Brentford v Yeovil Town
Sunday, 1.30pm, Live on Sky Sports 2
BRENTFORD are the favourites heading to Wembley for the League One showpiece at 2.24. Considering they only finished two points ahead of Yeovil in the regular season one could argue the price would be short enough to lay.
The Glovers are the outsiders at 3.50, with the draw trading at roughly the same odds.
Town have won just two of their last five games while Brentford are without a victory in their last five (excluding penalties).
I wasn't even thinking of the playoffs final during the dying embers of the season for Brentford. Marcello Trotta's 94th-minute missed penalty against Doncaster forced the Londoners into the two-legged affair with Swindon which again involved some late drama.
The Bees' back four played well in the first-leg at Swindon (1-1) but conceded late in the return game (3-3) before securing their path to the final with a penalty shoot-out win.
Yeovil had a bruising pair of encounters with Sheffield United but were good enough to come through courtesy of a 2-0 win at Huish Park.
Gary Johnson's side hold the advantage over Brentford from the regular season with healthy wins in August (3-1) and February (3-0). Yeovil's Ed Upson scored a spectacular long-range effort in the Huish Park clash, a game in which the Londoners were the better team for the first 35 minutes.
On the plus side, Uwe Rosler's outfit had plenty of clear cut chances – sadly taking none of them.
Brentford striker Clayton Donaldson has netted three times in his last five appearances and trades at 5.70 to score first at Wembley. Only Paddy Madden (23) fired more goals in League One than Donaldson (20). Madden trades at around 6.0 but hasn't found the net in his last six appearances according to Opta Stats.
Ed Upson trades at 18.50 and would be interesting with his long-range prowess, while Brentford's Kevin O'Connor (who scored the late penalty against Swindon in the semi-finals), should be available to back at around 17.0 as the designated spot-kick taker.
The fact Yeovil scored six goals against the Bees during the season has been ignored by the layers, who are predicting (and quite rightly) a tight game.
Unders is the favourite at 1.84 but if this is too short for some, it's always worth dabbling in the 0-0 correct scoreline up to half-time to garner a profit. Five of Yeovil's last six affairs have seen one of the sides failing to score.
However, the Opta Stat I am most interested in states that five of the last six League One playoff finals have seen one or both of the teams failing to score.
According to Opta Stats, each of Brentford's last three matches has featured a goal scored after the 90th minute while six of their last seven games has seen a goal after 83 minutes. The Londoners also picked up an astonishing 23 points from losing positions in League One during the season (a division high).
To add a further boost to the potential in-play backing, the Bees scored 20 goals in the final fifteen minutes of matches during the campaign, which was a joint high with none other than Yeovil.
This is my most favoured market. I anticipate a tight game between two fairly evenly-matched sides. Both have good forwards but likewise both defend well.
Brentford would be the more comfortable in possession, which could suit Yeovil's press and run style. However, using this method of backing both teams to win on penalties at fairly big prices only needs a small stake.
Lay Brentford @ 2.24
Back Yeovil penalties @ 12.0
Back Brentford penalties @12