Championship play-off final betting preview

Yes, it’s cliche, but the play-off final is truly the “richest game in football” with the victor securing a lucrative spot in the Premier League. With so much at stake, play-off final betting appeals to football fans worldwide, and we’ll explore some options below.

Wembley stadium is the battleground for the two teams fighting to make it into the Premier League fold this Tuesday. A west London affair, the Championship play-off final will pit Brentford against Fulham. As the last domestic English fixture before the restart of the Champions League, eyes up and down the country will be firmly fixed on this last-ditch effort for promotion.

Join us as we get into the nitty-gritty of this fixture and provide you with some exciting Championship play-off betting options for this 4 August final.

Brentford

After 46 gruelling games, a record of 24 wins, nine draws, and 13 losses throughout the 19/20 EFL Championship, Brentford finished the season in third place. With a tally of 81 points – equal with their final play-off opponents Fulham – the Bees finished well ahead of their semi-final rivals.

As a side very much on the up, Brentford breezed past Swansea in the play-off semi-final, beating them twice over two legs, 1-0 away and 3-1 at home. With the club looking like it has secured the pieces it needs for future success, including a new Brentford Community Stadium, the turn of the decade could signal a new era for the Bees. One which may include Premier League football for the first time in their history.

In order to reach the promised land of top-flight football, they must overcome a strong Fulham side, experienced in play-off qualification and well-versed with reaching the top-tier of English football. Brentford fans will have a lot of confidence going into their Tuesday fixture knowing that their side achieved two victories over the Cottagers this season, without conceding a single goal.

Manager Thomas Frank will hope to once again turn Fulham’s game plan on itself, employing the help of his lead striker Ollie Watkins. Looking to secure his 27th goal for his side, the English striker is at 7/5 (2.40) to be an anytime goalscorer come 4 August.

Fulham

After being dragged down to the Championship depths following a miserable 18/19 Premier League campaign, Fulham have steadied the ship and maintained course amongst the promotional mix for the duration of the season.

Keeping hold of key players like Aleksander Mitrovic and Tom Cairney, while adding substantial additions such as Anthony Knockaert, has played a crucial role, enabling the Cottagers to win plaudits for playing some great football.  Now on the verge of redemption, Fulham face a Brentford team against which they have failed to score a single goal in their previous two meetings.

Bouncing back into the Premier League has huge ramifications for any club, both in terms of finance and club stature, but for a club like Fulham, it arguably means more. Having established themselves as a Premier League club at the turn of the millennium, Fulham have become somewhat of a yo-yo club in recent years. This fixture represents a chance to get back to where their fans feel they belong.

Attention will be heavily focussed on Aleksandar Mitrovic to score the Fulham’s first goal of the season against their opponents, with his chances of banging in a goal calculated at 19/10 (2.90).

BRENTFORD VS FULHAM: CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY-OFF FINAL BETTING ODDS

Brentford are favourites to secure the final place into the Premier League at 16/15 (2.07) to win, with Fulham measuring up at 53/20 (3.65).

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*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.

Aston Villa vs Derby County: Championship Play-off Final Betting Preview

On Monday, Aston Villa and Derby County will bring the English Football League play-offs to a close as they battle it out in the “richest game in football” at Wembley stadium and bid for promotion to the Premier League.   

Yes, it’s cliché to focus on the financial implications of this game, but when the rewards are so, well, rewarding, it’s hard to focus on anything else! By securing promotion to the Premier League the victors will guarantee around £170m into the club coffers over the next three years. For 2019/20 they’ll earn £95m, with parachute payments in 2020/21 and 2021/22 – should they be relegated after one season – totalling an estimated £75m across two seasons. Avoid first season relegation and the amount rises to a minimum of £300m. So, yes, this game is absolutely huge!

Aston Villa

For the second successive season Aston Villa’s entire campaign comes down to a single, all or nothing, Wembley showdown. This is an unusual position for Villa to find themselves in, having spent 28 consecutive seasons in English football’s top flight prior to their Premier League relegation in 2016.

Following last year’s devastating loss to Fulham, Villa started the season poorly and manager Steve Bruce was sacked and replaced by Dean Smith. Under Smith, Villa finished the season in superb form – which included a club-record streak of 10 victories in a row – and secured a fifth-place finish. In the semi-finals, they came from behind to beat West Brom in the first leg at Villa Park 2-1, before losing the second leg 1-0. As there are no away goals in the play-offs, the match went to extra-time and then penalties, with Villa winning the shootout.

Derby County

Unlike Villa, Derby have plenty of play-off experience. Unfortunately for Derby though, this experience mostly involves defeat. Aside from a play-off final victory against West Brom in 2007, Derby have lost finals in 1994 and 2014 (to ten-man QPR), and semi-finals in 1992, 2005, 2016 and 2018! This season though, things feel a little different.

Under Frank Lampard, the Rams have become a side for the big occasion and pressure situations. They defeated West Brom on the final day of the season to finish sixth and secure a play-off spot. Having lost the opening leg of the semi-final 1-0 at home to Leeds, they then conceded the opening goal in the second leg at Elland Road. With the chips down, they fought back for a stunning comeback and a 4-2 victory that booked their place in the final.  

ASTON VILLA VS DERBY COUNTY: PLAY-OFF FINAL BETTING ODDS

Aston Villa are favourites entering the final, with odds of 6/5 (2.20) for victory against Derby County. Derby aren’t complete underdogs though and find themselves priced at 9/4 (3.25) to win the game.

Aston Villa vs Derby County: Championship Play-off Final Betting Tips

Aston Villa have been by far the better side when these teams have met this season, winning both games by an aggregate score of 7-0 and are therefore favourites to win. However, Derby have made a habit of coming up big when it matters this season and have taken games to penalty shootouts (with victories against West Brom, Southampton and Manchester United) on numerous occasions this season.

