The Championship playoff final is considered the biggest club match in world football. The winner not only gets a place in the Premier League next season but enjoys all the financial benefits of the television money that comes with it.
Estimates put the value of this game at around £170 million and for the winners this is a huge sum of money. Unfortunately for the losers, they will remain in the Championship next season and face another gruelling schedule of 46 matches to try and win promotion.
This season’s playoff final will be contested between Huddersfield Town and Reading at Wembley. Both teams have experience of recent playoff finals, with Huddersfield winning the League One playoff final in 2012 and Reading losing the Championship playoff final in 2011.
Huddersfield Town vs. Reading
England Championship – Monday 29th May 2017 – 3:00pm
Best Odd of: 13/10 at Ladbrokes
Best Odd of: 21/10 at Ladbrokes
Best Odd of: 11/4 Ladbrokes
Huddersfield Town Form
Huddersfield were poor towards the end of the season and their form cost them any chance of finishing higher in the playoff places.
David Wagner’s team won only 2 of their last 9 matches, which is the sort of record you would expect to see of a team struggling at the bottom end of the table. They won just a single point in their final 3 games of the season and needed to improve if they were to overcome Sheffield Wednesday in the playoff semi-final.
Despite failing to win either leg of the semi-final, drawing the first 0-0 and the second 1-1, Huddersfield progressed to the final via a penalty shoot-out.
Reading are the form team coming into this match and Jaap Stam, being a former defender himself, will be pleased with the way his team dealt with the semi-final against Fulham.
Having scored an away goal in the 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage, Reading won the second leg 1-0 thanks to a goal from Yann Kermorgant. At the beginning of April, Reading lost 7-1 at Norwich City and this result could easily have seen them enter a downward spiral for the remainder of the season.
However, the players responded well, winning 4 of their last 5 Championship games to seal third place in the division and make the playoff final.
Huddersfield are without midfielder Philip Billing and defender Jon Gorenc Stankovic, who are both injured. Wagner will be hoping Elias Kachunga recovers from the injury which forced him off in the second leg of the playoff semi-final but the match will probably come too soon for on loan Chelsea midfielder Kasey Palmer.
Reading are without their captain Paul McShane, who is serving a suspension having been sent off in the playoff semi-final against Fulham. The trio of Callum Harriott, Stephen Quinn and striker Deniss Rakels are all injured and unavailable for selection.
Top Betting Tips
Reading come into this match as the team in better form and finished 4 points clear of Huddersfield in the final Championship table. However, the bookmakers have Huddersfield as the favourites, priced at 7/5 with Ladbrokes and Reading are available at 12/5 with Ladbrokes.
One glance at the goal difference of both these teams suggests they do not win matches by a large margin. Huddersfield have scored 1 goal in their last 4 games and Reading have conceded 3 in their last 4 games, keeping two clean sheets.
You can get 9/2 with Ladbrokes for Reading to win to nil and 15/4 with Ladbrokes for them to win by a 1 goal margin.
If Reading are to upset the odds and win this match, Yann Kermorgant will be key. The Frenchman has scored 10 goals in his last 11 games and can be backed at 15/2 with Ladbrokes to get the opening goal in the Championship playoff final.