welsh capital. This came in April 2014, when a Jason Puncheon brace and solitary strike from former Cardiff man Joe Ledley earned a 3-0 win for the team then managed by Tony Pulis. Ole Gunnar Solksjaer was the Cardiff boss at the time.
- Total Head To Head: Cardiff 16, Draw 20, Crystal Palace 32.
Key Stats & Facts
- Only Man City, Liverpool, Spurs, Man Utd and Chelsea have collected more Premier League away points than Crystal Palace. That includes victories at the Etihad Stadium, Emirates Stadium, plus a draw at Old Trafford.
- 20 of the 31 points the Bluebirds have claimed this season has come in front of their own supporters. They’ve won nine games overall this season, seven of which have come versus teams in the bottom half of the table.
- Cardiff have conceded their most amount of goals in the final fifteen minutes of games (18), whilst Crystal Palace have scored their most amount in this same period (18).
- Neil Warnock’s side have lost eight of their last ten in the league, whereas Palace have earned ten more points than their weekend opponents during the same timeframe.
- A draw is an unlikely outcome this weekend based on the form of these two outfits. Cardiff have drew only four times this season, with only Spurs and Man City having fewer in the top flight. Although Palace drew their most recent clash, it is still only one draw from their most recent 12.
- Cardiff 8/5
- Draw 77/29
- Crystal Palace 15/8
Just because this game is ultimately more important to Cardiff and one they have to win, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will do. The bookies aren’t entirely convinced by that possibility either. Things just don’t seem to be falling for them of late, so I’ll happily swerve the 1×2 market.
I do like the look of Both Teams To Score however. As much as Cardiff have to push forward, they’re going to be a little light at the back on occasions. For a dangerous counter attacking side such as Crystal Palace, that should suit. We can’t deny Cardiff will give this a go either, so we fancy them to cause a problem or two. BTTS has paid out in 61% of Palace’s away contests, whilst Cardiff only have 28% clean sheets to their name this season.
Also, this weekend’s meeting is between the two Premier League teams with the highest amount of average corners per game this campaign. Cardiff top the list with 11.39, whilst Palace are just behind on 11.06. The math alone suggests that over 10.5 has a chance of coming out on top, and it is not a bad little price in the process.
Finally, we’ll have a little party interest on a penalty behind awarded here. Neil Warnock has been bemoaning the fact that Sean Morrison often gets manhandled on set pieces, which often goes unnoticed by the officials. Maybe now is the time the refs stamp down on this, especially as it has now become greater public knowledge that this happens every match. Crystal Palace have also scored the most spot kicks in the top flight too, whilst only Brighton have conceded more than Cardiff. At 7/2, it is worthy of some small interest.