Neil Warnock seems to have the ability to always pull it out of the bag, Tom Carnduff expects him to do just that once again on Saturday.
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Cardiff v Crystal Palace
- Cardiff City Stadium, 1730 BST, BT Sport 1
It's do-or-die time for Cardiff with two games remaining. Defeat here confirms their relegation back to the Sky Bet Championship, while a draw keeps them alive mathematically, although they would need a goal difference swing and results in their favour on final day to stay up.
Neil Warnock's side have lost four of their last five in front of their own supporters. That said, they were all against sides in the top-half of the table with the previous two seeing Chelsea and Liverpool run out winners.
Wedged in the middle of that run though is victory over West Ham, while the Bluebirds also beat Bournemouth at home at the start of February.
Crystal Palace extends the run of tough games with Roy Hodgson's men a strong unit on the road. Five of their last seven away from home in all competitions have ended in victory.
They also boast the sixth-best away record in the division, which would usually put them in a good position against struggling Cardiff.
However, at this point in the season, and I can only apologise for resorting to cliches, but form does go out of the window and you know a manager of Warnock's calibre will have his team in the right frame of mind for this one.
Cardiff can also take positives despite recent defeats. Chelsea won in extremely controversial circumstances while they were level with Liverpool at the break. They also had seven opportunities on goal against the Reds, that coming in a game where they endured just 24% possession.
Goals have been a theme of Palace's recent away games and the same can be expected here given the situation. Cardiff will know they have to take the opportunities presented to them, while it'll be a difficult evening trying to keep the influential Wilfried Zaha quiet.
Both teams to score is shades of odds-on at 4/5 which is worth considering for any evening accumulators. When it comes to the result though, Cardiff look a great price at 17/10 to grab victory.
Even more so, when you combine a home win with goals a best price of 16/5 becomes available. Three of Cardiff's last five at home have seen three or more goals, while the same can be said for four of Palace's last six away.
A manager like Warnock always finds a way to get his team to pull it out of the bag, and I'd expect the same to set up a dramatic conclusion to the Premier League season.
Score prediction: Cardiff 2-1 Crystal Palace (Sky Bet odds: 9/1)
- Cardiff have failed to score in all three of their Premier League meetings with Crystal Palace, losing twice and drawing the other.
- Crystal Palace have only won one of their last nine away league games against Cardiff (D4 L4), though it was their last such match in April 2014 (3-0).
- Defeat for Cardiff will see them relegated back to the Championship. They would be the only team to play in more than one Premier League season and be relegated in 100% of them.
- Cardiff have lost eight of their last 10 Premier League games, with victories against West Ham and Brighton the only exceptions in that run.
- Since the turn of the year, only Manchester City (21) have won more away points in the Premier League than Crystal Palace (16). The Eagles have won four of their last five on the road, losing only at Spurs in that run.
- Crystal Palace have kept a clean sheet in their last four away league games against promoted sides (W3 D1), winning each of the last three by a 2-0 scoreline.
- Only Huddersfield Town (14) have lost more home league games than Cardiff this season (10).
- Since his first season as a Football League manager in 1987, Cardiff manager Neil Warnock has won 13 of his 25 meetings with Crystal Palace in all competitions – the only sides he’s beaten more in his managerial career in England are Preston and Wolves (14 each).
- If Cardiff lose and are relegated it will be manager Neil Warnock’s third relegation from the top-flight, with each one coming with a different club in a different decade (Notts County 1991-92, Sheffield United 2006-07).
- Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha has scored five goals in his last six away league games. Indeed, eight of his nine strikes in total this season have come on the road.