Aston Villa v Fulham - Championship Playoff Final


English Football League

The final Premier League position for next season will be decided at 5pm on Saturday when Aston Villa and Fulham go head to head, in what promises to be a fantastic game of football. Both teams are very experienced when it comes to playing in the Premier League, and will be desperate to get back in the big time, knowing just one game stands in their way.

Fulham go into the final as favourites based on their superior league performance. However, Villa performed very well in the playoff semi-finals and cannot be discounted here. While Villa knew for the final few games that the playoffs would be their only hope of promotion this season, Fulham had a chance to secure automatic promotion until the very final day of the season. They have already felt disappointment once this season, and it will be interesting to see how their players react to the possibility of that happening again. Can they overcome their fear and make the Premier League, or do they worry disappointment may happen again and fail to perform here?

The Cottagers had to overcome a deficit during their semi-final against Derby after losing the first leg away from home 1-0. They returned home just days later to win the second leg 2-0 and book their place at Wembley. After the disappointment of missing out on automatic promotion, this was impressive from Fulham. Villa did their best work during the first leg of their game against Middlesbrough, winning away from home 1-0 and defending that when they returned to Villa Park for the second leg.

There doesn’t appear to be much between these two teams and a lot will come down to how the players can handle the occasion on the day. Aston Villa have more big game experience and they don’t have the disappointment of missing out on automatic promotion hanging over them. Ladbrokes have Aston Villa priced up at 23/10 to win the game in 90 minutes, which is a nice price in what looks to be a very even game. They have the experience to carry them through this test, and they can be the ones heading back to the Premier League, much to the delight of their fans. After showing they are capable of doing a job defensively in both semi-final legs, Villa will keep this game tight and look to take a chance when they get one.

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