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George Pitts looks ahead to tonight's UEFA Nations League action, with three selections from some important matches.

Get all the football gossip from the National Papers2

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Betting tips: Sky Bet League One play-off final - Rotherham v Shrewsbury

Dean Henderson will be hopeful of more celebrations at full-time on Sunday
Dean Henderson will be hopeful of more celebrations at full-time on Sunday

Sky Bet League One takes centre stage on Sunday when Rotherham meet Shrewsbury. Tom Carnduff has 12/5, 7/2 and 18/1 best bets.


Rotherham v Shrewsbury recommended bets

2pts Shrewsbury Town to win at 12/5

1pt Shaun Whalley to score anytime at 7/2

1pt Jon Nolan to score from outside the area at 18/1

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Rotherham United v Shrewsbury Town (Sky Bet League One play-off final, Sky Sports Main Event, 1500 BST)

Sunday sees the turn of Rotherham and Shrewsbury to descend on Wembley with both sides looking for promotion to England's second tier.

Rotherham will be hopeful of bouncing straight back into the Sky Bet Championship, whereas Shrewsbury are 90 minutes away from completing a fairytale season having been 6/4 favourites for relegation in August.

I would be looking towards the Shropshire outfit as winners here and I think the 12/5 price available on them winning seems a tad overpriced.

Understandably, Rotherham are the 7/5 favourites, but Shrewsbury have continued to defy the odds this season and bounced back from poor end of season form with two victories over Charlton in their play-off semi-final.

They have a great record away from home as well, picking up 41 points from 23 games on the road, the third best of any side in League One.

Shrewsbury are a side who pride themselves on a strong defensive record, just 16 of their 48 league games this season seeing three or more goals, the lowest amount of anyone in the division.

It may be below even money, but the 3/4 price on there being under 2.5 goals seems likely given Shrewsbury's track record.

Add in the fact that Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst (below) has warned people not to expect a thriller. He told the Shropshire Star: "How many really, really good finals do you remember of late?

"Nerves clearly play a part as well. Maybe it’s players don’t take risks, play safe, just boot it in the crowd so they haven’t cost a goal."

In all honesty, whilst the Championship may have the star names and the money involved taking the headlines, I am probably looking forward to the League One final the most for a number of reasons.

Shrewsbury manager Paul Hurst after the 1-0 win at Charlton in the first leg


Opta facts

  • Shrewsbury are featuring in their third Football League play-off final – they lost their previous two, both in League Two in 2006-07 and 2008-09.
  • Rotherham are also set to play their third play-off final – they lost in League Two to Dagenham & Redbridge in 2009-10 but won on penalties in League One against Leyton Orient in 2013-14 under Steve Evans.
  • In six of the last seven play-off finals in the third tier between the sides finishing third and fourth, the side finishing fourth has been promoted, although the exception was the most recent clash (Preston 4-0 Swindon, 2015).
  • Rotherham were winless in 11 consecutive matches in all competitions against Shrewsbury between 2008 and 2013, but have since won two of their last three (L1).
  • The Shrews have played four matches at Wembley and lost all four, including the Football League Trophy final this season. The only team to lose more often on every visit to Wembley are Brentford (five defeats in five matches).
  • Should Rotherham win promotion, it will be the first time since 2006-07 that three relegated teams from one league will have been promoted the next season in the Football League – Hartlepool, Swindon and Walsall were relegated from League One in 2005-06 and promoted from League Two in 2006-07.
  • Rotherham’s only victory from three visits to Wembley (D1 L1) was in April 1996 when they beat Shrewsbury in the Football League Trophy final, with current Shrews boss Paul Hurst playing for the Millers that day.
  • Joe Newell has been involved in 16 goals for the Millers in all competitions this season (8 goals, 8 assists), scoring twice and assisting twice in his last five appearances.
  • Shaun Whalley – who assisted Carlton Morris’ winner in the second leg against Charlton – has been involved in more League One goals (including play-offs) for the Shrews than any other player this season (20, 8 goals and 12 assists).
  • Paul Hurst has managed two previous play-off finals at Wembley, doing so as Grimsby manager in the Conference – they lost on penalties to Bristol Rovers in May 2015 before returning in May 2016, winning 3-1 against Forest Green.

For Salop, there is a real feel good vibe around the club - the unfancied group of players close to pulling off the impossible, despite constant doubts from many throughout the season.

They have even experienced disappointment at the national stadium once already this season, it's a story that in all honesty wouldn't look too out of place in a Hollywood production - see Moneyball or Miracle.

On the opposite side is Rotherham, and it is really pleasing to see Paul Warne (below) do so well with the club in his first full season in charge.

Rotherham manager Paul Warne

They have even had to adjust to losing Kieffer Moore, who enjoyed a great first half of the season before departing to join Barnsley.

Hurst may be a Rotherham legend, making over 400 appearances during a 15-year spell at the club, but he will be more eager to see his current side in the Sky Bet Championship next season.

One player who he has really brought the best out of, and one I've really enjoyed watching this season, is Shaun Whalley. The winger has 11 goals and 15 assists this season and there's no doubt that he is a key part of this team.

Stefan Payne is the club's top scorer with one more, but Hurst opted to play Carlton Morris in both semi-finals so I'd avoid backing either striker on the basis that they may see limited minutes.

Whalley seems a great price at 7/2 to strike anytime on Sunday given his track record this season.

If you are after a bigger priced selection, then I think there is real value in the 18/1 available on Jon Nolan to score from outside the area.

The midfielder is Town's third top scorer this season with ten, showing that he knows where the goal is.

It's not just that, add in the fact that his last three goals have come from outside the area, so it may actually be worth taking the 18/1 available as opposed to the 3/1 price on him scoring anytime.

Wembley may not be historically a happy hunting ground for Salop, but they have a man in Hurst who does know what it takes in the play-offs.

The Shrewsbury supporters renamed a street 'Paul Hurst Way' because of his efforts so far, and you'd imagine he'll get freedom of the town if he can guide them to the Championship.

Score prediction: Rotherham 0-2 Shrewsbury (Sky Bet odds: 14/1)

Best bet: Shrewsbury Town to win in 90 minutes at 12/5

Alternative bet: Shaun Whalley to score anytime at 7/2


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Odds correct at 1445 BST (24/05/18)

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Most Read Football

We look ahead to the latest round of matches in the Nations League1

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George Pitts looks ahead to tonight's UEFA Nations League action, with three selections from some important matches.

Get all the football gossip from the National Papers2

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Football Tips

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