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EFL Play-Offs: Odds and Form

EFL League Two 7 May 2019

Buckle yourselves in for a series of games guaranteed to bring cheers, tears, thrills and spills aplenty. It's the EFL play-offs.

If the slog of a 46-game season wasn’t enough, four teams from each the Championship, League One and League Two must now do battle over two legs for the chance to win promotion.

But who plays who and which team is worth backing? Let’s take a look.

Championship play-offs

Derby vs. Leeds

Having led the table on numerous occasions this season, Leeds will need to shake off the disappointment of not going up automatically if they're to return to the top-flight. 

Easier said than done though given their form. Bielsa's men lost 3 of the last 4 of the regular season, including a last gasp defeat at the hands of basement side, Ipswich.

Frank Lampard's Derby on the other hand, arrive at this stage having won 4 of the last 6, beating Bristol City and West Brom in the process. 

Finishing sixth and beaten in both league encounters by Leeds, The Rams are the outsiders with the bookies but, as we've see in the past, momentum can play a significant part in proceedings and Derby have that in abundance.

Fixture details

11th May: Derby vs. Leeds (17:15)

11th May: Aston Villa vs. West Brom (12:30)

14th May: West Brom vs. Aston Villa (20:00)

15th May: Leeds vs. Derby (19:45)

Aston Villa vs. West Brom

Despite owning arguably the best strikeforce in the league in Dwight Gayle and James Rodriguez, 4th place West Brom have struggled for consistency and have been resigned to the play-offs for some time now.

Even the bounce which often goes hand-in-hand with removing the manager, failed to galvanise the Baggies who are seeking an immediate return to the top flight.

It's a tactic that worked wonders at Villa Park though where Steve Bruce made way for Dean Smith in October. 

A switch which took a while to get going initially, paid off in the end with Villa charging to 5th place on the back of a 10 game winning streak. No surprise to see Villa in the best shape, form and performance wise in a Midlands derby with more than just pride at stake.

Outright odds to win Championship play-offs

League One play-offs

Sunderland vs Portsmouth

It's advantage Pompey psychologically having beaten Sunderland on penalties in the EFL trophy in March and taken four points from their league meets, the most recent of which was a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light on the penultimate weekend of the campaign.

Kenny Jackett will need to pick his side up from having their automatic hopes ended in dramatic fashion by Peterborough. But with three promotions under his belt at three different clubs, if anyone can, it's Kenny.

A league high of 19 draws is the reason Sunderland finished as low as 5th and not in the top 2 as many had expected. So often this term, Jack Ross's side have been the better side but lacked the killer instinct in front of goal.

Can the Mackems finally overcome Portsmouth and seal an instant return to the second tier?

Fixture details

Saturday 11th May: Sunderland vs. Portsmouth (19:30)

Sunday 12th May: Doncaster vs. Charlton (12:15)

Thursday 16th May: Portsmouth vs. Sunderland (19:45)

Friday 17th May: Charlton vs. Doncaster (19:45)

Doncaster vs. Charlton

A remarkable late season surge featuring 10 wins in 13 has ended in Lee Bowyer steering his Charlton side to third place and a more likeable draw against sixth place Doncaster. 

The Addicks are without question the form side heading into this having suffered only one defeat in the last 15

21 goal man Lyle Taylor has played a huge role in Charlton's run but, equally, so has the second best defence in the league that have kept 7 clean sheets in 9.

Doncaster managed to put an eight match winless streak behind them to hold onto the fourth and final spot. 5 wins from the final 8 was enough to edge over the line, despite the best efforts of Peterborough.

Rovers will be out to show they're more than just making up the numbers but after finishing 15 points worse off than 5th place Sunderland, naturally, they're long-shots to go up.

Outright odds to win League One play-offs

League Two play-offs

Newport vs. Mansfield

So near, yet, so far for Mansfield who fell short in the end losing their final three, the last of which came in that final day do-or-die clash with MK Dons. The Stags will need to dust themselves down and be ready to go again but that's so often easier said than done.

Newport have already defied the odds this season by reaching the FA Cup fifth round and Mike Flynn's side were at it again on the final day, snatching the remaining play-off berth. Bidding to become a third tier club for the very first time, County have form on their side, even if the bookies aren't.

Fixture details

Thursday 9th May: Newport vs. Mansfield (19:45)

Friday 10th May: Tranmere vs. Forest Green (19:45)

Sunday 12th May: Mansfield vs. Newport (18:00)

Monday 13th May: Forest Green vs. Tranmere (19:45)

Tranmere vs. Forest Green

First leg hosts Tranmere are hardly in the best shape after posting only one victory in their final seven games and scoring just two in four. 

Micky Mellon will be hoping the league's top scorer, James Norwood still has a few more goals up his sleeve but Rovers will do well to address their end of season drop-off.

It's been a remarkable rise for Forest Green who after working their way up from non-league and escaping relegation last year, stand three games away from the third tier of English football, a far cry from the Southern Premier Division. Mark Cooper's side will be looking to inflict more misery on Tranmere having beaten them twice already home and away.

Outright odds to win League Two play-offs

Gilla nyhet

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