Play-Off Final preview: Championship
The 2019 Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final is here, and what a cracker we have in store, as Aston Villa take on Derby County. It’s time to Step Up.
SETTING THE SCENE
Aston Villa and Derby County will contest this season’s Championship Play-Off Final on Monday 27 May (kick-off 3:00pm) with both sides looking to secure their place in the Premier League for the upcoming 2019/20 campaign.
The Final promises to be a spectacle on the field but, off the field, both sets of supporters are set to descend on the Wembley Stadium in their numbers, with the respective sides selling out their ticket allocation.
The Villans are competing in their second Play-Off Final in as many years, following on from their 1-0 defeat to Fulham last season, while the Rams are back at Wembley for first time since 2014, when they also lost by a single goal to Queens Park Rangers.
Looking back on Villa’s last five games in the Championship (W2, D1, L2), Dean Smith will be hoping that the form book goes out of the window on Play-Off Final day. Last time out, they suffered a 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion in their Semi-Final second leg, eventually going on to win on penalties at the Hawthorns after a 2-2 draw on aggregate.
Derby, on the other hand, have been on a slightly better run of form (W3, D1, L1) which included one of the results not just of their season, but the whole of the Sky Bet Championship campaign.
A dramatic 4-2 victory over Leeds United at Elland Road secured their place at Wembley as they overturned a 1-0 first leg defeat on home soil, the first team in history to do so.
Tammy Abraham and Harry Wilson have been among the goals for their the two sides this season; the loan products from Chelsea and Liverpool respectively have netted 44 goals between them going into the Final.
This will be the 141st meeting between the two Clubs with Aston Villa holding the lion’s share of wins to date, and Derby only winning one in their last nine attempts.
Dean Smith’s side have ran riot in both games against the Rams this season, winning by an aggregate scoreline of 7-0. Midfielder Conor Hourihane has enjoyed playing against Frank Lampard’s men, scoring three goals in two games.
Overall, since the first recorded game back in November 1885, the Villans have recorded 71 wins, there have been 44 Derby wins and 25 draws.
FOLLOW THE FINAL
The 2019 Championship Play-Off will be shown live on Sky Sports. Live build-up and updates for the game will also be provided via @SkyBetChamp on Twitter and ‘The EFL’ on Facebook.
Those heading to Wembley can read a host of exclusive interviews and features in the matchday programme, including those with the likes of Villa’s top scorer Abraham, Semi-Final hero Jed Steer, and Derby’s captain Richard Keogh and star midfielder Mason Mount.
There are also pieces with a couple of cult heroes, a tactical view of the game with a high-profile pundit and views from both sides of the press box.
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Referee: Paul Tierney
Assistants: Ian Hussin and Adrian Holmes
Fourth official: Chris Kavanagh
Reserve assistant referee: Dan Robathan