Huddersfield v Reading
Bank Holiday Monday 29th May, 15:00
Live on Sky Sports


Huddersfield are looking to return to the top-flight of English football for the first time since 1972 and could become the first Football League side in history to win promotion having conceded more goals than they've scored in the league.

Terriers manager David Wagner believes his side winning promotion would be a similar "fairytale" to Leicester winning the Premier League last season and is pulling out all the stops to ensure his charges are ready for one final push.

The German boss took his squad to Portugal for a mini training camp and instructed the groundsman at the club's Canalside training ground to alter the dimensions of the main pitch to match those of Wembley. By training at 3pm, the players have also experienced similar conditions to that expected in the capital.

Wagner says he has no doubts his troops will handle the pressure of the big occasion but doubts persists over Kasey Palmer's participation despite returning to training. Elsewhere, Elias Kachunga should be fit enough to feature.


Reading have failed in all five of their previous play-off campaigns and the Royals are bidding for a first success in the final following three previous defeats with promotion within touching distance.

Jaap Stam's side have defied the odds throughout the campaign - the Berkshire outfit returned the third-worst shot ratio return in the Championship, whilst only Rotherham and Barnsley have faced more on-target efforts - and the Dutch master is confident his squad can repeat the feat here.

Reading nullified the league's second-top scorers Fulham over two legs in the semi-finals thanks to a masterful effort from Player of the Season Ali Ab-Habsi but captain Paul McShane remains banned and left-back Jordan Obita is a major doubt for Monday.

Stam must decide whether to adopt a conservative approach and persist with playing five at the back or potentially open up a little more with a four-man defence. Either way, Roy Beerens, Garath McCleary and Liam Kelly are all pushing for starts and inclusion.

Match Odds

It's dubbed the most valuable match in world football - promotion to the Premier League, and access to its vat of television money, will boost the winners' coffers by at least £170m. But the magnitude of the match can often cripple clubs on their big day at Wembley.

Huddersfield 2.44 have been chalked up as market favourites but with both regular season fixtures being decided by a solitary goal for either side, a tight and cagey encounter is forecast with the Draw 3.20 the most obvious solution at the prices on offer.

Town stuttered into the play-offs with a -2 goal difference and just one success in seven (W1-D3-L3) and, despite deservedly edging their two-legged semi-final with Sheffield Wednesday, Wagner's men have struggled for goalscoring inspiration of late.

Reading 3.45 were the most profitable team to back in the Championship this season due to their abominable performance data but the Royals have now W8-D1-L2 following their 2-1 aggregate success against Fulham and do appear a little underrated in a one-off cup clash on neutral turf.

Over/Under 2.5 Goals

With both league matches settled by a singular goal, another nip and tuck affair appears likely on Monday and opposing goals looks our best way to profit.

Since the famous Sunderland 4-4 Charlton play-off final 19 years ago, 11 (61%) of Championship curtain-closers have reached the 90 minute mark with fewer than three goals - 50% of those 18 encounters produced no more than a solitary strike, seven of which arrived since 2004.

Under 1.5 Goals can be backed at 2.80 and certainly appeals considering Huddersfield have scored just one non-penalty/non own goal in their past six outings whilst six of Reading's last nine goals arrived via set piece situations.

Only three of the past 16 finals have paid out for Both Teams To Score backers, again highlighting the value in opposing goals, but with little wriggle room price-wise, backing a goalless first-half at 2.38 offers value - all four play-off semi-final matches saw this selection prove profitable.

Recommended Bets

Back the draw @ 3.20
Back Under 1.5 Goals @ 2.80
Back 0-0 half-time correct score 2.38

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