Cardiff’s struggler strength to see them past Crystal Palace

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Five points separate Cardiff City and Crystal Palace ahead of the relegation-threatened pair’s battle in south Wales, with the Bluebirds in desperate need of victory in order to close the gap on their London rivals.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are handed favouritism to win the game at 5/4 with Ladbrokes, while the Eagles are a 11/5 chance and a draw is a 23/10 possibility.

With Tony Pulis’ side boasting a game in hand along with a better points tally over their hosts, the match really does have huge importance to each side’s ability to beat the drop this term.

It’s a well-worn football cliche that a successful survival plan in the Premier League should be built around two constants: home form and performances against fellow strugglers.

Luckily for Cardiff, they’ve combined those two to great effect this term.

There are six teams in the relegation fight as the season draws to a close – Norwich, West Brom, Sunderland and Fulham join these two – and Vincent Tan’s side are unbeaten at home against all of them.

Only the Black Cats managed to take points off Craig Bellamy and co, drawing 2-2 when visiting the Cardiff City Stadium in December, while eight of Cardiff’s 18 home goals have come when playing these relegation fighters.

On the other side of the coin, Palace have struggled when visiting their scrapping rivals, losing trips to Norwich and West Brom while playing out a double-bagel against Sunderland.

In fact, Pulis’ side haven’t found the net in any of those three matches and with Ladbrokes going 13/8 about a Cardiff clean sheet it seems silly not to oblige them.

Alternatively, combining those two bets in a Cardiff win to nil gets you a tantalising price of 13/5 which certainly shouldn’t be sniffed at.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.