IT’S BEEN called the richest game in football, with over £200 million at stake for the winners.
But for Huddersfield and Reading, the Championship play-off final on Monday is the last chance after a long, gruelling season to reach the promised land of the Premier League.
It’s also a clash of two styles.
Reading are a rugged and efficient side built in the image of manager Jaap Stam – despite being uneasy on the eye at times, they’ve found a winning formula that kept them in the play-off places for most of the season.
Huddersfield, on the other hand, are a free-flowing side full of goals, where Jurgen Klopp protégée David Wagner has taken everything he knows from the Liverpool boss to West Yorkshire.
The Championship final tends to be a cagey affair, with two of the last three finals finishing 1-0 – which would suit Reading down to the ground.
The Royals wore down Fulham to get this far, and have scored just one goal in three of their last four to grind out ugly, but vital wins.
Momentum is everything in the play-offs and Reading have it, losing just twice in their last 12 – Huddersfield have won only once in their last seven.
They took penalties over two nervy legs against Sheffield Wednesday to reach Wembley, but I think it could be a bridge too far for Wagner’s men.
I’m backing Reading to sneak a narrow victory at 12/5 with 188BET.
Both teams have struggled to score goals in recent weeks, and I can’t see that changing with the stakes so high on Monday.
It’ll be cagey, with both teams wary of what a mistake could cost them.
I suggest selling total goals at 2.15 with Sporting Index.
Reading win - 12/5 (188BET)
Sell total goals - 2.15 (Sporting Index)