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Championship Play-Off Final Wembley
Monday 27th May 2019
Aston Villa v Derby
It is that time of year again when one of the most important games of the season will decide who wins the Golden Ticket to The Premiership, currently quoted as being worth as much as £170 million. The two sides have arrived here in hugely different fashion, with Derby always around the play-off places throughout the season but Villa struggling early season, changing manager, and then coming with a ten-game winning streak to finish in fifth place. The two semi-finals could hardly have been more different too. Villa winning a tight fairly dour battle with local rivals West Brom but Derby coming through a thrilling entertaining, two leg battle with Leeds where they made history in qualifying by going through after losing the first leg at home.
Head to head form may be irrelevant here, as it is played on a neutral ground, but Villa do have the better of six recent encounters and comfortably won both league games this season by an aggregate of seven goals to nil. It is doubtful whether we will see lots of goals, as the last six Championship Finals have only had five goals in total, with two ending 0-0 and three ending with a 1-0 victory. A lot of that is down to the pressure on the players and managers so free-flowing football is often a long way from their minds, the game needs to be won at any cost, so a boring game with a late winner would suit both clubs. This final may be slightly different as both sides play attractive attacking football and if there were to be an early goal, particularly by Derby, the game could open up.
So, can we find a trading angle?
At first glance, Aston Villa look a fair bet at 2.20 if you consider they have twice beaten The Rams this season, but they were expected by many to beat West Brom fairly easily, and they only qualified following a penalty shoot-out. A lot could depend on Jack Grealish who is capable of controlling the game in midfield, but Derby have a couple of game changers themselves in Harry Wilson and Mason Mount. I can see this tie being won by one goal and that could even be in extra-time so let’s hope that if it is, that it is a wonder goal and not a defensive error, neither side deserve that although I’m sure the supporters of each club will not care if it happens to the opposition.
I expect the game to be fairly quiet for the first twenty minutes as both sides get au-fait with the opposition tactics, so we may be able to use the Over 2.5 goals market for trading, as a way to make money.
Over 2.5 goals is currently around 2.16 although liquidity is fairly low, but we could Lay that and hope for a quiet 20-25 minutes and trade out at around 4.00, or gradually drip-feed from 3.35 until you have a green book.
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