Whilst a lot of the news of League two has surrounded sadder stories this season, with Leyton Orient having been run into the ground over the past two seasons to the point of relegation and fans conducting pitch invasion protests, its not all doom and gloom in England’s fourth tier, as we have the Playoff final coming on Sunday the 28th.
So, who are the finalists? Exeter City and Blackpool. Both teams secured dramatic qualifications to the final in their respective semi-final victories against Carlisle and Luton, with both games resulting in 6-5 aggregate victories. In this sense, we should expect there to be goals in this one, but with the League two teams taking to Wembley, the difference in pitch size and in atmosphere should prove for a nervy affair and it’s likely as always to start off relatively cagey.
If either side can full settle and adapt their play then they are certain to give the other a good run for their money. In terms of what they will be playing for, its much the same whilst different. Blackpool have has a torrid time in English football in recent years, finding themselves in League two this season despite having been in the Premier League in the 2010/11 season. As a result they will be hoping to bounce back against a fair few years of downturn. Exeter on the other hand have also seen a slight level of downturn, having been relegated last season, and so too will be hoping to bounce straight back up to League One.
In terms of who’s the favourites, it’s much too hard to predict this one. Not only will the impact of the match and the venue play a part in the unpredictability, but the over the course of the 46 game season, just one point separates the two sides, finishing on 71 and 70 points, with just a difference of 4 goal difference between them.
In this sense, if you’re looking for a proper football league clash, this one should be a good one.