Tom Carnduff has a 4/1 recommendation for the second Sky Bet Championship semi-final second leg clash this evening.
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Leeds v Derby
The other tie also sees one team hold a slim advantage, although Leeds have the bonus of playing the second leg at home.
Kemar Roofe's goal was the difference as they won 1-0 at Pride Park. It was a game filled with controversy, particularly when Derby were awarded a penalty before it was overturned. In the end, it looked like the officials had made the right decision.
One other thing from the first leg is how there were a few incidents that could have been red cards on another day. Fikayo Tomori, Mateusz Klich and Tom Huddlestone all could have been given their marching orders.
It's worth keeping an eye on the odds for a red card when they become available, based on what we saw in the game on Saturday. Anthony Taylor may have a different view to Craig Pawson if we see a repeat.
Leeds have spoken about avoiding complacency and they'll need to do the same given the attacking threat that Derby possess. Whether Martyn Waghorn recovers remains to be seen, but it could mean a repeat of the first leg where David Nugent starts up front with Harry Wilson and Tom Lawrence looking to play off him.
Roofe was to be the tip to find the net in this one, given his record so far and the fact he would have retained the striker position in favour of Patrick Bamford - who returns from suspension.
Roofe, however, has been ruled out through injury and that has made Leeds' task that little bit tougher given how important he's been in the big games.
Instead, it's worth considering Mateusz Klich at a price of 4/1. The midfielder has proven his attacking qualities with ten goals and has started every single league game.
Score prediction: Leeds 1-0 Derby (Sky Bet odds: 13/2)
Best bet: Mateusz Klich to score anytime at 4/1
- Leeds have beaten Derby County three times this season – they’ve never beaten a side four times in a single season in their history.
- 20% of Derby’s entire defeats in all competitions this season have been against Leeds United (three out of 15).
- None of the previous 17 teams to lose the first leg of a second-tier play-off semi-final at home have progressed to the final.
- Including play-offs, no player has scored more Championship goals against an opponent this season than Leeds striker Kemar Roofe has against Derby (four goals).
- Leeds have lost just two of their last 45 home matches in May in all competitions (W25 D18 L2), although one of those was in the League One play-offs in 2008 (1-2 vs Carlisle United).
- Derby have won just one of their last 10 away matches in all competitions (W1 D5 L4).
- The team finishing third in the Championship haven’t lost the home leg of the play-off semi-final since 2009-10, when Nottingham Forest lost 3-4 to Blackpool – third-place teams have won seven of their eight home legs since then (W7 D1 L0).
- Across three Championship matches against Leeds this season, Derby have managed just 26 shots, six shots on target and one goal; in the home leg, the Rams failed to attempt an effort on target and had just two shots in the second half.
West Brom v Aston Villa
Despite the score seeing Aston Villa just one goal ahead, it feels like West Brom have a mountain to climb if they are to reach Wembley.
A defensive display wasn't enough to secure victory at Villa Park, even after taking the lead, and matters were made worse when Dwight Gayle was shown a second yellow card in the closing minutes.
He'll miss this game and the final should they make it. Against a team of Villa's quality, the Baggies have given themselves a mountain to climb.
West Brom boss James Shan is remaining confident though and has backed Jay Rodriguez to step up in a more central role. He usually partners Gayle up front, and came close to scoring after hitting the bar on Saturday.
"Dwight is a massive player for us but Jay has been very productive and hasn’t played an awful lot of minutes this season in central areas," said Shan after defeat in first leg.
"So it gives Jay the opportunity to get a more central role, and he can be a big threat from there.
"And then it presents opportunities for other people. We’ve got a big squad and a squad of high quality and the players play with a mentality that they’re waiting for their opportunity."
That last point is an interesting one as there will be an expectation for the wide players and attacking midfielders to play off him.
Matt Phillips should get another start here after fully recovering from injury and the 6/1 available on him having two or more shots on target is a bet worth considering.
He carries an attacking threat anyway, but this game should see more opportunities on goal, particularly if they are chasing the game late on.
Phillips has posted two or more shots on multiple occasions this season and I'd back him to do the same here. It's a general price of 4/1 on a goal anytime, but the stats markets provide that extra value.
Score prediction: West Brom 1-1 Aston Villa (Sky Bet odds: 11/2)
- 16 of the last 18 sides to win the first leg of a Championship play-off semi-final have gone on to progress through to the final, with the only exceptions being Derby County last season (vs Fulham) and Leicester City in 2012/13 (vs Watford).
- The only previous occasion of West Brom losing the first leg of a play-off semi-final came against Swansea City in the third-tier play-offs in 1992-93 (1-2), progressing 3-2 on aggregate courtesy on a 2-0 victory in the second leg at the Hawthorns.
- West Brom have never previously lost the home leg of a play-off tie, beating Swansea 2-0 in the 1992-93 third tier semi-final, drawing with Bolton (2-2) in the 2000-01 second tier semi-final and beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 in the 2006-07 Championship semi-final.
- Aston Villa ended a four-game winless run against West Brom with their 2-1 victory at Villa Park in the first leg – they last won back-to-back matches against the Baggies in all competitions back in March 2015, wining 2-1 in the Premier League and then knocking them out of the FA Cup four days later (2-0).
- West Brom are unbeaten in their last seven games against Aston Villa at the Hawthorns in all competitions (W2 D5), since a 1-2 defeat in the Premier League back in September 2008.
- Aston Villa ended the 2018-19 Championship season with a seven-game unbeaten run on the road (W5 D2), with their last away defeat coming against Brentford in February (1-0).
- West Bromwich Albion will be without their top goalscorer Dwight Gayle following his red card in the first leg. The Baggies have just a 33% win rate without Gayle in all competitions this season (four wins from 12 games), compared to a 54% win rate with him in the side (22 wins from 41 games).
- Tammy Abraham has found the back of the net with four of his last five attempts on target in the Championship (including play-offs), with each of those goals coming against different opposition (Sheffield Wednesday, Bristol City, Bolton and West Brom).