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Football League Play-Offs: What you need to know

| 10.05.2016

They say nothing compares to winning a play-off final, and it’s that time of year again as four teams from each division bid to bag the one remaining promotion spot on offer to them.

In the Championship, one side will be bagging themselves possibly the biggest windfall in the history of football, with victory in the annually-dubbed world’s richest game.

In League One, a quartet of previous Championship-regulars bid to escape the third tier.

And in League Two, four teams with wildly varying fortunes in recent years look to achieve some glory.

Here’s what you need to know…


Sheffield Wednesday v Brighton

Despite falling at the very last hurdle up in Middlesbrough, Chris Hughton has worked wonders with Brighton, and they’ll be fully aware that their Yorkshire opponents stumbled into the play-offs.

With one win from their last six games, have Wednesday already run out of steam?

Derby v Hull

Both sides saw their automatic hopes evaporate long ago, but Derby will be concerned after failing to win their last three fixtures.

Add in Steve Bruce’s Championship-nous, and despite winning only one of their last six away games, Hull should have the edge.

Who gets promoted?

Brighton are the form team of the quartet, and that desire to finally become a Premier League team can see them get the job done at 2/1.

League One

Barnsley v Walsall

After losing 11 of their opening 17 games, nobody thought Barnsley would be here. But after suffering defeat just five more times in the 29 remaining fixtures, the Tykes have pulled it off.

A 4-0 loss at Bradford destroyed Walsall’s title hopes, but the Saddlers responded to win their final trio of matches.

Bradford v Millwall

Millwall only lost four times in 2016, and reeled off a quartet of wins to see out the season.

The Londoners will do well to break down Bradford though, who conceded just two goals in their final nine games, with just one conceded in seven at Valley Parade.

Who gets promoted?

Bradford’s current home fortress should see them past Millwall, but who would dare bet against Barnsley after the six-months they’ve had at 3/1?

League Two

Portsmouth v Plymouth

Oddly, both teams ended the season with three wins from seven. Not exactly great form.

The Devon side have also procured just three victories from their last 10 on the road, but one of those was at Fratton Park.

AFC Wimbledon v Accrington Stanley

Neither side have ever played in the third tier, so the desire is huge for both, plus promotion would propel AFC into the same division as hated rivals MK Dons.

The Dons saw a five-game winning streak unravel with one victory in their final three, but Stanley are on 12-game unbeaten run which could edge this very close encounter, with the London side losing four times in that spell.

Who gets promoted?

Both Wimbledon and Accrington are on the cusp of history, and both can boast better form than Portsmouth or Plymouth.

Backing the winner to come out of the second semi-final could be the way to go, and we fancy Stanley at 11/4.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.