Who Will Win The Championship Play-Off Final?
May 27, 2016
So who will compete in this all or nothing game? Hull City, who finished fourth in the Championship table with a respectable 83 points, will face outside Sheffield Wednesday who claimed the final play-off sport and recorded 74 points from their 46 matches. While the Tigers will start as favourites, Wednesday’s history and pedigree means that they will fancy their chances at Wembley.
How did the Tigers and the Owls reach Wembley
The Owls have already upset the odds, having beaten third place Brighton 3-1 in the two-legged semi-final. Brighton, despite earning 89 points during the season and boasting a record that would have secured automatic promotion in all but one of the last five seasons, carried a clear hangover into the first leg at Hillsborough where a 2-0 defeat left them with a mountain to climb. Wednesday finished the job at the Amex Stadium, as one again a team finishing third was unable to progress through the play-offs.
Hull City also did the bulk of their work in the first leg at the iPro Stadium, cruising to a 3-0 away win against an outclassed Derby County side. In doing so, the Tigers recalled memories of earlier in the season, when international stars such as Abel Hernandez fired Hull City to the top of the table during the festive period. Despite a poor run of form and a lack of goals during the tail end of the season, Steve Bruce’s squad is laced with Premier League quality and will deservedly start as favourites in two weeks time.
Who will prevail in the £100 Million Match-up?
While both of these sides have Premier League pedigree, Hull’s experience is fresher in the mind and Steve Bruce has been able to keep the majority of last season’s Premier League squad together. Although the Owls last played EPL football in 2000, they enjoyed huge success at the turn of the 1990’s and even managed to finish third in the top flight in 1992. The club also has an affinity with Wembley, and remain the last club outside of the top flight to win a major trophy (the League Cup in 1991).
When you consider this pedigree and Wednesday’s obvious ability to thrive as underdogs, there is a growing sense that the Owls will regain their top flight status at Wembley tomorrow. Unless Hull City can learn to cope with the pressure of the occasion and ensure that their forward line fires on all cylinders, the Premier League may soon be welcoming back one of its founding, long-lost members.