We have arrived at the final match in this season’s League One fixture list as Charlton and Sunderland go head-to-head in the play-off final. A place back in the Championship beckons with the winner of this straight shoot-out at Wembley promoted to the second tier of English football where the cash prizes rise significantly. Here are our League One Play-Off betting tips.
Luton held on to end the season as League One champions, despite a wobble near the end, and they were followed up by Barnsley in second. They finished with the consistency needed to gain automatic promotion, avoiding the lottery of play-off football where an entire season of hard work rests on the outcome of this 90-minute match.
Dramatic Day at Wembley
If Charlton and Sunderland can’t be separated in normal time, we will enjoy the drama of extra-time, with penalties scheduled if needed and the fact we have two evenly matched sides in the final means that’s a real possibility. Who will hold on to gain promotion to the Championship – one of the most competitive divisions in Europe – and who will have their dreams scuppered at the final hurdle? It’s going to be great fun finding out on another dramatic day at the national stadium.
The arena will be packed to the rafters to enjoy this match and those who can’t make it along to the home of English football can enjoy the game courtesy of the live TV coverage offered by Sky Sports. The action gets underway at 3.00pm on Sunday and bookmakers offer an extensive list of interesting betting markets to help ramp up the excitement levels. Watching this match will be an enjoyable experience for sports fans, but as punters, making money from it is our number one aim.
Have your say on the match winner, method of victory, first goal scorer, both teams to score, total goals, cards, corners, half-time/full-time, Asian handicap and much more. The extended weekend and lack of football going on across Europe means this match will attract a bumper audience. Our team of sports betting experts and football lovers preview the day, offering thoughts, opinions and betting tips on how to approach this one. We also tell you which bookmakers are offering market best price to ensure you get more for your stake money.
Little Between the Sides
This will be the third meeting of these sides this season and the previous two tell us to expect a close contest on Sunday afternoon. The clubs first met on league action back in August of last year at the Stadium of Light when Sunderland battled to a 2-1 win in front of their own fans. Lyle Taylor put the Londoners ahead that day, bulging the net on 10 minutes to silence the majority of those in attendance but Josh Maja equalised deep into the second-half. It looked like a draw was the most likely outcome but there was to be one final twist in the tale as Lynden Gooch scored a winner on 90 minutes to snatch a last gasp victory for Sunderland.
We saw something similar at The Valley when the rivals crossed swords again in January of this year, the pair fighting out a tense 1-1 finish on an afternoon where neither side wanted to give anything up. Again, it was the away team who fired first, Luke O’Nein scoring the opener inside two minutes of the match to give The Black Cats a dream start.
They were able to hold on to that advantage until the 50th minute when Reece James suffered the misfortune of knocking the ball into his own net under pressure. Both sides had chances to claim the 2-1 win but neither held their nerve in the final third and the stats show us a share was a fair result.
Both Teams to Score
Looking back further at the head-to-head involving Charlton and Sunderland we see the Londoners have beaten their opponents 28 times in competitive action, with Sunderland winning 27 and 22 games marked in the book as a draw. Both teams have scored in eight of the last nine matches involving the pair and that tells us we should get set for more goals in another tight affair.
Both teams to score again on Sunday is 17/20 – best price at William Hill – with Ladbrokes giving even money about no on the same coupon. Half of the last eight games have ended in a draw and another level finish will net you the profits from 5/2 – top price at Bet365.
When looking at the form of this fixture it also caught our eye that Sunderland have beaten Charlton just once in their last eight meetings, with the spare being that narrow 2-1 win earlier this season when they needed a 90th minute goal to get across the line. That eight-game run is made up of four draws and three wins for Charlton, so the Addicks will line-up with confidence on side, believing they can spoil the party in their own city. Those after a big price interest in this match can try their luck on Charlton win and both teams to score at 9/2 – market best price offered by Bet365.
How the Bookies Have it
Everything points to this being a competitive contest and that is reflected in the pre-match betting with bookmakers doing their best to stay out of picking a winner. The money men know how tight this match should be, so have offered prices and are happy to stand back and let punters make their selections. The Charlton win is favourite but there’s nothing in it with Unibet offering a market best price of 17/10. That’s worth careful consideration.
Sunderland are determined this will be the season they begin the fightback, and everyone connected to the club will know the importance of winning this match, avoiding spending another season in the third tier of English football. Unibet, again, offer market best price and have the Sunderland win in 90 minutes at 17/10.