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Punters backing Reading as Cardiff sweat on the fitness of Bellamy

| 17.05.2011

It seems Cardiff City will allow Craig Bellamy to make the decision as to whether or not he will play in the Championship play-off semi-final second leg tonight.

Having withdrawn from the first leg complaining of a hamstring injury, the Cardiff team have been working frantically to get Bellamy ready for tonight’s game but it seems the forward will take his place on the bench.

While Cardiff sweat on the fitness of Bellamy, punters are piling on Reading who are 11/5 to win inside 90 minutes and 11/10 to qualify for the final.

Not wanting to be upstaged by their rivals, all the pressure is on Cardiff tonight following Swansea’s progress to the final but the Bluebirds have a history of failing to perform under pressure.

Dave Jones’ Cardiff side started last season’s play-off final with Blackpool as the favourites but failed to justify the play-off odds, losing 3-2 and the Cardiff fans witnessed their side fall apart with automatic promotion in sight at the end of this season.

With home advantage on their side tonight Cardiff are the 4/6 favourites to progress to the final, but the Cardiff City Stadium can be a hostile environment for the Cardiff players if they go a goal down.

Shouls Reading get the first goal it will be a long way back for Cardiff, but two late equalisers in three of their games with Reading this season stand them in good stead and Cardiff are 4/1 to come from behind and win or draw.

The last four ties between the two clubs have ended in a draw and we could be in for extra-time and penalties in South Wales tonight.

Should Cardiff justify their 4/6 favouritism to qualify for the favouritism tonight, then Welsh football will be in for a historic day on May 30 with a guaranteed Welsh side in the Premier League next season.

A £10 stake on Cardiff winning on penalties would return £120. Sign up here to take advantage of a free bet worth up to £30.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.