Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City side are in a slump right now which could deal a real blow to their chances of Premier League survival in 2018/19. The Bluebirds have lost their last three Premier League matches, conceding 10 goals and scoring just one. In those three games they have been thrashed 5-1 at home by Watford, and lost 2-0 at home to Everton. In their last outing, they lost 2-0 away at Wolverhampton Wanderers, and look to be sliding into real trouble. They will also be missing talismanic defender Sol Bamba for this game and the rest of the season, as he has been sidelined with an ACL injury.
Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United team sit comfortably in mid-table, in ninth place. They head ito this game looking for their third win in four matches, having won 2-0 at home to Newcastle United last weekend.
Cardiff City vs West Ham Prediction: Bluebirds 0-1 Hammers
Our prediction for this game is that the Bluebirds will slump to their fourth consecutive league defeat, and lose this game narrowly. We suspect that a single goal will be enough for the Hammers to seal victory, and overhaul the symbolic 40-point mark in the Premier League which usually guarantees safety from relegation. Hammers fans will hope that Pellegrini and his team are thinking in more ambitious terms than that for the rest of the campaign, though. Cardiff have been conceding bags of goals recently, and struggling to score, which is a fatal combination for a team battling relegation.
Our recommended tip: Hammers 1-0
Our featured tip for this game comes from Coral, who are offering odds of 15/2 on our prediction of a 1-0 win for the London side turning out to be accurate. We think that the Hammers will be too strong for a Cardiff side which is currently finding it hard to both win games and score goals. One goal should be enough for the Hammers to secure victory. The loss of Sol Bamba for the rest of the season is a double blow for the Bluebirds, as he is the club’s joint top scorer as well as a talismanic presence at the heart of the defence.
These two sides have played each other on three previous occasions in the Premier League, with West Ham having won all three of those games. The first two of those games came back in the 2013/14 season, with the Hammers winning 2-0 at home and away from home. This season, the two sides met at the London Stadium on December 4. Lucas Perez scored two goals for the Hammers, with Michail Antonio scoring a third in a 3-1 win. Josh Murphy netted a late consolation goal for Cardiff in injury time at the end of the second half.
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Players to watch: Victor Camarasa & Robert Snodgrass
Spanish midfielder Victor Camarasa leads his team for assists in 2018/19, having contributed three in 24 Premier League appearances. If Cardiff are to trouble the West Ham defence at all this weekend, they will need him to play well. Goals have been very hard to come by for the Bluebirds in recent times, and their creative players need to step up to the mark if they are to avoid the dreaded drop back into the Championship.
West Ham’s Scotland midfielder Robert Snodgrass leads his team in assists this season, having provided five for his team-mates in 27 Premier League appearances. Significantly, he provided assists for two of the Hammers’ three goals in their victory over Cardiff in London earlier in the season. He has crossed the ball 128 times in the Premier League this season, at an accuracy rate of 34%, and has played 17 accurate long balls.