George Pitts looks ahead to the second play-off semi-final first leg in Sky Bet League Two as Tranmere host Forest Green.
Tranmere Rovers v Forest Green Rovers
- 1945 kick-off on Friday, May 10
- Prenton Park
These two met in the National League play-off final in 2017 and Tranmere will be looking to get their own back as they come up against Forest Green.
Both sides should be applauded for how they have adapted to life in the Football League with this now being a play-off game in League Two just two years later.
While Tranmere were floating around the seventh spot earlier in the campaign, a strong second-half of the season saw them realistically qualify with games to spare. Form in recent weeks hasn't been the best, but that may be down to them knowing what their outcome would have been.
They made it in the end, just, but Forest Green had to settle for one point in their past two games so neither side is holding a form advantage there.
The first leg will be the key for who comes out on top in this tie. Tranmere hold a strong home record with 47 points gained from a possible 69 and they can get on top here.
Considering their strengths and form, it could be a cagey affair to start with. Prenton Park averaged two goals this season with over 2.5 goals in only 30% of their home games. Backing the hosts to win with under 2.5 total goals gets you a nice 7/2 price.
Prediction: Tranmere 2-0 Forest Green (Sky Bet odds: 9/1)
- Forest Green won both league games against Tranmere this season, a 3-1 victory at home in October and a 1-0 win away in April.
- Tranmere and Forest Green have met each other in the play-offs once before, Forest Green winning the 2017 National League play-off final to gain promotion to the Football League for the first time.
- No side kept more clean sheets in League Two during the 2018-19 campaign than Tranmere (19, also Colchester United).
- Forest Green have won five of their last eight league games (D1 L2), although they failed to win both of their final two games of the league season proper (D1 L1).
- The team finishing sixth has won promotion to League One just twice in the last 11 seasons, although Coventry did so last season.
- Tranmere are participating in their seventh Football League play-off campaign, and their first since 2005. Only once have Rovers won promotion via this method, winning the third tier play-offs in 1991.
- The team finishing fifth has won the play-offs just once in the last nine League Two campaigns, with Southend United doing so in 2014-15.
- Tranmere striker James Norwood has scored 29 league goals this season; the joint-most of any player in the English top four tiers (level with Teemu Pukki).