Southend v Wycombe (Saturday, 17:30, Sky Sports 1)
The Chairboys have won on three of their four previous visits to Wembley
Southend on the other hand lost their most recent trip to Wembley in the 2013 Football League Trophy final. It is difficult to understand why Phil Brown’s side are favourites. They finished lower in the regular season, were far less convincing in their semi-final – winning neither leg then requiring extra time to progress past Stevenage whereas Wycombe won home and away against Plymouth – and are winless in four clashes with these opponents.
Recommended Bet: Back Wycombe to gain promotion @ [2.1]
Preston v Swindon (Sunday, 17:30, Sky Sports 1)
Swindon have won three of their four appearances in a play-off final
The Robins’ status as play-off final specialists is in direct contrast to Preston’s reputation as the ultimate chokers, having competed nine times before – including in three finals – without ever achieving promotion at the end of it. Swindon have won two of their past three meetings with North End and, though they lost the last, Opta note that they haven’t suffered successive defeats against Simon Grayson’s men since May 1977. There have been a dozen scraps between the pair since.
Recommended Bet: Back Swindon to gain promotion @ [2.38]
Middlesbrough v Norwich (Monday, 15:00, Sky Sports 1)
Including the play-offs, Middlesbrough have kept more clean sheets than any other Championship team this season (22)
Five of those clean sheets have arrived since the start of April alone (a nine-game sequence) and two were earned against Norwich, who they beat 4-0 at the Riverside in November then 1-0 at Carrow Road last month. In fact, Opta reveal that Middlesbrough’s strangehold over the Canaries has lasted far longer than just this term: they have ended up empty-handed in only one of their latest 12 collisions in all competitions. Should Boro triumph, they will be the sixth third-placed club in a decade to secure a spot in the Premier League.
Recommended Bet: Back Middlesbrough to keep a clean sheet @ [3.25]