Tome Love (@TomLove_18) previews Saturday's League Two play-off final between Newport County and Tranmere Rovers and provides us with his best bets by analysing team news, potential line ups, head to head, key stats, facts and more.
Newport County v Tranmere Rovers League Two Play-Off Final Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 25 /05/19
- Time: 15:00pm
- Venue: Wembley Stadium
- Channel: SkySports Football
The first of the three EFL play-off finals see League Two competitors Newport and Tranmere face off with the eventual victor earning a place in League One for the 19/20 campaign.
Both came through tight, low scoring semi-finals with Newport winning their penalty shootout at Mansfield and Tranmere holding off Forest Green in the second leg to go through 1-0 on aggregate.
The Super White Army were helped no end by their opponents being down to ten men in both games but they were comfortable and kept chances at a premium for FGR. It's no surprise given their excellent defensive record this season with two man mountains in Manny Monthe and Steve McNulty at the heart of it, although youngster Sid Nelson has come in recently to add a bit more agility. Full backs Jake Caprice and Liam Ridehalgh have too offered energy, discipline and a good delivery.
Luke McCullough has done an excellent job shielding the back four but he's ruled out with injury for this one. Tranmere will try keep it compact in midfield still though with match winner Ollie Banks, the experienced duo of Jay Harris and David Perkins adding knowhow in the middle of the park will be to their benefit too. Wingers Connor Jennings and Walsall loanee Kieron Morris will he charged with supporting top scorer James Norwood up top.
Newport tend to operate with a 3-5-2 formation which allows them to play the dangerous partnership of Irishman Padraig Amond and Jamille Matt at the head of the pitch. However it doesn't mean they're outnumbered in the centre of the pitch with gaffer Michael Flynn utilising the likes of Matt Dolan, Josh Sheehan, Joss Labadie and utility man Scott Bennett to make it difficult for opposition to break through.
That's been shown in Newport's recent record, they're now unbeaten in twelve games, a remarkable run. It would therefore be hard to oppose them here.
Newport have no fresh injury concerns.
Tranmere are without the aforementioned McCullough as well as Mark Ellis, Evan Gumbs and Ishmael Miller.
Potential Newport Starting XI: Day, Wilmott, Poole, O'Brien, Demetriou, Butler, Dolan, Sheehan, Bennett, Amond, Matt.
Potential Tranmere Starting XI: Davies, Caprice, Monthe, Nelson, Ridehalgh, Perkins, Harris, Banks, Morris, Jennings, Norwood.
Key Stats & Facts
- The four league meetings between these two have seen just three goals scored.
- Three of those four have been draws, the other being a Newport win.
- Both sides have seen the majority of their games go under 2.5 goals.
- Tranmere have been to Wembley for play off finals the last two seasons whereas this is Newport's fourth visit since 2012.
- Newport – 2/1
- Draw – 21/10
- Tranmere – 17/10
As seen, the bookies have this as a tight fixture with Tranmere getting slight favouritism in the market. One thing I am expecting is a dearth of goalmouth action, this could be played mainly in midfield with both sides not wanting to give anything away.
There were just three goals over the four play-off semi's which highlights the strong defences and cagey nature of these fixtures. I'd also want to get Newport onside too given they've not lost in 12 games therefore the 5/6 on Bet365's BetBuilder for Newport double and chance and under 4 goals looks a solid play. It's landed in each of their last six games and ten of their last 12.
I could easily see this going the distance too, both will give it their all and they're very well matched. William Hill have boosted the game to be won on penalties from 5/1 to 13/2 and that looks like a tremendous price in my eyes.