League Two play-off semi-finals second leg preview
Both of these League Two play-off semi-final first legs finished 1-0, with the winners of those games, Fleetwood Town and Burton Albion, now the favourites to get promoted final at 11/10 and 9/4 respectively. York City are now outsiders to reach League One at 8/1, behind Southend United at 9/2.
Fleetwood Town v York City – Friday
Prior to the 1-0 loss to Fleetwood in the first leg of this tie, York had gone 17 games in the league undefeated. Coincidentally, the first of their victories on that run was against the Cod Army away, where they won 2-1.
Back the North Yorkshiremen at 14/1 to record that scoreline against their Lancashire rivals again to take this Roses battle into extra time, or 10/3 just to slay them again in 90 minutes. Fleetwood, meanwhile, are odds-on at 19/20 to win or 23/10 to draw – which will also take them through to the final at Wembley.
Former York winger Matty Blair, who ironically got the winner for his former side that got them promoted to the football league in the play-off final two seasons ago, netted the only goal of the game in the first leg. He is a 4/1 shot to score again anytime.
Minstermen manager Nigel Worthington is positive about his side’s chances, and has started the mind games. “I think there is more pressure on them as they are at home and a goal to the good,” he said.
“Do they come out and try and nick another one or do they sit back and invite pressure? Either way, we are going to be on the case. But it’s about us and we must make sure we start well.”
Southend United v Burton Albion – Saturday
The second of the League Two play-offs will be played a day later, and it is away side Burton who hold a 1-0 lead going into this head-to-head, thanks to a first half finish from Adam McGurk. The Northern Irishman is 2/1 to net again.
Both sides finished on the same amount of points during the normal league campaign and each have won three times against the other in their previous six meetings, so expect a close game again.
Three of their last four matches with each other have resulted in a 1-0 result, and Southend are 5/1 favourites to record that scoreline again, while Burton are 17/2. The former are also 11/10 to win the game in 90 minutes, with the latter priced at 5/2.
Both sides have suffered play-off semi-finals heartbreak in the last two seasons, but one of the duo has to make it this time. Southend boss Phil Brown, however, has tasted promotion via this method in the Championship with Hull City before.