Fulham vs Cardiff predictions ahead of this Championship playoff semi-final second leg. Is there any way back for Cardiff after losing the opener against Fulham on Monday? Read on for our free betting tips and predictions. Bet9ja is currently offering excellent odds for these teams.
Fulham cruising to Wembley
Fulham are in complete control of their playoff semi-final following a 2-0 victory at Cardiff on Monday night. While we’re only at the half-way point in this tie, Cardiff need an unprecedented turnaround in order to make their way to Wembley next week.
No team have ever failed to reach the Championship playoff final after winning the semi-final first leg by 2+ goals, despite occurring on 15 occasions. While the Bluebirds did rally in their away games towards the end of the campaign, they are up against it given how comfortable the Cottagers looked in their victory in the Welsh capital. Our predictions point to them following that up with another win.
Cardiff have failed key tests
While Neil Harris did well to guide Cardiff into the top six, he does have questions to answer given the manner of their defeat. The Bluebirds looked incredibly limited compared to the Cottagers. While Fulham were comfortable in possession, their opponents struggled to impose themselves on the game given their comfortable style. Try your luck with SportyBet and detailed match predictions from analysts.
During the regular Championship season, Fulham made 588 sequences of 10+ passes from open play; 139 more than any other side in the division. In contrast, Cardiff City made just 88 – the fewest of any side. That has left them looking limited in tough trips so far, having lost four of their five away trips to the other teams in the top six while conceding twice at each of the four sides above them.
The Bluebirds have also come up short in their encounters with sides from the capital, taking only two points from their five visits to London. That includes three successive defeats, while Cardiff have conceded twice in each of those five matches. Ahead of a game where they need to keep a clean sheet, their defence is a worry.
Cottagers quality to take them through
While there are some concerns for the visitors, Fulham are unbeaten in their last eight games, winning six and drawing two whilst keeping five clean sheets during this run. They scored two great goals on Monday to win the first leg, while they once again dealt with the absence of their top scorer. While the Cottagers were missing Aleksandar Mitrovic for the seventh time this season, Monday was their sixth win without him in the side. The Cottagers haven’t lost a game which Mitrovic has missed in the Championship this season.
Given Cardiff’s issues at the top sides and in visits to London, it’s little surprise that Fulham are unbeaten in their last six home games against Cardiff (W3 D3), including 2-0 victory as recently as July 10th. We think that the hosts can teach Cardiff a lesson once again, so we’re backing the Cottagers to secure a second-leg victory on Thursday. We’re also going for a 2-1 home victory in our correct score prediction, with the Bluebirds scoring in 15 of their last 17 away games.