The Champions League final will undoubtedly be the biggest clash of the Bank Holiday weekend in terms of viewing figures but in terms of one-off rewards the actual ‘prize money’ available to the winner of Monday’s Championship play-off final is ultimately substantially greater than the nine millions Euros Manchester United or Barcelona will receive for victory on Saturday.
It’s Swansea and Reading that go head-to-head for a share of the Premiership’s riches and it’s hard to separate the pair, Paddy Power rating both at 5/6 to gain promotion. A few other firms believe the Jacks to be slight favourites but chalk them up as 7/4 outsiders in 90 minutes, while Stan James post identical odds against a Royals success in normal time.
In the circumstances, with two evenly matched teams, this could be a tie that goes all the way and Totesport’s 23/10 for the contest to be inconclusive after 90 minutes undoubtedly catches the eye. Subsequently, it might be worth considering a small flutter on the match to go to penalties at 19/4 with Sportingbet. From there it’s obviously 50-50 but punters with a preference can back either team at 11/1 () to triumph from the spot.
Swansea striker Stephen Dobbie has hit a rich vein of form of late, firing four goals in his last four games and that sequence is all the more impressive given that he was unfortunately substituted after a couple of minutes in one of those matches after Jacks defender Neil Taylor received his marching orders in the opening exchanges.
Dobbie has to be considered a threat at Wembley then and could attract cash at 7/1 with Coral to break the deadlock, although Skybet’s 12/5 for the Scot to notch at any time is arguably the better bet.
With so much at stake meanwhile, a tense, nervy opening is likely as the two teams look to avoid early disasters. Subsequently the opening goal could take a while to arrive and Paddy Power make it evens to be struck after the 26th minute.