We can see Derby forcing a draw in 90 minutes at 9/4 (3.25) and the game eventually going to the lottery of penalties. At which point it’s anybody’s guess, as Villa progressed via shootout success in the semis.

*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of going to print.

Charlton Athletic vs Sunderland AFC: League One Play-off Final Betting Preview

On Sunday, Charlton and Sunderland will face-off at Wembley stadium for promotion to the Championship, in the League One play-off final.

Rewind 13 years to 2006 and this fixture would be taking place in the Premier League. Unfortunately for both clubs, a lot has changed in the intervening years. Sunderland were relegated at the end of 2005/06 and Charlton would follow a year later. Whilst Sunderland would return immediately to the Premier League, and stay there for the next decade, Charlton have not been seen since, going through various promotions and relegations between the Championship and League One.

Charlton Athletic

Following a run that saw just a single loss in their last 15 league games, Charlton secured a third-place finish, entering them into the play-offs for the first time since 1998, when they also met Sunderland in the final.

On paper, Charlton had the easier semi-final fixture, meeting sixth-placed Doncaster Rovers, who finished 15 points behind them and 12 points adrift of fifth-placed Sunderland. They didn’t make easy work of it though, winning the first leg at Keepmoat Stadium 2-1, but losing 3-2 at The Valley. Extra-time and penalties were needed to send them through to the final.

Sunderland AFC

Despite suffering the fewest losses in the league, Sunderland would miss out on an automatic promotion spot due to their league-high 19 draws. Their hopes for automatic promotion were further harmed by an awful run of form in their last nine fixtures, comprising only two wins, four draws and three losses.

It’s not all doom and gloom though for the Black Cats, with the team showing plenty of mental resilience in the play-off semi-finals. They held onto a 1-0 lead in the first leg despite going down to ten men only five minutes after scoring, and at Fratton Park, in the second leg, Jack Ross’ men were able to grind out a 0-0 draw and seal progression into the final.

CHARLTON VS SUNDERLAND: PLAY-OFF FINAL BETTING ODDS

This is the closest matchup of all the play-off finals, with not a lot to choose between the two sides. Sunderland are marginal favourites at 13/9 (2.45) to seal promotion, with Charlton slight outsiders at odds of 13/7 (2.85).

Charlton vs Sunderland: League One Play-off Final Betting Tips

It might seem a little surprising that Charlton, the form team in League One over the last 15 fixtures, aren’t entering this game as favourites. Especially given Sunderland’s poor finish to the season. As ever, context is key. Sunderland’s poor run was against top-half opposition in all but one of their last nine games. And while they haven’t been winning, they’ve not been getting beaten.

Sunderland have edged it over the two fixtures between the sides this season, winning at home and drawing away, and have an experienced squad who shouldn’t wilt under the pressure of the occasion. However, they’ve been leaky of late, with both teams scoring in seven of their last ten fixtures, so we’d opt for Sunderland to win and both teams to score at 39/10 (4.9).

*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of going to print.

Newport County vs Tranmere Rovers: League Two Play-off Final Betting Preview

On Saturday, Newport and Tranmere will kick-off three days of play-off fixtures at Wembley Stadium as the teams compete for promotion to League One in the League Two play-off final.  

After a long and arduous League Two season, Newport and Tranmere have one final fixture to overcome, the League Two play-off final. The prize at stake is great, promotion up the English Football League pyramid to League One. Neither team should be fazed by the situation though, both having been regular visitors to Wembley Stadium since it re-opened in 2007.

Newport County

The side from South Wales has had an action-packed season. Their FA Cup run encompassing giant-killing victories over Championship side Middlesbrough and former Premier League champions Leicester City before ultimately coming to an end in the 5th round at the hands of British football’s biggest giants, Manchester City.

Having won the 2012 FA Trophy final and secured promotion back to the Football League in 2013, Newport know a thing or two about winning at Wembley. They’ll be hoping to maintain their late-season run of form – 10 games unbeaten – that saw a last-minute charge into promotion contention and a 7th spot finish (at one point they were as low as 15th in the table). They drew both semi-final games against Mansfield Town, progressing to the final via a penalty shootout victory.

Tranmere Rovers

Tranmere are seeking a second successive promotion via the play-offs, having returned to the Football League last season courtesy of an astonishing Wembley victory over Boreham Wood. Astonishing because they battled for the entire game with 10 men, having had a man sent off with only a minute on the clock.

Tranmere finished sixth in League Two, only six points off an automatic promotion spot. A run of seven straight wins in February and March saw them reach as high as fifth in the table and within touching distance of automatic spot, however, a run of only one win in their last seven league games would ultimately consign them to a play-off spot. In the semi-final, they won at home and drew away, with opponents Forest Green having a man sent off in each fixture.

NEWPORT COUNTY VS TRANMERE ROVERS: PLAY-OFF FINAL BETTING ODDS

Tranmere Rovers are slight favourites entering the final, with odds of 3/2 (2.50) for victory against Newport County. Newport find themselves in with a decent chance though, priced at 13/7 (2.85) to achieve promotion.

Newport County vs Tranmere Rovers: League Two Play-off Final Betting Tips

Matches between these two sides are always close affairs, three of the last four fixtures have ended in a draw. Of the two fixtures this season, Newport secured a rare victory, winning 2-1 at Tranmere in the early season fixture. The more recent meeting reverted to type, with a 0-0 draw.

Given the history between the sides and the often tight nature of finals, we’d opt for the draw at 2/1 (3.00).

*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of going to print.



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