Best Odds: 3/1
A trip to Wembley is just 90 minutes, or potentially 120 away for Fulham or Derby County. Tonight, the two sides will clash as the Cottagers attempt to overcome the 1-0 deficit which was set by the Rams during the first leg at Pride Park. While Fulham have certainly had the better form in the second half of the season, Derby seem to be hitting their stride at just the right time.
Fulham must be kicking themselves right now, knowing that they missed the chance to go up automatically – as they find themselves on the verge of elimination from the playoffs yet again. The Cottagers have an extremely talented line-up and are more than capable of turning things around, but it’d require a big, big effort in order to seal their place at Wembley.
Sheyi Ojo could return from injury after six games out.
Derby’s flirtation with the Premier League has been ongoing for the better part of four years now, ever since they narrowly missed out in the Championship playoff final against Queens Park Rangers. It seems as if this year they’re finding the right balance throughout their squad, but the memories of all those dropped points throughout the season could come back to haunt them.
Ikechi Anya is tipped to start but Marcus Olsson will be out for months through a knee injury.
Factors to Consider
- The last second-tier team to win the playoffs after a semi-final first leg defeat was Bolton in 1995.
- Cameron Jerome has five goals in his last four for Derby.
- Fulham have never won a Football League playoff game.
- Aleksandar Mitrovic has been involved in seven of Fulham’s past 12 league goals at home.
- The Cottagers haven’t lost at home in the league since October.
Fulham are going to throw everything they’ve got at Derby, but it just feels like they’ve got too much experience and momentum. While we were hilariously wrong in the first leg with a similar prediction, we’re going to stick with it and say it’ll end 1-1 with Derby progressing 2-1 on aggregate.
Best Odds: 3/1
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