Cardiff City and Crystal Palace will go head-to-head over two legs in the Carling Cup semi finals in early 2012, and both sides will know that a Wembley outing is only 180 successful minutes away. With Manchester City or Liverpool lying in wait for the victors, both sides will put everything on the line to progress.
To attend what should be a tightly contested semi final you can buy buy football tickets online, with TicketBis a safe and affordable way of experiencing the game close up. You can also get tickets to the Carling Cup final there, which is great considering that a Championship team is guaranteed to be playing in the final at Wembley.
Cardiff vs Crystal Palace
Both Cardiff and Crystal Palace have been good value for their place in the semi finals of the competition, and have claimed the scalps of a number of Premier League sides on route to this stage. The first leg will take place at Selhurst Park on January 9th, with the decider at Cardiff City Stadium on January 24th.
Cardiff have beaten Oxford, Huddersfield, Leicester, Burnley and Blackburn to make the semis, and will go into the tie as favourites. Malky Mackay’s men thoroughly outplayed their Premier League opposition in the last round, beating Blackburn comfortably 2-0 through goals from Kenny Miller and Anthony Gerrard.
In the Championship the Welsh side currently sit in third place, five points behind leaders Southampton. The powers that be at the club are determined to get to the English top flight this campaign, after suffering the agonising heartache of missing out due to playoff elimination last term. The key man for the Bluebirds is attacking midfielder Peter Whittingham, who has been in excellent form this season, scoring and creating goals.
Crystal Palace have been victorious against Crawley Town, Wigan, Middlesbrough, Southampton and Manchester United to set up the game against Cardiff, and have arguably had a more difficult passage to this stage. Dougie Freedman’s man showed incredible grit and determination to beat the Premier League champions at Old Trafford in the last round, with a Darren Ambrose wondergoal and an extra time Glenn Murray strike giving them a hard-fought win.
The London side currently sit in mid-table in The Championship, but despite holding 11th place are only eight points behind Cardiff in third. Palace have been much more consistent this season after a disappointing campaign fighting relegation last term, and have the ability to make the playoffs this year. Attacker Wilfred Zaha has be given rave reviews for excellent performances this term, and is attracting interest from a number of Premier League clubs.
Manchester City vs Liverpool
The winners of Cardiff and Crystal Palace will face one of the Premier League’s top teams in the form of Manchester City or Liverpool in the League Cup final. The tickets for this game are available on TicketBis, and it’s a great opportunity to watch the two teams live in action. Both teams are likely to prioritise the league, but even the fringe players at each club are of high standard.
Over two legs either side could win, with the first leg at the Etihad Stadium; City are motivated to win all honours possible this season after their investment on the playing staff. Liverpool however have had a revival under Kenny Dalglish, and beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the last round.