Fulham and Aston Villa finished third and fourth respectively with each getting over 80 points, so the Championship play-off final taking place between them is the match that neutrals would have been hoping for, and there should be some real quality on show this Saturday. The winners, of course, will gain the third and final promotion berth to the Premier League, joining Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cardiff City in the top-flight of English football.
Villa were in the Premier League as recently as 2015/16, though they have improved markedly from the that season and Steve Bruce has built a strong side that are now unrecognisable.
The Villans beat Middlesbrough in the semi-finals after a 1-0 win was followed up by a nervy goalless draw in the second-leg. Consecutive clean sheets for Sam Johnstone – on loan from Manchester United – will give Bruce belief that his side have enough to see off Fulham at Wembley despite their opponents boasting the second best attacking record in the regular season.
Fulham have not been a Premier League team since they were relegated in 2014, though in Slaviša Jokanović they have finally found a manager able to maximise the potential of the playing squad. The Londoners lost eight times all season which is a record that was only bettered by Wolves. As they were just two points off Cardiff, it was the final day defeat to Birmingham City that meant that they were not automatically promoted – in addition their 13 draws were too many to mount a challenge to the imperious champions.
Given the attacking talent that will be on show from both teams at Wembley, Tipbet rate neither keeping a clean sheet as a likely outcome, and this is available at 1.90. When it comes to the winner, Fulham are slightly out ahead and are at 2.20 to claim the win in normal time, or 1.55 to advance to the Premier League outright.
The sides each won their home fixtures in the league against each other and therefore it is genuinely difficult to pick a winner. Aston Villa are 2.25 to be victorious or 3.50 to be leading at the end of 90 minutes and there are plenty other markets to bet on once you have registered for a Tipbet account.