Bradford City v Millwall Betting Tips: Wembley set for a tight affair
Football writer Thomas Giles previews the upcoming League One play-off final between Bradford City and Millwall.
Both of these two sides have been regulars at Wembley in the last few years and so both know what to expect from the iconic stadium. Additionally, they actually met in the play-off semi-finals last year, with Millwall coming out on top before losing in the final to Barnsley.
Bradford did a thoroughly professional job on Fleetwood Town in the semi-finals to get this far, not conceding in either game. In fact, they were in good form going into these play-offs with just one loss in their last six regular season games, winning three of them.
I mentioned previously that the Bantams did not concede in either of their play-off semi-final matches and this excellent defence has been commonplace all season with a clean sheet ratio of 35% in 46 games and just 43 goals conceded in the regular season – the third-best in the league. They may not be the best going forward, statistically the worst in the top ten, however, their excellent back-line means they pick up results.
This will be Bradford’s third Wembley appearance in four years after appearing twice in 2013 for the League Cup final and then the League Two play-off final. They may have lost the former but the fact they won the latter stands them in good stead for this match.
Despite coming into the play-offs with two losses from their last three regular season matches, Millwall managed to come out on top in their semi-final against Scunthorpe United after a goalless draw at The Den before beating them 3-2 in a high-scoring affair in the second leg at Scunthorpe.
Much like Bradford, Neil Harris’s side are a team who are better at defending than they are attacking. Although they may have conceded a few since early March, it is well worth remembering that Millwall went on a run which saw them keep 11 clean sheets in 12 matches from January to February whilst they also managed to stop Scunthorpe, the division’s second-highest goalscorers, from finding the back of the net in that first semi-final. Harris’s men have actually been quite devastating in the final third of late though with seven goals in their last three outings.
The Lions of course lost last year’s play-off final and will be keen to take revenge here. That heartbreak at Wembley could be something that really spurs them on.
Finals of any kind are always nervous affairs and I think this match will be quite cagey. With neither team being particularly great up front, I doubt we will see much happen in the first half as both teams look to test the waters. ‘0-0 at Half-Time’, at 31/20, is the best bet.
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