The Championship Play-Offs are an exciting time for all football fans. Especially for those involved! Not only is a place in The Premier League up for grabs but so are the millions of pounds of financial rewards.
From pre-season relegation favourites to the current promotion favourites, Huddersfield Town have taken the Sky Bet Championship by storm. Now they find themselves 90 minutes away from the promise land that is of course The Premier League! Can Huddersfield have that fairy tail ending they’re so desperate for?
Huddersfield Towns’ route to the final
After an excellent campaign, even challenging Newcastle and Brighton for a top two finish for much of the season, the Terriers ended up in a very respectable 5th place meaning they’d be up against 4th place Sheffield Wednesday. They battered Sheffield Wednesday in the first leg but just couldn’t find the net due to a resilient Wednesday defence and it finished 0-0. The second leg was much more even. Steven Fletcher put the Owls 1-0 up just after the break only for his effort to be cancelled out by a Tom Lees OG. After neither side could take the lead in extra time it went to penalties. Huddersfield won 3-4 on penalties after Fernando Forestieri saw his spot kick save by Danny Ward.
They started this season being fancied for a play-off spot and they delivered. They’ve been one of the most consistent sides in the league all season. They never once a real blip and like Huddersfield are now within touching distance of The Premier League!
Readings’ route to the final
They snuck into 3rd place, following two wins in a row against Wigan and Burton, meaning they’d be up against Fulham. This was a worry for many Reading fans as they were beaten 5-0 by Fulham earlier in the season. In the first leg they were massive underdogs. Fulham, as expected, dominated for much of the match but it was Readings’ Jordan Obita who opened the scoring but his effort was soon cancelled out by Tom Cairneys’ strike just 12 minutes later. Even though Paul McShane was sent off towards the end Reading held out for a 1-1 draw. The 2nd leg was much more exciting and end to end . What settled the tie was a 49th minute Yann Kermorgant penalty that ultimately sent Fulham packing and Reading into dreamland!
It will be a hotly contested match with The Terriers going in slight favourites. Over the season Huddersfield Towns’ manager David Wagner hasn’t changed for any side. They’ve played smooth passing football and it’s been unbelievable effective as is reflected in their league position. Whereas Reading have usually changed their play style depending on the team they face so to predict how Reading will go about their business on Monday is very hard to do. Personally I can’t separate the sides. Both teams have beaten each other this season and both were by a slim 1-0 score line. It’ll be an incredible game with an even better atmosphere. But there can only be one winner meaning one team will be feeling agony, as they walk back down Wembley Way, and the other pure ecstasy!