IT was tense and tight in the opening play-off encounter on Thursday and the theme could continue at Reading on Friday.

Nottingham Forest missed a chance to take a march into the final when Swansea were reduced to 10 men at the City Ground in the first minute.

But the Welsh held firm and the sides start the second leg at 0-0.

Cardiff are hoping to make it an all-Welsh final but face a tough test against Reading who were brilliant until they eased off after sealing their top-six spot.

Dave Jones will have to pick his visitors up after the blew automatic promotion hopes with a 3-0 defeat at home to Middlesbrough then were held at Burnley. The sides are 11-4 with different firms to go up and it really is a difficult one to call.

In the end I'm siding with Reading who could take advantage of Cardiff's end-of-season woes. The Royals are 1-1 with Paddy Power to reach the final and decent value at 5-4 with Stan James to rack up a victory at the Madejski Stadium.

Brian McDermott’s side lost just one of their last 16 league matches and I'm looking at them to win by one goal (3-1, bet365).

I also think both sides will score at 4-5 with bet365 and William Hill.

Both their meetings this season were score draws while Reading have netted seven in their last three home matches and Cardiff have been on target in six out of seven games.


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