Play-off Specialists Set for Wembley Glory

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Blackpool can make it a record six promotions gained via the play-offs

Neil Critchley hopes to lead Blackpool to Wembley glory on Sunday.

Play-off specialists Blackpool will be looking to draw on past experience when they take on Lincoln City in Sunday’s League One play-off final at Wembley.

The Seasiders are the most successful team in play-off history, having earned promotion via that route on five previous occasions, while, along with Huddersfield Town, they are the only club to have won the play-offs in all three divisions of the Football League.

Lincoln also have recent big-game experience to draw upon, as they have earned two promotions, won the EFL Trophy and reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup over the last four seasons.

In-form Pool to Edge Close Contest

Blackpool are not only play-off specialists, but they are also the form team heading into Sunday’s final, as they have only lost two of their last 24 games, a run that dates back to mid-February, while they comfortably disposed of Oxford United in the semi-finals.

Lincoln’s form has not been as impressive, as they won just one of their final five matches of the regular season to slip out of the automatic promotion reckoning, although they did show their resilience to overcome a second-leg comeback from Sunderland to book their place at Wembley.

The Imps also took four points from their two meetings with Blackpool during the regular season, but it is hard to see beyond Neil Critchley’s in-form side at Wembley given their recent impressive run.

Blackpool are priced at 7/5 to win in 90 minutes, although it would be no surprise to see this match go to extra-time and the Tangerines are available at 9/1 to earn promotion after the additional 30 minutes, while they can be backed to triumph on penalties at 10/1.

Goals on the Cards at Wembley

Play-off finals can sometimes be cagey affairs, but there tends to be plenty of excitement when Blackpool and Lincoln clash, with the two meetings between the sides during the regular season having yielded nine goals.

Scoring has certainly not been an issue for either side of late, with Blackpool having netted in six successive matches, while Lincoln have notched in 12 of their previous 13.

There were also a total of 14 goals scored during their respective play-off semi-final ties and it would be no surprise to see similar entertainment on Sunday, with over 2.5 goals in the match looking an intriguing option at 23/20.

Recent history certainly suggests that goals could be on the agenda, as seven of the last eight League One play-off finals have seen over 2.5 goals scored.

Yates Could be Blackpool’s Hero

There will be plenty of goalscorers on show at Wembley, with Blackpool’s Ellis Simms having notched twice against Oxford during the semi-finals, while Tom Hopper scored in both legs of Lincoln’s tie with Sunderland, taking him into double figures for the season.

However, the man who is perhaps most likely to notch on Sunday is Blackpool forward Jerry Yates, who has struck 21 goals so far this season, a tally that could only be bettered in League One by Peterborough United’s Jonson Clarke-Harris and Charlie Wyke of Sunderland.

Yates is also a man in form, having scored three goals and provided three assists across his last four appearances and he can be backed at 7/5 to notch at anytime at Wembley.

*All odds correct at time of writing

A fountain of knowledge on football, Tom offers a particular in-depth expertise in EFL and European leagues.

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