Play Offs 2013

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Whilst domestic football felt like it was coming to a close when Manchester United wrapped up the title back in April, the final curtain will actually come down at Wembley on Monday as Crystal Palace and Watford battle in what has been billed as the £120m game for a place in the Premier League.

Gianfranco Zola and Ian Holloway are two of the most likeable managers you could ask for and with all due respect to Steve Bruce, most neutrals wouldn’t have minded seeing both of these characters back in the top flight at his expense.

‘Ollie’ as the Palace boss is affectionately known, has of course been here before. He took Blackpool up for their season in the big time through the play-offs having finished 6th in the 2009/10 campaign. Following the victory he told the waiting media “every dog has its day, and today is woof day! Today I just want to bark.” It’s that kind of quote that will have most journalists backing Palace. Last season he took Blackpool back to the play-offs but failed to get them promoted before moving to Palace in November 2012.

Gianfranco Zola is respected as one of the nicest men in football and few would begrudge him a place in the top flight. Having been placed in charge of West Ham in September 2008, Zola could be pleased with the efforts of his first season, where the Hammers ended 9th. However a poor following season, which saw his side finish 17th meant he was shown the door at the end of the season. His opening campaign at Watford has largely been a success, but with automatic promotion in their grasp until the dying minutes of their final game, there was a feeling they may have blown their chance.

As much as we’d love to see Ollie back in the top flight, we feel Watford will be too strong on the day. The pace and power of their forward line should be too much for the Eagles. We’re backing Watford to go up at 1.75 on Betfair.

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