Huddersfield – Nottingham Predictions
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Huddersfield 0-1 Nottingham
Date: 29.05.2022 | Match at: 16:30 | League: ENGLAND: CHAMPIONSHIP – PLAY OFFS – FINAL | Tip: Over 1.5 Goals | Odds: 1.42 | Bookie: Unibet.
Huddersfield – Nottingham Match Preview
- The 2021/22 EFL season comes to a close at Wembley with the play-off final, an encounter often described as the ‘richest game in football’. The winners of this contest stand to have their TV revenue boosted by at least a factor of ten, something that Huddersfield Town know all about having won the 2016/17 edition on penalties following a goalless 120 minutes against Reading.
- Despite Huddersfield’s relatively recent experience of the play-offs and top-flight football, Carlos Corberán’s ‘Terriers’ enter this as betting outsiders. The prices are something of a curiosity though, given that Huddersfield finished above Nottingham Forest in the league after ending the regular season on a seven-game unbeaten run (W6, D1). They’ve proven to be underdogs with a bite this term though, avoiding defeat in 64% of Championship games in which they started as an outsider (W9, D7, L9).
- It’s déjà vu for Forest boss Steve Cooper, who may see this game as an opportunity to avenge last year’s 2-0 play-off final defeat when he was in charge of Swansea. Since his arrival here, however, Cooper has transformed Forest from relegation candidates into promotion contenders by posting an impressive 85% unbeaten rate in Championship games since his September appointment (W23, D11, L6).
- While some will tell you that the play-offs are a lottery, the recent numbers don’t back up that claim. This is the fifth ‘3rd vs 4th’ final across the last eight years, but discouragingly for Forest, the fourth-placed side was promoted just once (Fulham 2020). However, having already improved upon their last two play-off appearances which ended in semi-final exits, fans of the ‘Tricky Trees’ may believe this is their time to end a wretched 14-season stint in England’s second tier.
- Key battle: Three of Jordan Rhodes’ four Huddersfield goals this season came across his last five appearances, including the goal that sent them to Wembley! He must beat Forest stopper Brice Samba, who saved three of five penalties in the shootout that sent his side to the final. Samba may need to get studying yet again given that one of the only two Championship play-off finals to go to penalties this century involved Huddersfield.
- Hot stat: Seven of the last nine Championship play-off finals produced under 2.5 goals in 90 minutes.