The final legs of the Play Off semi finals have been played and the final fixtures for each division have been decided. They all promise to be brilliant games of football and each team is a worthy contender to go up a level following good seasons.
In this article we preview each fixture and also give a score prediction.
Championship: Middlesbrough vs. Norwich
Their main asset is, at times, a brilliantly direct forward line, with a technically creative midfield to feed them. Their defence has been water tight for the most part of the season, conceding just 37 in the league which is the lowest in the league. Despite their defensive brilliance, Boro have only managed 68 goals all season, the lowest amount in the top eight, with Patrick Bamford scoring 17. In the centre of the park, Grant Leadbitter has 11 goals and 9 assists, the creativity that he provides will be sure to be a focal point of any build up that Boro create at Wembley.
The third highest scoring side in the league this season, this is hardly surprising considering the abundance of attacking talent within their ranks. Gary Hooper, Lewis Grabban and Cameron Jerome have scored 40 goals between them this season (9, 12 and 19). The squad is full of pace, with Grabban, Nathan Redmond, Jerome, Elliott Bennett and Martin Olsson all able to turn defence into attack quickly with jet heeled runs. The side also has no shortage of talent in midfield, with Bradley Johnson scoring 12 goals this season from midfield and with Redmond and Wes Hoolahan getting nine goals and 23 assists between them, it is clear that the only intent from Alex Neil’s men is to get forward, something which is backed up by their average of 56.2% possession, third in the league, and 16.1 shots a game, second in the League. However they have conceded more than anyone in the top 4 of the Championship with 48, 11 more than their opponents.
Promises to be a case of attack vs. defence with Norwich looking to dominate and Boro hoping to rely on their water-tight defence and break using the pace of Adomah and Bamford on the break. I think Norwich’s attack minded approach could just edge this one, however I cannot see either side keeping a clean sheet.
Norwich 2-1 Middlesbrough