Cardiff City v West Ham United Betting Preview: Latest odds, team news, tips and predictions

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Cardiff City v West Ham United

Premier League: Sat, 9/03  Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium

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West Ham look to be excellent value to win and pick up all three points at 6/5 with Bet365, and should be snapped up at that price. With Cardiff’s liberal defence further weakened by the absence of captain Sol Bamba, over 2.5 goals also looks good value at 10/11, again with Bet365.

*Odds correct at time of publication.

Cardiff City’s battle for survival in the Premier League resumes on Saturday, as they entertain a strong looking West Ham United side.

Poor form at the worse moment for Bluebirds

Cardiff head into this match off the back of three straight defeats, and with games running out fast each game is now becoming the proverbial ‘must win’. A 2-1 win over Southampton four games ago briefly saw them out of the relegation places, but those three successive defeats with ten goals conceded and just one in reply has seen them move perilously closer to the trapdoor.

It will be the manner of those defeats that will hurt manager Neil Warnock the most. Last week’s 2-0 defeat to Wolves was pretty much sealed within the first 20 minutes, with Cardiff 2-0 down by then. That loss followed on from 3-0 and 5-1 thrashings at home at the hands of Everton and Watford respectively, and there is a lurking suspicion the players may have just stopped believing they can survive. With four of the top six still to play, Cardiff have the toughest run of pretty much any team in the Premier League, and against mid-table teams they simply cannot afford to drop any more points if they are to have any chance of survival.

Hammers cruising towards end of season

By contrast, Cardiff’s opponents look relaxed as they enter the final phase of the season, safe in the knowledge they will be in the Premier League next season and could still realistically finish as high as seventh. Their only league defeat in 2019 came in a narrow 1-0 loss away to Manchester City, and they also have an impressive 1-1 draw at home to Liverpool on their CV since the turn of the year.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini has assembled a talented squad with the a great blend of exciting youth in Declan Rice, experience with the likes of Mark Noble and Samir Nasri, and a liberal sprinkling of flair in Felipe Anderson and the returning Manuel Lanzini. Their main challenge this season is to finish strongly and not fade away, and it would be a great achievement for Pellegrini, especially after their dreadful start, to finish in the top seven in his first season in charge.

Team News

The big news for Cardiff is that key defender and inspirational leader Sol Bamba will miss the rest of the season after sustaining a serious knee injury away at Wolves in their 2-0 loss last time out. His absence leaves a gaping hole in defence, with Gabon international Bruno Ecuele Manga the man likely to deputise until the end of the season.

The Hammers have no such worries, with Manuel Lanzini back from a long term knee injury of his own and slowly working his way back to full fitness. The talented Argentine completed a full 90 minutes in the 2-0 win over Newcastle United last Saturday and will be looking to start again. Andy Carroll missed that game and should be back in contention as well.

Hammers should prove too strong

West Ham will arrive in Wales enjoying a productive 2019 in the league, and it is difficult to see how Cardiff will get anything from this match based on recent performances. The Hammers have superior personnel in all positions on the pitch, and if they have the right mindset they should enjoy similar success as recent visitors Everton and Watford have had on this ground.

West Ham look to be excellent value to win and pick up all three points at 6/5 with Bet365, and should be snapped up at that price. With Cardiff’s liberal defence further weakened by the absence of captain Sol Bamba, over 2.5 goals also looks good value at 10/11, again with Bet365.

*Odds correct at time of publication.

 

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