Cardiff City are enjoying a good start to the 2011-12 season, and whilst the priority for all clubs in the Championship will always be to make it to the Holy Land of the Premiership, this season a rare opportunity has opened up for Malky Mackay’s side.
Having defeated Blackburn Rovers in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup, they now find themselves just two games away from an appearance at Wembley in what would be their second run-out at the famous stadium in the last four years – not a bad record for a side that has been stranded outside the top tier of English football since 1962.
Currently sitting comfortably within the play-off spots in the Championship, Mackay will understandably be preoccupied by thoughts of promotion, but the lure of Wembley – as well as the added bonus of guaranteed European football next season should they make the final and the team they play qualify for next year’s Champions League – will ensure that strong line-ups are fielded by both sides. Those looking at the best Carling Cup odds should bear this in mind.
Before this weekend’s 3-2 loss to Middlesbrough, Cardiff were enjoying an unbeaten run which stretched right the way back to mid-October, and the task that now lies ahead of Mackay will be to reaffirm that invincible spirit in the four matches that lie between now and the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final at Selhurst Park on January 10th – and f this can be done, then Cardiff will surely go into the tie as strong favourites to progress to the final in February.