Aston Villa v Fulham Betting Tips – 26th May 2018
With all due respect to fans of Derby and Middlesbrough, the Championship playoff final is being contested by the right two teams this season.
Fulham and Aston Villa finished in third and fourth place respectively at the end of the regular season and therefore deserved a shot of returning to the Premier League. They were both also the best teams throughout their playoff semi-finals and are set to provide a fitting finale to another draining but entertaining Championship campaign.
Will Aston Villa’s Experience Make the Difference?
Fulham travelled to St Andrews for their final match of the season against Birmingham City on the back of a 23 game unbeaten run. Unfortunately for Slavisa Jokanović’s men, that run ended win a 3-1 defeat.
That defeat was made all the more painful when the news came in that Cardiff had drawn 0-0 with Reading. That result would have been enough for Fulham to claim second spot had they won at St Andrews but it was not to be.
Jokanović did a good job of keeping his players’ heads up for their playoff semi-final against Derby. They dominated the first leg despite losing 1-0 and then booked their place in the Wembley final with a 2-0 win at Craven Cottage.
In contrast to Fulham, Aston Villa’s hopes of winning promotion automatically were over long before the final day of the season. Rather than be disappointed with their league performance, Villa’s position allowed Steve Bruce and his team to put all their efforts into the playoffs.
They were certainly well prepared for their tie against Middlesbrough and progressed to the final thanks to a 1-0 away win and a 0-0 home draw.
Those matches lacked the drama of the second leg at Craven Cottage but they did show that this Villa side are able to utilise their experience.
Influential players like John Terry, Robert Snodgrass and Mile Jedinak helped to drag Aston Villa to Wembley and it’s their experience which gives the Villains the edge over Fulham.
Fulham have some hugely talented players but they froze when it mattered at St Andrews and you’d have to be brave to support them with your playoff final betting. So, take the odds of 12/5 that Betway are offering on Aston Villa winning Saturday afternoon’s match.
Nerves to Keep a Lid on the Early Action
Steve Bruce wasn’t exactly welcomed with open arms when he was appointed the Aston Villa manager but the fans are generally respectful of the job he’s done. Like many of his most important players, Bruce has a wealth of experience and will ensure his players are very well drilled at Wembley.
Nerves will play a part in the performance levels of both teams but Aston Villa are a solid defensive unit who will ensure the game does not go off at 100mph. That makes a bet on under 1.5 first half goals look sensible at 3/10 with Betfred.
It could also pay to have a bet on the second half having more goals than the first at 5/4 with Paddy Power.
Grealish Ready to be the Hero
The playoff final means a huge amount to every player taking part but it is especially important for Jack Grealish.
The 22-year-old is an Aston Villa fan and joined the club at the age of six. He’s also comeback from an horrific injury which threatened to end his career so he now fully appreciates the opportunity he has to be a hero to the Villa faithful.
We’ve seen some incredible fairy tales at Wembley so our last playoff final betting tip is on Grealish scoring the game’s last goal at 12/1 with Coral.