Aston Villa meets with Derby County in the final of English Championship playoffs. The match will be played on Monday, May 27th at Wembley Stadium (London)
In this season of the Championship, the team from Birmingham finished fifth, with almost no chance to promote to the Premier League directly. Moreover, Aston Villa could not even participate in the promotion playoffs, if not for the excellent ending of the season, which allowed a significant rise in the standings. Despite the fact that the Villans lost their last match in the championship, they can still hold the spring part of the season as an asset. The men of Dean Smith pleased with their scoring - their attack was in third place after Norwich and West Bromwich.
By the way, the Villans played in the semifinals of the playoffs with that West Bromwich, and the struggle in this pair was serious. In their home field, the team from Birmingham gained the victory (2:1), although it was losing in the course of the meeting. West Bromwich was stronger in the second game (1:0), and according to the rules, extra time was added, after which luck in the penalty shootout smiled at the Villans - they continue to fight for promotion, and they have to take the last step to the highest division. In London, Nyland and McCormack will not be able to help their team because they are seriously injured. The Welshman Chester has a knee injury, but he still has a chance to field at Wembley.
Derby County, which managed to get into the playoffs only at the last moment, took sixth place, and the team spends the beautiful spring part of the season either. In the last round of the regular season, the team had a difficult opponent - the same West Bromwich, but at the key moment, Derby County managed to brace itself and celebrate the victory - 3:1. Given the fact that Derby lost only once in the last 10 matches of the season, the team has good chances to get into the Premier League.
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In the semifinals of the playoffs, Derby County met with Leeds, which was the clear favorite of the pair. This role was confirmed by Leeds in the first away game, which it won with a 1:0 score. However, Lampard's men showed a fabulous return match, which they won away - 4:2. The victory turned out strong-willed; Derby has a character, so it would also be interesting to see it in the Premier League. We can note Marriott among the most dangerous players of Derby County - he scored Leeds twice. Malone won’t play in London for sure because he picked up a red card in the previous game. However, it seems that this is not the only loss in the team of Frank Lampard. Bryson, Forsyth, Davis, and King have injuries of different degrees.
If we take into account the 10 last head-to-head matches, it should be noted that there is an advantage of Aston Villa - 5 wins; Derby County managed to win 3 times, and a draw was recorded twice. In this season, the Villans easily beat Lampard's men twice - first 3-0 away, then 4-0 - at home.
Of course, football fans from Derby are dreaming of their team promoting to the elite of English football. Derby County was the champion of England twice in history and won the Cup and the Super Cup of the country, but in this century, the team played in the second division. Lampard's men have the status of an outsider before the upcoming match. Still, Aston Villa has a stronger squad, and this team has ambitions that are more serious. Besides, the Villans are much more successful in the attack. However, both teams were good in the attack, so we should wait for scoring football.
Prediction for the match: Over 2.5 goals scored