Published: 2022-05-29 By: The Guru
Sunday will host one of football's richest matches as Huddersfield locks horns with Nottingham Forest to secure a spot in the English Premier League next season. The Championship playoff final guarantees one of these teams a return to England’s top flight.
In 2017, Huddersfield Town was promoted to the Premier League following a penalty shoot-out against Reading in the Championship playoff final. However, the Terriers were relegated back to the second division in 2019. Carlos Corberan’s side was not looking good at the beginning of the season and was expected to finish the campaign in the relegation zone. The Terriers took everyone by surprise with a third-place finish missing automatic promotion by seven points.
Nottingham Forest has not set foot in the Premier League for about 23 years. The sleeping giants are former European Cup Champions, having won back-to-back titles in 1979 and 1980. The Reds managed a fourth-place finish two points behind Huddersfield Town. It is fitting to say both teams deserve their spot in the Wembley final.
In the playoff semifinal, Huddersfield Town cruised past Luton Town with a 2-1 win on aggregate. Nottingham Forest seemed to struggle against Sheffield United as they won 3-2 on penalties after ending the two legs of the semifinal 3-3 on aggregate. Forest’s goalkeeper Brice Samba saw off Sheffield United with a couple of brilliant saves.
Both teams have had more than enough time to rest. Injuries and fatigue should not be an issue in Wembley on Sunday evening. Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper is one game away from reviving the sleeping giants in his first season at the wheel. Steve took over as the club manager following an awful start this season. He might be the one to steer the sleeping giants back to England’s top flight.
Inspecting their head-to-head matches, the two teams shared the six points available in the two legs of the Championship campaign this season. Both won while playing away from home. However, Nottingham Forest got the better of the Terriers in the FA Cup with a 2-1 win. The two teams have faced each other 27 times, winning 11 matches each and drawing five. They have been even in their last six meetings splitting the wins three aside. Nottingham Forest has outscored the Terriers 7-6 in the last six matches, with the referees dishing out eighteen yellow cards and one red card in the six games.
Both teams were on top of their game this season, but Nottingham was arguably the better team winning two out of the three matches across all competitions. We expect the Reds to make a return to the Premier League next season with a 2-0 win on Sunday evening. They conceded 40 goals, the league's second least after Bournemouth with 39. Their defence seems stronger than the Terriers as their rivals conceded 47 goals. Huddersfield scored 64 goals while Forest scored 73. Who do you think will make it to the EPL next season?
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