Championship play off Semi-Final action tomorrow (15/05/2015) at the Riverside Stadium (19:45 kick off UK Time). The winner of this round will be rewarded with a trip to Wembley, which is something that all players will want! To give themselves a chance to play in the Premier League is great motivation I’m sure! Also financially, the play off final is very valuable for the owners, paying close to £60m for the winners.
Middlesbrough were one of my favorite teams to gain automatic promotion early stages of the season, however, there were unlucky with some of the results running up to the end of the season. Aitor Karanka’s team head into this game with a slight advantage, they won the first leg 2-1 away at Brentford thanks to a 93rd minute goal from Amorebieta, I recall this goal well as I had tipped/backed under 2.5 goals in this game so I wasn’t best pleased!!
Middlesbrough ended the season with the best home form, they managed to get 50 points from their 23 home league games (winning 15, drawing 5 and losing just 3). Also, their defensive record was great at the Riverside. Out of their 23 home games Middlesbrough conceded just 12 goals! So in theory a 0-0 draw could take Boro through. However, I think they will be out to seal the deal in style. Middlesbrough’s last 13 homes games have seen 11 wins, 1 draw and just 1 defeat.
Team news for Boro is that ex England International Woodgate could return, also, leading scorer and player of the year Bamford will also be available for the game! This is a great boost for Boro!
Brentford manager Warburton took charge in 2013 and since then he’s done an amazing job! I’m sure the Brentford fans would have been very happy at the start of the season if you would have said you’d finish in the play off places!! Brentford have had a great season and head into this game in decent form, Brentford’s away form has also been good all season, their last 3 away games has seen 1 win, 1 draw and 1 defeat. They have been inconsistent on the road lately.
Brentford were lucky to reach the play offs, they finished in 5th place and remained in the play offs on the last day due to a slightly better goal difference. If Brentford don’t win the game, manager Warburton will have managed his last game for the club! I think this will also be on the players minds and I think all involved may be already on their holidays mentally! Team news for Brentford is good, no major concerns and Warburton is likely to go with the same XI that played the first leg.
I think a Middlesbrough win looks well priced @ 2.00 with Pinnacle! Therefore, I’ll be backing that! Good luck all.
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