Football Fest – Play-Off Final Previews

26/05/2017

 

Get ready for a bumper bank holiday weekend of football, as Wembley plays host to three of the biggest fixtures of the season.

Arsenal will try to spoil Chelsea’s party in the FA Cup final.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the Football League, Exeter will face Blackpool in the League 2 play-off final.

Finally, on Monday, Huddersfield will go head-to head against Reading in the battle for Premier League football.

This is the ideal time to score some extra traffic. Here’s everything you need to know about Wembley’s three-day football fest!

 Betfred Bet 3 Get 1 Free Cup Finals Offer

FA Cup Final: Arsenal v Chelsea

Date: Saturday, 27th May,

Kick-off: 5.30pm

Venue: Wembley Stadium

Champions Chelsea are looking to do the double as they take on Arsenal in the FA Cup final.

Having won the league in his first season, Antonio Conte will be hoping to follow in former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti’s footsteps and double the club’s silverware for the season.

For Arsene Wenger, the match is a chance not only to save face following the Gunners worst season in two decades, but also to make history.

Finishing out of the top four and, crucially, behind rivals Tottenham Hotspur for the first time in 21 years is more than many fans can take. Wenger is out of contract and the cup may well be his last chance to end his tenure on a high.

A victory would see the Frenchman become the first manager ever to win the FA Cup seven times.

Back to Chelsea, and Conte has the luxury problem of a full squad to choose from. The game will also mark John Terry’s last appearance in a Chelsea shirt.

Chelsea are 4/5 favourites to seal the deal in 90 minutes but you can bet 7/2 on Arsenal at Betfred. Odds for a draw in normal time are 11/4.

Overall, Arsenal at 15/8, whilst Chelsea are 2/5 to lift the cup.

Head to head stats:

Chelsea:

  • A win for Chelsea would see them equal Tottenham Hotspur’s 8 FA Cup trophies
  • Chelsea have won their last four FA Cup finals
  • Antonio Conte would be the fifth Italian manager to lift the FA Cup, should Chelsea prevail.
  • Three of the last four have also been Chelsea managers

Arsenal:

  • An Arsenal victory would give them a 13th trophy, one more than Manchester United’s 12
  • This is Arsene Wenger’s 57th match against Chelsea as Arsenal manager
  • Wenger’s personal record against the Blues: W21, D14 L21
  • Arsenal have reached the FA Cup Final 19 times previously and won their last 5

 

League 2 Play-Off Final: Blackpool v Exeter

Date: Sunday, 28th May,

Kick-off: 3.00pm

Venue: Wembley Stadium

The action continues on Sunday as Blackpool battle Exeter for the final place in League One next season. This one is almost too close to call, with both clubs reaching Wembley after winning 6-5 on aggregate after a 3-2 win and a 3-3 draw apiece.

Exeter are the bookies’ favourites at 6/4 in normal time. Blackpool will fancy their chances though, having beaten the Grecians 2-0 on the first day of the season drawn 2-2 in the return fixture. You’ll get 6/4 on the Tangerines and 9/4 for a draw.

Blackpool are evens to be promoted, whilst you’ll get 4/5 on Exeter.

Head to head stats:

Blackpool:

  • The Tangerines have been involved in six previous play-off finals, more than any other team
  • They have won the last four, equalling Crystal Palace’s record
  • Blackpool have beaten Exeter in five of their last matches in all league competitions

Exeter:

  • This is the Grecians first Football League play-off final
  • But their third visit to Wembley they won one Conference play-off final and lost another in 2007 and 2006 respectively
  • Exeter have only beaten Blackpool three times in their last 14 meetings in all competitions

 

Championship Play-Off Final: Huddersfield Town v Reading

Date: Monday, 29th May,

Kick-off: 3.00pm

Venue: Wembley Stadium

Often called the richest game in football, the Championship play-off final will see Huddersfield Town face Reading in the final match of the season.

Reading are missing their Captain, following Paul McShane’s sending-off against Fulham in the semi-finals. In contrast, Huddersfield goalkeeper Danny Ward will be feeling confident after

Huddersfield are 13/10 to win in the 90 minutes, and 8/11 to be promoted. You can get 11/5 for a draw, while Reading are 5/2 for a normal time win and 11/10 to clinch promotion, at Betfred.

Head to head stats:

Huddersfield Town:

  • If Huddersfield get promoted it will be their first season in top-flight since 1972
  • The Terriers are only the fourth Football League club to reach the play-off final in all three divisions
  • If it goes to penalties Huddersfield have an advantage, having won their last five shoot-outs, including the semi-final against Sheffield Wednesday

Reading:

  • The Royals have lost five previous play-off finals
  • Expect goals – Reading have scored in at least twice in their last three previous play-off finals
  • A win would see Reading secure promotion through the play-offs for the first time

So there you have it, a fantastic weekend of football which could net you commissions.

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