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EFL Championship play-off final

The most expensive game in world football. A fixture completely drenched in tense, unforgiving atmospheric pressure. It is the Championship play-off final, and it has been set. The prize is of course a place in the best league in the world!

It’s the final major club game of the domestic season – so, let’s do it! 

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EFL Play-Off Final
Sunday 29 May
Wembley Stadium 
17:30

To Win (90 mins) 
Huddersfield 23/10
Draw 19/10
Nottingham Forest 12/10 

To be Promoted 
Huddersfield 12/10
Nottingham Forest 6/10 

Huddersfield 

Huddersfield head to Wembley for a shot at returning to the Premier League, with only Nottingham Forest standing in their way. 

The Terriers have reached this playoff by finishing third in the Championship before beating Luton Town in the play-off semi-final. Carlos Corberan’s side come into the fixture off the back of nine straight games undefeated – a run of form which stretches back to the March international break! Before that, they were able to lift themselves up from 11th place into the play-off places with a run of 17 games unbeaten.

Sorba Thomas should be available alongside the likes of Jordan Rhodes and the returning Ollie Turton. Huddersfield have shown they possess an abundance of attacking threat when they play through the lines without much restriction, and they can be especially pacey and unforgiving going forward. 

Although, against Luton they showed character against a side who set up well and was certainly stubborn in defence. Huddersfield may have finished higher on the table than Forest, but there isn’t much to split these two sides. I expect an end-to-end game for sure – but I wonder whether the security of being in this possession before adds something extra to this Huddersfield side? 

Head-to-Head:

7/3/2022 – Nottingham Forest 2-1 Huddersfield – FA Cup

30/12/2021 – Nottingham Forest 0-1 Huddersfield – Championship

18/9/2021 – Huddersfield 0-2 Nottingham Forest – Championship

17/4/2021 – Nottingham Forest 0-2 Huddersfield – Championship

25/9/2020 – Huddersfield 1-0 Nottingham Forest – Championship

Nottingham Forest 

Forest have had a harder time reaching the play-off final, they needed penalties to get past Sheffield United after an exhilarating 3-3 draw – but irrespective of their performance on Sunday, I reckon their fans will still herald this season as an incredible success considering how the season started…but then again, there is a chance to get back into the league at stake here!

It is truly remarkable that after seven games, Forest had just one point and were languishing near the bottom of the table. Ironically, their first win came in their fixture over Huddersfield in September. 

Steve Cooper has come in and been magical at the City Ground. He has seen his side improve from 23rd to 3rd and to a point that you thought Forest might have a sniff at automatic promotion. 

Brennan Johnson has been brilliant and exciting for Forest, my only reservation with the stage and platform which is a Championship Play-off final is that the pressure is intense and the margin for error is quite literally non-existent. Usually this translates into a cagey and staggered affair. If that is the case, I think it favours the Terriers to be honest. 

Prediction: Huddersfield/Draw + BTTS (39/20)

I think even in and amongst the tense atmosphere at Wembley, the attacking threats each side hold is something to behold. Nottingham Forest are novices to this sort of environment, but in saying that I am certainly not suggesting that Huddersfield are going to come out as confidence personified! 

I’m not sure why the bookmakers have Forest as out and out favourites to be honest, and I think Huddersfield to get a positive result is the right bet for the weekend. If you are going to add this to betting slips, punt both sides scoring. For a punt on the nose, the Terriers on the Win/Draw Double Chance and a respectable nod to both attacking threats…get on at 39/20.

Written by Ryan Liberty