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Friday, May 21, 2010

Championship Play Off Final: Preview

Championship Play Off Final
Blackpool vs. Cardiff City
Saturday May 22, 15:00, Wembley

So it all comes down to this. The £40 million match. The most profitable game in football. And it will include DJ Campbell. Or does he prefer to be known as Dudley these days?

I'll try my best to hide my disgust and disappointment but I can't help but feel as if the Championship has been slightly cheated with this final.

A team who are in serious amounts of debt as they have continued to spend way beyond their means against a team who are unable to fill a stadium that has a smaller capacity than my father's shed.

Not that I'm bitter at them doing better than Forest.

Still, lets take nothing away from either team. They deserve to be in this final. Why? Because they are in the final. That means they were good enough to progress to the final. Do you follow?

On to the game. Blackpool vs. Cardiff may not get most people's pulses racing, but this is going to be a very exciting games between two teams who know how to find the back of the net.

I'm predicting full throttle action with goals a-plenty. Between them, these two teams have racked up 147 goals in the league.

Blackpool progressed to the final by beating Nottingham Forest 6-4 on aggregate, with four of those goals coming at the City Ground.

The previously mentioned Campbell managed to bag a hat-trick on that occasion so he will certainly be a player to watch out for but the man Cardiff most need to be aware of is Charlie Adam.

The lad spells goals - if you're dyslexic - and is one of the reasons Ian Holloway's Tangerines managed to get into the play-offs.

He's scored 17 league goals - including the play-offs - so far and with Denzel Junior (DJ) Campbell hitting a hat-trick in the semi-finals, they don't look short up top.

Ian Holloway will be leading his boys out and don't be too surprised if he turns up in a tangerine suit. The former QPR and Leicester boss is a bit of a joker but he knows how to produce a good team.

Only Leicester fans can have genuine complaints about his managerial quality and I can imagine a few of the Premier League higher-ups are concerned about his potential presence in the top-flight.

Both games between Blackpool and Cardiff this season have ended 1-1

I have a little bit of a soft spot for Blackpool, despite having Lakes constantly bleating about how disgusting and disgraceful they are. However, I have absolutely no time for Cardiff.

I don't like their chairman, I don't like their manager, I don't like their players and I don't like their fans. I'm not a fan of their financial policy and am fearful that in a few years time, Cardiff City may be in serious trouble as a result of today's splurges.

However, these splurges have produced goals. They have two of the top six scorers in the division — Peter Whittingham with 22 goals and Michael Chopra on 17 goals, and they have the surprisingly impressive Bothroyd chipping in as well.

They'll be tough to contain but they do have a tendency to bottle it on the grand stage. A month or so ago, it looked likely that Cardiff were going to drop out of the play-offs altogether.

No-one seemed surprised because they have developed a reputation of leaving before the party has finished. However, they put a tasty run together and now find themselves in pole position for promotion.

I don't expect a cagey affair and, as already mentioned, I'm expecting goals.

It may not be the high profile final fans were hoping for but Blackpool and Cardiff fans alike won't give two hoots about them. It's got passion, it's got drama and it will have excitement.

Whoever goes up is going to come straight back down with a black eye and a sore arse but they don't want to mess up this opportunity because it could very well be their last chance for a while to make it into the big time.

Turls' Prediction:
Cardiff City 3 Blackpool 2


  1. Look at the, correct score prediction, but the wrong way round. Kudos for predicting a five-goal thriller.

    It was a great game, thoroughly enjoyable and I'm glad, sorry Lakes, to see Blackpool promoted.