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Cardiff’s Achilles heel to see Villa steal it in closing stages

| 11.02.2014

Cardiff’s problems are numerous, but one particularly vexing tendency for new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to solve is to stop letting the opposition score in the closing minutes of games.

To be fair to the fresh-featured Norwegian, this fallibility for late concession was a running theme at the Cardiff City Stadium well before he took the Bluebirds on.

However it’s continued to manifest itself under his watch with three of Cardiff’s last four Premier League home games – as well as the confidence-crushing derby defeat in Swansea last time out – witnessing a goal shipped after 84 minutes.

That made it a league-high 18 times that the Welsh side have let their guard down in the final 15 minutes of games this season.

Visiting Aston Villa look a great price at 5/2 to become the next exponents of this trend, by beating David Marshall in the Cardiff net between the 75th minute and the final whistle.

Interestingly, the reverse fixture at Villa Park saw Paul Lambert’s charges score twice within this period to claim the points in a 2-0 win.

Although Villa’s form is patchy at best, they are a team far better suited to the road; where they’ve most recently beaten Sunderland, become only the second team all season to take points off Liverpool at Anfield and lost out narrowly to Everton thanks to an 85-minute winner.

The Villans look smashing value at 2/1 to add another nail to the Cardiff coffin with a fifth away win of the campaign, while the 7/5 on a home win doesn’t excite at all, with the draw at 23/10-shot.

Taking Ladbrokes up on their 11/10 offering about more goals arriving after the break looks robust too, as Cardiff haven’t notched once before the half-time whistle in their last eight games in all comps.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.