How the Bookies See it:
- Match Winner: Huddersfield 6/4, Sheff Wednesday 19/10, Draw 11/5 - William Hill
- First Goalscorer: Nahki Wells (HUD) 5/1, Elias Kachunga (HUD) 11/2, Fernando Forestieri (WED) 11/2 - Bet365
- To Qualify: Sheff Wednesday 4/5, Huddersfield 10/11 - Sky Bet
- Huddersfield Town may have been buzzing around the top six for most of the season, but they enter the play-offs in poor form. The Terriers picked up just three wins in their last ten games of the regular season, a run that saw them miss out on automatic promotion and drop to fifth with a negative goal difference. However, manager David Wagner did opt to rest a number of his first team players as Town failed to beat Birmingham and Cardiff, a decision that could see his squad enter their next fixture feeling refreshed and hungry for success.
- Sheffield Wednesday recorded six victories in their last seven games and even managed to leapfrog Huddersfield in the table. The Owls established an excellent defensive line throughout the season and conceded just 45 goals, bettered only by Newcastle and Brighton. However, the Hillsborough side were outscored by almost half of the division, including relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest; this is an issue that could ultimately cost them dearly in the battle for promotion.
David Wagner believes his side enter the play-offs as the ‘underdog’ for promotion following a poor late season showing that saw them slip 12 points behind Brighton and 13 points adrift of champions Newcastle. But the German is urging the Terriers to embrace their lowly status and surprise the footballing world by securing promotion via the play-offs. Town, despite being favoured by the bookies to excel on home soil, certainly aren’t fancied to make the final, but at evens with William Hill, one or two punters might have a flutter.
If Huddersfield are to reach Wembley, they will need Nahki Wells and Elias Kachunga to demonstrate their superb goal scoring exploits. Between them, the two strikers have notched 22 of Town’s 56 league goals this season and could prove a handful for Wednesday’s backline. At 5/1 with Sky Bet, either player looks good value to grab the first goal, while a goal at anytime for former Bradford City frontman Wells in a win for the Terriers looks tempting at 14/5.
Sheffield Wednesday will certainly enter this two-legged tie full of confidence following a superb run of form that saw Carlos Carvalhal’s men pick up maximum points in all but two of their games in April and May. The Owls will also fancy their chances of progression after doing the double over Huddersfield this season. Wednesday secured a 1-0 away win in October before sinking the Terriers 2-0 in the reverse fixture just three months later. A repeat of either scoreline in this game could be worth considering, with 1-0 to Wednesday coming in at 8/1 and 2-0 fetching odds of 16/1, both with Paddy Power.
In order to triumph, Wednesday will need to rely on their defensive stability and Fernando Forestieri’s keen eye for goal. The ex-Watford hitman was the Owls’ main threat in front of goal last season and already has 12 to hit name this campaign. An opening goal for the Argentine-born striker in an away win seems well priced at 9/1 with William Hill, while two or more goals for the 27-year-old also looks enticing at 12/1 with Bet365.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip: Fernando Forestieri to score first and Sheffield Wednesday to win 9/1 - William Hill
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.