Betting Special: Bluebirds set for difficult debut season in England's top flight

Malky Mackay's side are celebrating promotion to the Premier League but how will the Bluebirds fare? Willie Duncan examines what may lie ahead for Cardiff City next season
Cardiff City celebrated their promotion to the Premier League last week and, after securing the Championship title on Saturday afternoon, it is likely that manager Malky Mackay’s attentions will soon turn to the season ahead as the Bluebirds prepare for life in England’s top flight.

Cardiff have been comfortable in the second tier this term but the Premier League is a significant step up in class and Malky Mackay’s men will be aware of the significant challenges that lie ahead in season 2013/14.

Reading currently sit bottom of the Premier League, despite having won the Championship in fine style last season and the plight of the Royals provides a stark warning to the Bluebirds of the gulf in class which exists between the divisions.

Cardiff City Premier League specials

Odds from Coral
To be relegated 8/11
To avoid relegation Evens
Top 10 finish 10/1
Premier League champions 5000/1
Coral has a range of bets on how the Premier League’s newest inductees will perform next season and, given the struggles that Reading have endured, it is perhaps little surprise that Cardiff City are rated as an 8/11 (1.73) chance with the odds compilers to enjoy just a solitary season in the top tier before suffering relegation.

Southampton and West Ham United, though, have served as examples that newly promoted clubs can survive in the Premier League and admirers of the Bluebirds may be tempted by the even money (2.0) on offer from Coral for Cardiff to avoid relegation in their debut Premier League campaign.

Coral offer a massive 5000/1 (5001.0) that the Bluebirds are crowned as Premier League champions next term, but surely not even the most ardent of Cardiff fans will be tempted by that price.

A more realistic target, perhaps, would be to emulate the success of fellow Welsh club Swansea City.

The Swans, now in their second season in the Premier League, are on course for a top 10 finish this term, having missed out on that objective on goal difference last season and Coral go 10/1 (11.0) that the Bluebirds end the season in the top half of the table.

Cardiff’s squad, though, is an ageing one and Malky Mackay will need to complete a radical overhaul if they are to compete against the cream of English football.

Strikers Craig Bellamy and Heidar Helguson, who is the club’s top scorer this season, are in the twilight of their careers and are unlikely to be able to make an impact in the top flight.

Mackay is likely to receive sufficient funds to freshen his squad but QPR are a prime example that investment does not necessarily guarantee success in the Premier League.

Therefore, given the enormity of the task that Mackay faces in adding the necessary quality to his squad, Coral’s 8/11 (1.73) quote that Cardiff are relegated from the Premier League next term is the recommended play in this market.

Cardiff City to be relegated at 8/11 (1.73) with Coral

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter

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