This weekend sees the three Play Off Finals for the Football League as over 9 months of hard work comes down to one match at Wembley.
First up on Saturday we have the Championship Play Off which sees Hull City take On Sheffield Wednesday.
Described as ‘the richest game in football’ with the new tv rights deal about to come into effect this forthcoming season this game could be worth an estimated £230 million for the winners.
Hull will feel they deserve to be in the final. They were never out of the top 4 all season, and topped the table for the month of January. They comprehensively beat fifth placed Derby 3-0 in the first leg of the semi-final play off, before a nervy 2-0 reverse at home in the second saw them scrape across the line.
After an slow start to the season the Owls improved and have occupied a play off spot since mid January, and for all they finished a full 15 points behind third placed Brighton they advanced past them in the play off semi-finals thanks to a 2-0 home victory and a 1-1 away draw.
Hull will be looking towards 22 goal top scorer Abel Hernandez, whilst Wednesday will look to the partnership of Fernando Forestieri and Gary Hooper for goals.
Both previous matches this season have finished all square (1-1 and 0-0) so it really is close to call. Hull are looking to bounce back just one season after being relegated, whereas Sheff Wed haven’t been in the top flight for 16 years.
The following day (Sunday) we see the League One Play Off Final, in which Barnsley take on Millwall.
Barnsley’s rise into the play offs has been quite remarkable. In mid-December they were rock bottom of the league, however they then went on to lose on 3 of their next 24 games and secured the final play off spot on goal difference. Not bad considering they only have a caretaker manager in charge in the form of Paul Heckingbottom. In the semi-finals they blew away Walsall (whom they finished 10 points behind) 6-1 over the two legs.
Millwall similarly started the season in poor form, and found themselves at the wrong end of the table, however after a good period they entered the play off spots in mid-january and held never fell back out of it. In their semi the saw off Bradford 4-2 on aggregate.
The Tykes top marksman in 22-goal Sam Winnall, with Millwall’s looking towards Lee Gregory and Steve Morison.
Both matches earlier in the season ended with victories for Barnsley (3-2, and 2-1).
The final match takes place on Bank Holiday Monday as Plymouth Argyle take on Wimbledon in the League Two Play Off Final.
Plymouth were actually in an automatic promotion spot until March when they slipped into the play offs. They came through the much fancied Portsmouth to get to the final, 3-2 on aggregate.
AFC Wimbledon spot in the play offs is one of a feel good story. For a club that didn’t even exist 15 years ago, the phoenix club that rose from the ashes of the original Premiership team that relocated to Milton Keynes, it has been a remarkable rise. Finishing in the final play off spot, like the previous two divisions the team (Accrington Stanley) that just missed out final automatic promotion spot was beaten by the team that finished may points behind them. Wimbledon won 3-2 on aggregate.
Plymouth’s top scorers are Jake Jervis and Graham Carey, with Wimbledon’s being Lyle Taylor. It would also be remiss of us not to mention the beast that is Wimbledon’s Adebayo Akenfenwa.
The two league games between them saw honours even with Plymouth winning to at Wimbledon on the opening day of the season, and then Wimbledon winning 2-1 in mid-April.
For further information please head on over to the Football League's official website.