Sunderland to win – 6/4
Sunderland entered the play-offs in the worst possible form, picking up just one point from their last three games as they slipped from potentially going up automatically to finishing fifth in League One.
They were somewhat lucky, that they came up against Portsmouth in the play-offs. Pompey too had failed to win any of their last three league games and also saw their automatic promotion hopes go up in smoke.
A hard fought 1-0 victory on aggregate will have given Sunderland renewed confidence that they can achieve promotion on Sunday having gotten a rough spell out of their system.
One-off finals, such as this one, are incredibly hard to call. Will one team fail to turn up? Will someone like Dean Windass pop up with a sensational volley? You just can’t foresee things like that.
However, Sunderland are slight favourites for a reason. They picked up four points against Charlton in the regular season, which admittedly counts for very little at this stage of the season, but it can’t do them any harm and they have gotten their hiccup out of the way. Two clean sheets against Portsmouth should be a major confidence boost and they should just about sneak this one.
Aiden McGeady to score anytime – 13/5
It appears Aiden McGeady has found his level. The former Irish international is Sunderland’s top goalscorer who still happens to be at the club. Josh Maja’s move to Bordeaux in January means that McGeady’s 11 league goals are enough to put him top of the club’s scoring charts. It actually makes for pretty grim reading that only one player who is still at the club managed more than six league goals and probably reflects why Sunderland didn’t go up automatically.
McGeady missed the tail end of the season through a foot injury, but manager Jack Ross claimed that he has every chance of starting the play-off final at Wembley where, incidentally, he already has two goals to his name this season.
The Irishman scored both of goals for The Black Cats in a penalty shootout defeat to Portsmouth in the Football League Trophy final in March and has proved he is the man for the big occasion with Sunderland this season.
If he starts, and he should, McGeady represents Sunderland’s most likely prospect of finding the back of the net.
Over 2.5 goals – 6/5
If Sunderland are to win this one, they will probably have to score twice. They have scored in every game since mid-March, including an impressive 14 goals in their last five games.
The odds are that Charlton will score on Sunday, and while Sunderland’s recent record of five goals in their last six games may not inspire confidence that they will score twice, we still reckon they’ll manage it.
Play-off finals tend to be unpredictably high scoring, with seven of the last eight League One play-off finals witnessing over 2.5 goals.
Game plans usually go out the window and viewers are treated to great spectacles. Hopefully, Sunday will continue the trend for the sake of the neutral and our 6/1 Same Game Multi.
* All odds correct at time of posting and may vary up to kick-off.