Cardiff vs Fulham predictions Preview and Odds.

Cardiff vs Fulham predictions Preview and Odds.

Cardiff vs Fulham predictions ahead of this Championship playoff semi-final on Monday.

Who will claim a top-flight return?
The team finishing fourth in the second-tier has earned promotion via the playoffs in just two of the last 21 campaigns, with Hull City in 2016 the last to do so.

That’s fewer than the number of fifth-placed sides who have won the playoffs since 2013 (three). Two of the last three seasons have finished with the side in fifth winning the playoffs, including Aston Villa last term.

However, the Cottagers are well-versed in the playoffs. They enter the Championship playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons, losing out to Reading in the semi-finals in 2017, before earning promotion via this method in 2018 after beating Aston Villa at Wembley.

That only happened after Cardiff beat Fulham to second place and automatic promotion, with these two going up and coming down from the top-flight together. Only one can go up this time around, but who will take the advantage in this first leg?

Cardiff can press advantage
Only Leeds and Brentford (7) won more matches since the Championship restarted than Cardiff City (6), who come into the playoffs on the back of a three-game winning run.

The Bluebirds struggled in their return to the second-tier, but they have become a force in this division since Neil Harris arrived. Since he took over in November Cardiff have lost just six times in 30 matches, so other side has fewer defeats in that time.

Only two of those defeats came in Cardiff, with the Bluebirds enjoying an impressive record at their own ground. They’ve only lost three of 23 matches here this season, with a strong record in big matches.

None of the top six managed to claim a win here, with Cardiff beating both Leeds and West Brom. Meanwhile, Fulham failed to win any of their visits to the top five, scoring just once in that run. Given that poor run, we’re siding against the visitors in our predictions.

More success for Harris?
While Fulham have the recent playoff experience, their two campaigns were under Slavisa Jokanovic. They’ve tasked Scott Parker with the job of taking the Cottagers back to the top-flight, a job he hasn’t entirely convinced in so far.

That opens up an opportunity for more success for Harris, who has gone all the way before. As a manager, Harris has progressed to the final of the playoffs in each of the two previous campaigns he has qualified, losing out to Paul Heckingbottom’s Barnsley in 2016 and beating Stuart McCall’s Bradford City in 2017 – both with Millwall in League One.

Cardiff have the edge in terms of recent form, while they have proven themselves a tough side to beat in the Championship. We’re yet to be convinced by Parker’s Fulham, who lack the cohesion that Harris has brought to the Bluebirds.

As a result, we’re backing the hosts on the Draw No Bet market. On top of that, we’re backing Cardiff for a 2-1 victory in our correct score prediction – having already claimed four wins by that scoreline at home this season. The Bluebirds have scored twice or more in five of their last six at home, so we see them scoring a couple in a victory.
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