League One Play-Off Final Betting Preview: Rotherham United v Shrewsbury Town

League One Play-Off Final Betting Preview: Rotherham United v Shrewsbury Town

Rotherham United v Shrewsbury Town – 27/05/18

Rotherham and Shrewsbury battle it out in the League One play-off final this Sunday, with the winner gaining entry into the second tier of English football next season. Shrewsbury have never in their history reached the Championship, while Rotherham were demoted from it last season after an abysmal campaign that they’ll be keen to forget heading into this fixture at Wembley.

Rotherham United

The Millers head into this match-up as favourites, but can expect an incredibly hard fought battle with Shrewsbury this weekend. Paul Warne’s men occupied the top six for the majority of the campaign this season, often flirting with the idea of automatic promotion, but missed out on a top two finish thanks to the dominance of both Blackburn and Wigan.

Rotherham endured an extremely strong finish to their campaign, losing just one of their final eight games. The South Yorkshire club were also unbelievably solid at home during the second half of the season, losing just one game in 2018. They won their last three league games at the New York Stadium, before last week comfortably seeing off Scunthorpe 2-0 in the second leg of their play-off tie with the Iron to make it through to this weekend’s final.

After losing top goalscorer Kieffer Moore to Barnsley in January, many thought Rotherham’s chances of promotion were over. Moore, who bagged 13 goals for the Millers up until his departure at the start of the year was thought to be a pivotal figure in Rotherham’s quest for a return to the Championship. However, since the 25-year-old left for Oakwell they haven’t really missed him at all, with players like David Ball stepping up in the goals department, scoring 9 goals in all competitions for his side.

Eleven days on from conceding a late goal in the first leg of their play-off clash with Scunthorpe, Rotherham made light work of dispatching the Iron in the return leg on home soil. In a pretty one sided contest at the New York Stadium last Wednesday, Paul Warne’s men ran out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Richard Wood & Will Vaulks. That win will do their confidence the world of good ahead of Sunday’s final, but will it be enough to see them reinstated into the Championship just a season after dropping out of the division?

Shrewsbury Town

Shrewsbury have been the surprise package in League One this season. Nobody would have expected them to be challenging for the title, however they’ve been consistent occupants of the top three for the whole campaign. The Shropshire outfit even topped the division for large parts of the season and will perhaps feel unlucky that they didn’t get promoted automatically, however the fact that they have reached the play-off final is still a huge achievement that they can be immensely proud of.

There will be no love lost here for Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst. The 43-year-old spent the whole of his playing career at Rotherham United, turning out over 400 times for the Millers over a 15 year period at Millmoor, but his focus will now solely be on his current club as he hopes to guide them to the Championship for the first time in their history.

Hurst, who was brought in back in October of 2016 has done a tremendous job at New Meadow; Shrewsbury were in the relegation zone when he first took over, battling the drop to League Two, but now find themselves in with a real chance of promotion with a strong performance on Sunday afternoon.

Both sides go into this game on a level playing field after winning a game each in the league this season. Goals from Jon Nolan & Stefan Payne secured a 2-1 victory for Shrewsbury when these two sides met at the New York Stadium back in November, but it was a different story when the teams met at New Meadow in February, as a Richard Wood goal just before half-time clinched a slender 1-0 win for Rotherham. It’s hard to say who will come out on top in this exhilarating clash at Wembley as both sides have a solid defensive record, but we think Rotherham may just narrowly edge it due to their experience in the play-offs.

Two up, Two down

Recommended Bets:

Rotherham to win (7/5 with SkyBet) – BET HERE

Winning margin: 1 goal (5/4 with Betway) – BET HERE