League Two play-off final: Wycombe a worthy bet to scalp Shrimpers
Gareth Ainsworth may be in his first job as a manager, but he is playing a canny game ahead of Wycombe Wanderers’ appearance in the League Two play-off final against Southend United at Wembley. Coral make the Adams Park outfit 15/8 outsiders to win in 90 minutes, but evens for promotion.
Despite being unbeaten in four head-to-heads against the Shrimpers, Wanderers player-turned-coach Ainsworth insists the Chairboys are underdogs with opposite number Phil Brown having famously won promotion via this method while in charge of Hull City.
“It’s been great to have a lack of pressure,” Ainsworth said. “We’re going into it as an underdog, hopefully to cause an upset. It’s just brilliant to be here – the boys are riding the crest of a wave and seeing how far it’s going to take us.”
Brown and Southend do look a little short at 6/4 for victory without resorting to extra time, and odds-on at 4/5 to be in League One next season. Two of the last three head-to-heads have been drawn (11/5 and that means at least an additional half hour here), however.
Punters should be aware the last time a League Two play-off final finished level after 90 minutes was a decade ago, though, and the Shrimpers advanced anyway beating Lincoln City 2-0 after extra time.
Ainsworth has pledged Wycombe will not go into their shell when facing their fellow former winners at this level. “We’re going to approach this game like the previous two games – with a consistent level of attacking football,” he added.
Central to Wanderers’ hopes is top poacher Paul Hayes, who scored first both home and away against Plymouth Argyle in the play-off semis. It’s fine odds of 13/2 for him to grab the opener for a third game in a row.
Hayes is safer at 15/8 in the anytime market too, but could also be a hit with punters if you take our 11/2 matchday special on him netting and the Chairboys being victorious. Please note there is a maximum stake of £20 on this bet.
Alfie Mawson may be a centre back, but he’s score against Southend already this season and was on target against the Pilgrims last time out, so may be worth a punt to net again at 7/1.
If Hayes is Wycombe’s talisman, then Barry Corr is his Shrimpers counterpart. Five goals in six outings for the club against the Chairboys means he is virtually nailed on to score. This superb form explains why Corr is 5/4 to score anytime and 5/1 to find the target first, plus he also features in nifty 9/2 wincast. Again you can stake up to a max of £20, while this play-off final to go to penalties is a 6/1 shot.
Wanderers have played it very cool in the build-up and Ainsworth’s approach will pay dividends. His pledge to attack means Wycombe are well worth taking an awesome 11/2 to win and both teams score.
Coral betting tip: Those above odds of 11/2 on a Wycombe win but Southend scoring are a superb shout.