The Football League play-offs are scheduled later this month, and here are the dates when the semi-final ties and finals will be held.
Brentford vs Bournemouth:
First leg: Brentford Community Stadium – May 17
Second leg: Vitality Stadium – May 22
Barnsley vs Swansea City:
First leg: Oakwell Stadium – May 17
Second leg: Liberty Stadium – May 22
Final: Wembley Stadium – May 29
Prediction: Brentford and Swansea to make the final. Both teams have had solid defensive records, but the former have stood out in the final third. They managed 19 goals more than the Swans in the regular season.
Thomas Frank’s side should end their seven-decade-long wait for top-flight football. They missed out to Fulham in the play-off final last term, but should seal the job this time around.
League One semi-finals:
Oxford United vs Blackpool:
First leg: Kassam Stadium – May 18
Second leg: Bloomfield Road Stadium – May 21
Lincoln City vs Sunderland:
First leg: LNER Stadium – May 19
Second leg: Stadium of Light – May 22
Final: Wembley Stadium – May 30
Prediction: Blackpool and Sunderland to make the final. The former ended the regular season with four successive wins. They have the momentum on their side, and should return to the Championship after a six-year wait.
League Two semi-finals:
Newport County vs Forest Green Rovers:
First leg: Rodney Parade – May 18
Second leg: The New Lawn – May 23
Tranmere Rovers vs Morecambe:
First leg: Prenton Park – May 20
Second leg: Globe Arena – May 23
Final: Wembley Stadium – May 31
Prediction: Morecambe finished the highest among the quartet, but their record against the top-seven has been poor with only 11 points from a possible 36.
We still fancy them to make it to the final, where they could face knock-out experts Newport. They beat Watford and Brighton in the cup competitions earlier this term, and should be favourites for promotion.
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