How the Bookies See it:
- Match Winner: Huddersfield 11/8, Draw 21/10, Reading 12/5 - William HIll
- First Goalscorer: Elias Kachunga (HUD) 5/1, Nahki Wells (HUD) 5/1, Collin Quaner (HUD) 6/1 - Sky Bet
- To Lift the Trophy: Huddersfield 8/11, Reading 11/10 - Bet365
- Huddersfield Town could not find a way past Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday in over 210 minutes of play-off semi-final action, meaning the Terriers instead had to rely on spot kicks to see them through. David Wagner’s men are now without a win in 90 minutes since a 2-0 victory over Wolves in the final week of April, but their penalty prowess at Hillsborough could be enough to inspire the players ahead of their date with destiny at Wembley.
- Reading enter this game as the form team, having picked up three wins from their last four games. One of those victories was enough to overcome play-off favourites Fulham in the sides’ encounter at the Madejski Stadium, thanks to a penalty from free-scoring Frenchman Yann Kermorgant. The Royals will be hoping that the 35-year-old can add to his haul of 19 goals this term and spark wild celebrations across Berkshire.
After finishing just three places above the Championship relegation zone last season, Huddersfield’s turnaround this campaign has been nothing short of remarkable. Despite their underdog status this year, the Terriers are favourites to win promotion, with Bet365 offering odds of 8/11 on the team from Yorkshire securing top flight football for the first time since 1972. A major factor in Town’s rise has been the input of manager David Wagner. The charismatic German has crafted a team who believe that they can defy the odds and take on all comers, and with this mentality at their disposal, Huddersfield could take some beating. A win in 90 minutes is priced at 11/8 with William Hill, while a win in which top scorer Elias Kachunga nets the opening goal looks very promising at 13/2.
Reading were another team that struggled last season. The Royals finished 17th under previous boss Brian McDermott, an outcome that saw the club’s hierarchy ring in the changes by giving former Manchester United and Lazio defender Jaap Stam his first taste of management. After guiding the Berkshire club to a third-placed finish in his first year in charge, the Dutchman will be hoping his side can continue their journey together by securing promotion. If Reading are to seal the deal (11/10 with Bet365), they’ll be hoping that Yann Kermorgant and Lewis Grabban can grab the goals that will silence the Terriers’ faithful. Kermorgant is 11/4 with Bet365 to strike anytime, while a bet on Grabban to net at any point in a win for the Royals looks enticing at 11/2.
Reading finished the season two places ahead of fifth-placed Huddersfield, a factor that could be worth considering ahead of the game. Since the play-offs began, 33.3 percent of the teams that have finished third in the division have gone on to claim a place in the Premier League the following season, whereas only 29.2 percent of teams in Town’s position have achieved the same feat. However, much like those figures, expect very little to separate these two teams in what will no doubt be a tight game with limited chances throughout. A 1-1 draw looks tempting at 11/2 (Paddy Power), while a win for either side after extra time (9/2 with Sky Bet) or penalties (5/1) could also be worth considering.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip: Either team to win on penalties 5/1 - Sky Bet
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.