Cardiff v West Brom Preview – it’s now or never for the Bluebirds

Cardiff v West Brom
English Championship

The division’s top two scorers meet at the Cardiff City Stadium in a game that is probably more important for the Bluebirds than it is for Roberto di Matteo’s men – like the other sides below Nottingham Forest in the play-off places, it is now or never really for Cardiff in terms of launching a genuinely competitive challenge for automatic promotion.

Their challenge thus far has been hindered by a typically frustrating inconsistency that one has come to associate with the club – this is a side who will win 5-0 one week, but lose 2-1 the next. Cardiff tend to either win convincingly, or lose.

But what better way to launch that bid than by overhauling the side they are looking to overtake – West Brom. Going into the game Cardiff trail the Baggies by 11 points; yet win tomorrow and suddenly they are only eight behind and with a game in hand, an easily negotiable difference with a third of the regular season still to play.

A defeat for the visitors would be in no way fatally damaging to their title hopes; they are, at the present moment, just a point adrift of out-of-form Newcastle, playing better football and scoring more goals than the Championship leaders. Furthermore, they cannot drop out of the automatic promotion places on Tuesday night, whatever Forest’s result. Whatever happens here, Albion will still be right up there.

Bearing this in mind, I predict an open, attacking game with both teams playing football. Cardiff will go for it as they are at home and know a win could be a real springboard to a successful final phase of the season. West Brom know they have relatively little to lose, and everything to gain, so will play for the win too.

It’s a real shame this one isn’t on TV – it’s one of those games that you know will produce high drama, and goals. I’m going to sit on the fence and call a score draw – which would be an acceptable result for both parties. 2-2.

Paddy Power is giving Soccerlens readers a free £20 bet to predict who will get promoted from the Championship this season. Who’s your pick?

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