Wembley calling in Championship play-offs
Frank Monkhouse | 17 May 2017
Reading and Wednesday backed
The invites to Wembley will be sent out as the four sides involved in this season’s Championship play-offs are whittled down to two in midweek. This is as tense as it gets for football fans, and just to crank up the pressure, both first legs ended in a draw.
That means we have a pair of shoot-outs ahead, Reading hosting Fulham on Tuesday evening before Sheffield Wednesday welcome Huddersfield 24 hours later. Coral have a number of thrilling betting markets on both matches – click here to make your opinions pay.
Royals upset the odds
Fulham were favourites to progress before Saturday’s draw with Reading, and remain the picks of our traders going to the Madejski on Tuesday. The Londoners are 8/11 to grab a place in the final, while lovers of the upset can have the home side at even money in the ‘to qualify’ market.
Obita knocked The Royals ahead at Craven Cottage, breaking the deadlock on 53 minutes, but Fulham stuck to their task, fighting back to score an equaliser through Cairney on 65. Reading saw McShane sent off inside the last 10 minutes of the match, but Fulham couldn’t make their numerical advantage count. Will that come back to haunt them?
We think so. Reading battled to a 1-0 win when entertaining Tuesday’s opponents earlier this year in the league, Roy Beerens scoring the goal that mattered that day. The fact they went to London and took the lead shows the level of confidence in Jaap Stam’s army. They will make themselves difficult to break down again here, and look worth a play at our 19/10. This is a 50/50 match-up, winner takes all, and in those circumstances, it pays to have the bigger price.
Toothless Terriers to pay the price
The Owls rolled up their sleeves and scrapped to a goalless draw at Huddersfield on Sunday afternoon, and that now leaves them needing a win in front of their own fans to progress. If The Terriers are knocked out they will have no one to blame but themselves, missing a host of great opportunities, and on another day could’ve won 2-0.
There’s no second chances at this time of year, and Wednesday are expected to take heart from that draw and kick on at Hillsborough. They won home and away vs David Wagner’s side this season, both without conceding a goal. That run included a 2-0 win at this venue in January, Ross Wallace’s opener enhanced by a late strike from Fernando Forestieri.
Carlos Carvalhal will know all too well that his troops got lucky last time, but it’ll feel like fate is on their side, and the home win, enough to put Sheff Weds in the final and a step closer to a return to Premier League football, is 11/10. That’s sure to prove popular in midweek accumulators.