What a superb Championship season! Burnley and Sheffield United head into the Premier League automatically and now it’s the play-offs where Middlesbrough, Luton, Sunderland and Coventry will be dreaming of promotion.
Luton are the only side out of the three teams in the play-offs who have never been in the Premier League and it will be an incredible story if they can make it. They’ve finished the season in 3rd position with a fabulous 80 points and played some superb football along the way. The Hatters are unbeaten in 14 League games and are very hard to beat. They will take some stopping in the play-offs and it’s likely to take some brilliance to get Luton over the line.
Luton entertain Sunderland in the play-off semi-final and Tony Mowbray’s side snatched a play-off place on the final day of the season with a 3-0 away win over Preston. Sunderland took 5,000 away fans who saw a big win and they can now get excited about heading to Luton for the first leg of the play-offs this weekend.
Sunderland are a young and fearless side, and for Luton, they will not look forward to playing a team with nothing to lose. Alex Pritchard probably has the most experience out of the side and they come into the match against Luton unbeaten in 9 games.
The favourites for the play-offs are Middlesbrough, who have the top scorer in the division Chuba Akpom in their ranks and with the impressive Michael Carrick at the help, Boro will fancy their chances of heading back to the Premier League after a number of years out.
Carrick has his team playing some great football and after an amazing run up the table, they have dropped off in recent weeks, losing two of their last 3 games, including a 2-1 loss to other promotion hopefuls Luton.
Boro will look at their 3-1 and 5-1 home wins over Hull and Norwich as the team which will be ready to attack the play-offs and Carrick has big game experience as a player to share with his young side.
Middlesbrough will entertain Coventry in the play-offs and Head Coach Mark Robins has done a great job to get Coventry within sight of the Premier League. Robins’ Coventry come into the play-offs without a defeat in 8 games and with 2nd top League striker Viktor Gyokeres in good form, he will be looking to fire Coventry to Wembley.
The Championship play-offs are sure to create magical and tense moments as these 4 sides battle it out to play in the richest game in Sport.
|Middlesbrough||13/8 William Hill|
|Luton||5/2 William Hill|
|Sunderland||11/4 William Hill|
|Coventry||7/2 William Hill|
It’s all to play for in the Championships play-offs and there is not a lot between the four sides in their recent form. Luton, Coventry and Sunderland all come into the play-offs this weekend on a good unbeaten run and will believe they have what it takes to get to Wembley.
Luton face Coventry and will fancy their chances of progressing, although it’s important for them to take a lead to the Ricoh arena as the Sky Blues fans will make a big noise to get behind their side.
In the other clash between Middlesbrough and Sunderland, this is a tough one to call. Sunderland come into this with nothing to lose and they will go all out attack to try and claim a place at Wembley.
Looking at the side who can make it to the Premier League, the pressure is firmly on Middlesbrough and our punters.pub pick at this stage is to put up Sunderland at 11/4 with William Hill as the team who can make it to Wembley and secure promotion to The Premier League.
The young and fearless side are capable of putting together a strong performance against Middlesbrough and then heading to Wembley with a passionate support.