Cardiff City 2018-19 Betting Preview: Will Bluebirds Beat the Odds Once Again?
Cardiff City 2018-19 Premier League Betting Odds
- To Win Title: +200000
- To Be Relegated: -135
- Point Total: 32.5 (Over -145/Under +115)
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For a team that started the previous Championship season with shorter odds to be relegated than promoted, the fact that Cardiff beat the bookies to such an extent deserves great credit.
They weren’t just promoted — they did so automatically, finishing second to free-spending Wolverhampton. It’s that inferior financial muscle to most of those around them at the top that made the feat all the more impressive, and for that, Cardiff manager Neil Warnock can only be praised.
Warnock is something of a journeyman coach with a knack for getting sides promoted — he’s done so a record eight times — but the feat with this Cardiff side was arguably the greatest accomplishment of a long managerial career. However, it’s a career that is lacking any success in the top flight, and keeping the Bluebirds up would certainly classify as that.
It’s a tough ask, however, as his side punched above their weight last season and will now step up another division. That said, Cardiff are far from lightweight — quite the opposite, in fact.
In Sean Morrison and Sol Bamba, they have two powerful centerbacks who were influential in last season’s promotion campaign, and Warnock does like to have plenty of physicality in his sides. There is room for pace out wide, with new man Josh Murphy providing even more. Plus, in Bobby Reid — who scored 21 goals last season — they have signed another sprightly forward capable of offering something a little different from a more central position.
The Bluebirds do lack top-flight experience, and most teams that come up without Premier League players usually find their time in the Premier League short-lived. To avoid a yo-yo back to the second division, Cardiff will need to bring some new faces in, and that doesn’t look like it will happen.
Cardiff, as any Warnock side does, will build from a strong defensive platform. But whether or not they have the guile to get enough goals may be another matter. When the going gets tough, it will be interesting to see how the manager reacts.
His character and touchline antics are always entertaining but tend to get him into hot water with both match and club officials. He will know that his side needs to make the most of a favorable trio of August fixtures against Bournemouth, Newcastle and Huddersfield. And if they haven’t got a win on the board after the opening month, Cardiff — and Warnock in particular — could be in real trouble.
Five of their seven games across September and October are against teams from last season’s top six, after all, and Vincent Tan is a chairman who may be quick to wield the ax despite the remarkable fact that they are even in this position.
The Bet to Watch
If Warnock is out of a job after a matter of months, it would not be a huge surprise, even if it would be unwarranted. My favorite preseason bet for Cardiff is backing Warnock as the first manager to leave his post at 8-1. On July 24, the veteran gaffer was listed at 16-1 at Ladbrokes, so that number has already been slashed in half.