Cardiff v Bournemouth: Shared spoils on occasion bigger than result
Dan Fitch has his money on there being goals for both teams when Cardiff host Bournemouth in the Saturday evening kick-off...
"The Norwegian has scored three goals in his last two games and will be on penalty duties."
Cardiff [3.2] v Bournemouth [2.5]; The Draw [3.5]
Saturday 2 February, 17:30
Live on BT Sport 1
Cardiff face emotional night
This is Cardiff's first home match since the disappearance of their new signing Emiliano Sala and it is sure to be a very emotional evening.
Such occasions can give added inspiration to the club affected and prove difficult for the opposition to handle. Cardiff have recent experience of this, having played host to Leicester in the first game after the death of the Foxes' chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
Cardiff's first outing after the Sala tragedy came on Tuesday night at Arsenal, where they gave a spirited account of themselves, even in defeat. Despite losing 2-1, the Bluebirds had more shots than Arsenal and with better finishing could have taken something from the match.
Neil Warnock will be without Harry Arter at the weekend, as he is ineligible to face his parent club Bournemouth. Also missing through injury is Sean Morrison, while Victor Camarasa and Ashley Richards are doubts.
Bournemouth stun Chelsea
Bournemouth put their recent poor form firmly behind them when they thrashed Chelsea on Wednesday.
The Cherries ran out as 4-0 winners, even without their injured top scorer Callum Wilson, with David Brooks and Josh King causing problems for the Londoners. For a team that rarely keep clean sheets, Bournemouth's defensive display will have been just as pleasing for manager Eddie Howe as their attacking prowess.
It was Bournemouth's second successive victory without conceding, after a run in which they had only won two of their previous twelve games. The victory left Bournemouth just two points away from seventh place and possible qualification for the Europa League, but their away form will need to improve if they are to have any chance of finishing so high.
The main selection worry for Howe will be the injury that forced Brooks to be substituted against Chelsea, after the Welsh international had both scored and assisted goals. Jefferson Lerman is another doubt with an ankle problem, while Lewis Cook, Simon Francis and Wilson are all definitely out.
A draw would end unwanted record
Bournemouth are the [2.5] favourites, with a Cardiff win out at [3.2] and the draw priced at [3.5].
With Cardiff in the relegation zone and without a win in five, it's natural that Bournemouth are available at the shorter odds, but the unique nature of this match and the away record of the visitors throws the result into doubt.
Bournemouth have not won away from home since beating Fulham in October. They have lost all seven of their subsequent away matches, albeit against tough opposition, with six of their opponents currently ahead of them in the league. A draw would therefore represent some progress and as the outsider in this market, is the smartest pick.
Cardiff can find net
Howe's side may have kept consecutive clean sheets in their last two home games, but they have conceded in each of their last seven games on the road, with nine goals going in over the past three games.
With Cardiff creating plenty of chances against Arsenal, the [1.77] for both teams to score seems a decent bet and is one that normally lands when Bournemouth are involved.
King moved forward and big price to score
With Wilson out after a minor knee operation, King has been pushed to the forefront of the Bournemouth attack.
The Norwegian has scored three goals in his last two games and will be on penalty duties. Odds of [3.4] for King to add to his tally are good value.
Back both Cardiff and Bournemouth to score @ [1.77]
Back Josh King to score @ [3.4]