West Ham vs Cardiff: Title favourites unlikely to start with win
West Ham and Leicester are miles clear of the rest of the pack in the Championship promotion betting but Cardiff will be keen to shown on Sunday lunchtime that there are plenty of others capable of challenging.
Recently relegated West Ham are 4/5 to put a difficult few years behind them with victory in their opening Championship fixture against Cardiff, but there are several reasons to believe that they will fail to win a tough first game.
Cardiff have avoided defeat in their first away match of each of the last five campaigns and they triumphed more times on their travels than any other team in the division in 2010-11, with odds of 7/2 available on them continuing that habit.
West Ham have lost their opening home fixture in three of the last four seasons and with new Bluebirds boss Malky Mackay showing with Watford last term a fondness for upsetting the top clubs on the road, the draw appeals at 5/2.
West Ham didn’t concede a single goal in their final four pre-season friendlies and Cardiff were breached just four times in their five games, so under 2.5 goals appears temptingly priced at 5/6.
Given that three of their last four clashes with one another provided one goal or fewer, under 1.5 goals also looks worthy of consideration at 12/5.
It is all change in attack for the visitors this season with Jay Bothroyd, Craig Bellamy and Michael Chopra all gone and Kenny Miller arriving alongside much loved former player Robert Earnshaw. Both are 8/1 to score first.
The overall favourite to grab the opening goal at the Boleyn Ground though is Carlton Cole at 9/2, though given his slow start to the previous campaign, glamour signing Kevin Nolan may be the hosts’ best bet at odds of 5/1.