Aston Villa v Fulham: Tight Market for Championship Play Off Final
On Saturday afternoon at Wembley, one of these two teams will be back in the elite tier of English football while the other will reflect and then look ahead to another long campaign back in the Championship.
It’s known as the richest match in the British game with Premier League millions awaiting the winner and we should be in for a tense 90 minutes or more as Aston Villa face Fulham for the right to claim 2017/18’s final promotion slot. It’s another busy day for betting too so who are the bookies favouring ahead of this Wembley showdown?
It’s no great surprise to see a very tight market at this late stage of the season. Fulham enjoyed a great surge in form to make the play offs and Slavisa Jokanovic’s side are the slight favourites here at best odds of 7/5 with Sky Bet while the draw is the second option at a top price of 9/4 with Black Type.
Meanwhile, it’s back to Sky Bet for the best numbers on a Villa win at 5/2. Remember, those are the figures for the result in 90 minutes while in the To Lift the Trophy market, things change quite considerably.
Taking into account the possibility of any extra time / penalties, Fulham become a short favourite at best odds of 8/11 with Sky Bet while Aston Villa go out to 23/18 with 188Bet. The bookmakers are therefore hinting at a drawn game with Fulham going through following an extra period and that’s an option that will get plenty of support.
We’ll make our decision shortly after we’ve looked at the key players in this contest.
Individual Goal Scorers
Fulham players lead the way in the first goalscorer betting with Aleksandar Mitrovic favourite to find the net first at best odds of 4/1 with Boylesports. Following on is his teammate Ryan Sessegnon at 25/4 with SportPesa and either of these two men are worthy contenders for the first goal.
Behind the top two names, Rui Fonte is on offer at a top price of 4/1 with Boylesports and Black Type while Jonathan Kodjia will be a good option for many at odds of 27/4 with SportPesa.
Moving through midfield and beyond, the name of Jack Grealish has an interesting price of 12/1 with William Hill and Sun Bets next to it. The Villa man is far from being a prolific scorer but he was unlucky not to find the net against Middlesbrough in the semi final with Boro keeper Darren Randolph keeping him out.
If you don’t like the look of Grealish in the first goal market you could take him in the anytime betting where his price dips to 21/4 with SportPesa.
Mitrovic is an obvious favourite here and the Fulham man has been quite prolific since making his loan move from Newcastle – scoring 12 league goals in 17 games. Meanwhile, Sessegnon has been just as impressive from the left flank and after finding the target against Fulham in the semi final, we’re avoiding the anytime market and going straight in to back the teenager to score first in this tie.
Remember that once again, all of the prices quoted above are for 90 minutes only, excluding any extra time / penalties.
Other Side Bets
In their last four games, Aston Villa have scored just twice and while they did manage to beat Ipswich Town by four goals to nil prior to that run, they are clearly not in the best attacking form right now. Fulham’s scoring stats are better with five in their last four but based on those overall figures I think we are looking at a typical cagey cup final with neither team prepared to lose.
With that in mind, our next confirmed tip is for Under 2.5 goals in 90 minutes which is on offer at at top price of 8/13 with William Hill.
In the head to head meetings between these sides in the regular season, both Fulham and Aston Villa secured one win apiece. Both teams won their home games quite comfortably so there are no real clues as to our match winner there but from the start of 2018, Fulham really found another gear and they are the most impressive team based on current form.
Villa battled all season and will be tough to break down so it should come down to just one moment of brilliance. In Ryan Sessegnon and Aleksandar Mitrovic, Fulham have the real game changers so we’re getting behind the Cottagers to come through in a tight game, in normal time, to reach the promised land of the Premier League.