They say ‘It’s always sunny in a rich man’s world’ and the Championship Play-Off final is probably the truest example of that statement.
With a spot in Premier League and a potential £290m prize pot on the line for the winner, it’s easy to see why it’s described as ‘the richest game in football’. This season’s decider sees Reading and Huddersfield Town battle it out for the loot after coming through the Championship’s version of the Hunger Games.
Huddersfield’s Terriers have limped into this final worse than Daniel Sturridge after yet another injury and they’ve not won any of their last four outings – needing a penalty shootout to progress past Sheffield Wednesday in the semi-finals.
While Jaap Stam’s Royals come in as the form side with five wins in their last seven, yet our traders have them 23/10 outsiders. Both games between the two sides in the league finished 1-0 to the home team and with Huddersfield failing to score a goal of their own in four matches we’re tipping Reading to be more regal than Prince Harry with a 1-0 victory on Monday.
One element even Albert Einstein would be fascinated by, is the fact that neither side has managed to hit the back of the net in the first half of their last couple of games.
It’s no surprise given the nature of the Play-Offs that teams would want to keep it tighter than your belt after a Sunday roast at the back and this final should be no different.
Given that we’ve already hung our hat on a Reading victory, this stat has convinced us to predict the Terriers to make it a dogged first half with nothing separating the sides. A draw at half-time and a Reading win after ninety minutes comes in as a 6/1 fancy, it may just be the crown jewel in our bets.
Like a fine wine, Reading’s Yann Kermorgant has been in vintage form this season scoring 19 goals in the Championship.
His second leg penalty against Fulham handed Reading their ticket to Wembley and Huddersfield will need to watch him closely if they’re to have any hope of making it to the promised land.
A goal for the veteran Frenchman at anytime on Monday at 9/4 could have you extending that Bank Holiday spirit well into the week. Quick someone grab the BBQ, we’ll have our Play-Off final extra crispy!