League One Play-Off semi-finals – Monday 6th May – Live on Sky Sports
The push for the third promotion place to get into the Championship next season continues on Bank Holiday Monday. Yeovil Town host Sheffield United at 1:30pm before Brentford play Swindon Town at 4:30pm.
Both ties are quite nicely poised. At Huish Park, Yeovil will have to overturn a slender 1-0 deficit if they are to make the final at Wembley on May 19th. Callum McFadzean scored his first goal in senior football on Friday evening to give the Blades that advantage and they’ll be looking to hold on to that.
Looking back on the head-to-head, there isn’t too much to examine as they have only ever faced each other five times. But Sheffield United have had the upper hand in those encounters, winning four. In the two clashes they have played at Huish Park, Yeovil have failed to find the net with the Blades winning 1-0 on both occasions.
They both have play-off experience, but none of it has resulted in promotion. In the Glovers case, in 2007 they beat Nottingham Forest 5-4 on aggregate in the semi-finals, overturning a 2-0 first leg deficit. They were then beaten 2-0 to Blackpool in the final at Wembley.
Sheffield United have failed to go up on all six previous play-off campaigns, including last season when they reached the final but played out a goalless draw with Huddersfield at Wembley, and lost on penalties.
If Yeovil are to overturn the first leg deficit, Paddy Madden will likely be a key figure. The striker, who signed from Carlisle United this season, has 22 goals to his name so far this season. Unsurprisingly, he is favourite to open the scoring at 5/1 (BetVictor).
At Griffin Park, Brentford and Swindon are tied together at 1-1 after the first leg. Massimo Luongo opened the scoring for the Robins before an injury-time penalty from Kevin O’Connor levelled matters. What might have been if he had taken one a week earlier?
The Bees were agonisingly close to automatic promotion on the final day of the regular season. A missed penalty by Marcello Trotta in the 95th minute against Doncaster cost Brentford that path into the league above. They bounced back from that disappointment well though on Saturday and showed great spirit to get a draw from the first leg of this tie.
Swindon are after back-to-back promotions after leaping from League Two as champions last season. Kevin McDonald took over from Paolo di Canio in February and has seen his side slide from 1st to 6th.
Brentford are favourites to win the game and progress to Wembley at 5/4 (Coral) and I think are good value at that price. They have a good strike-force in Clayton Donaldson and Bradley Wright-Phillips and I think they’ll prove to be the difference between the sides.