West Ham v Cardiff : Allardyce on verge of Premiership shoot out at Wembley

The second leg of The Championship play-off encounter between West Ham and Cardiff takes place tonight at Upton Park, as Paddy Power report free bets on the game and long odds on Malky MacKay’s side shocking the Hammers.

The Hammers take a very strong 2-0 lead into the second leg after a thoroughly convincing and professional performance at the Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday evening.

Sam Allardyce’s men were almost faultless in the first leg, looking extremely solid in defence especially. Mark Noble and Kevin Nolan absolutely dominated the midfield while everything seemed to just stick to Carlton Cole who was leading the line.

Jack Collison was on the score-sheet twice for West Ham and that’s now three goals in as many games for the 23-year-old who seems to be finding his shooting boots just at the right time.

However, Allardyce will know that the tie is far from won, given his side’s less from convincing performances on home soil this season.

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The 57-year -old has seen his team fail to win twelve times at Upton Park in the league, although this has included only four defeats.

As for Cardiff, they will disappointed with their evenings work as they never really got going and apart from a brief spell in the second half, failed to cause West Ham any problems.

Malkay Mackay will be even more frustrated from his sides performance considering that they were on a great run of ten games unbeaten. He would have been expecting his team to come out all guns blazing.

Mackay will know that his men have a colossal task on their hands if they are to turn this tie on its head because a two goal deficit has never been turned around at this level.

The Welsh side will be quietly confident of upsetting the odds after a 1-0 victory at Upton Park earlier in the campaign, that said it is still a very long shot on The Bluebirds making it to Wembley.

Play-off heart ache is something that Cardiff fans have become all too familiar with of course. This is the third year in a row they have made it to the top six. Supporters must be wondering if a place in the Premier League will ever become a reality.

The Hammers certainly look like strong favourites to make a return to the top flight at the first time of asking.

Tommy graduated from Sheffield University in 2009 with a Journalism degree and has worked in various professional industry posts including the football print media.