EFL play-offs: Bumper guide | Total Football News
1:36 The Sky Bet play-offs 2018/19 are here, with Wembley and glory awaiting the winners The Sky Bet play-offs 2018/19 are here, with Wembley and glory awaiting the winners The Sky Bet EFL play-offs are here! But who are the favourites? Who is...

EFL play-offs: Bumper guide

1:36 The Sky Bet play-offs 2018/19 are here, with Wembley and glory awaiting the winners

The Sky Bet play-offs 2018/19 are here, with Wembley and glory awaiting the winners

The Sky Bet EFL play-offs are here! But who are the favourites? Who is in form? And how can you watch?

You can find out right here...

How to watch the play-offs on Sky Sports

The play-offs have arrived and you can watch every single game live on Sky Sports Football. Here is how...

Championship

First legs

Aston Villa vs West Brom, Saturday 11, 12.30pm - Live on Sky Sports Football from 12pm

Derby vs Leeds, Saturday 11, 5.15pm - Live on Sky Sports Football from 5pm

Second legs

West Brom vs Aston Villa, Tuesday 14, 8pm - Live on Sky Sports Football from 7.30pm

Leeds vs Derby, Wednesday 15, 7.45pm - Live on Sky Sports Football from 7pm

The history

Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds may have finished the season in miserable form - sitting 16th in the Championship form table after Sunday's shock 3-2 defeat at the hands of relegated Ipswich - but if history is anything to go by, they may earn a reprieve come the end of the play-offs.

Fulham were promoted to the Premier League last season after beating Aston Villa 1-0 at Wembley

Fulham were promoted to the Premier League last season after beating Aston Villa 1-0 at Wembley

Fulham were promoted last season after finishing third, while the same can be said for Norwich (2015), West Ham (2012) and Swansea (2011). Meanwhile, the team to finish in fourth place has won the second tier play-offs in two of the last five seasons (QPR in 2013/14 and Hull City in 2015/16), as many as in the previous 22 campaigns combined (Leicester City in 1993/94 and Charlton in 1997/98).

The team to finish sixth in the Championship has won promotion via the play-offs in just one of the last 13 seasons - Blackpool in 2009/10.

Last 10 Championship play-off winners

Season Team Final league position
2008/09 Burnley 5th
2009/10 Blackpool 6th
2010/11 Swansea 3rd
2011/12 West Ham 3rd
2012/13 Crystal Palace 5th
2013/14 QPR 4th
2014/15 Norwich 3rd
2015/16 Hull 4th
2016/17 Huddersfield 5th
2017/18 Fulham 3rd

The form

Despite losing their final league game last season, Fulham were promoted after suffering just a solitary league defeat in the last seven fixtures of the season, of which they won five. Hull also lost just once across the same period on their way to promotion in 2015/16, while another saving grace for Leeds may be the fact Huddersfield started their play-off campaign in 2016/17 having won just two of their last seven.

Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds are favourites to be promoted from the Championship via the play-offs

Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds are favourites to be promoted from the Championship via the play-offs

Turning attention to this season's play-offs, which get underway on Thursday, it's hard to disregard Aston Villa, based largely on their club-record 10-game winning streak spanning early March to late April. Frank Lampard's Derby held their nerve to take the final top-six berth, after closing the season with a six-game unbeaten run, while West Brom and Leeds - two early favourites for automatic promotion, lost three and four of their final seven games, respectively.

The odds

To win promotion to the Premier League: Leeds (7/4 with Sky Bet), Aston Villa (2/1), West Brom (100/30), Derby (9/2)

0:44 Watch every Football League play-off game live on Sky Sports as Wembley awaits

Watch every Football League play-off game live on Sky Sports as Wembley awaits

League One

First legs

Sunderland vs Portsmouth, Saturday 11, 7.30pm - Live on Sky Sports Football from 7.15pm

Doncaster vs Charlton, Sunday 12, 12.15pm - Live on Sky Sports Football from midday

Second legs

Portsmouth vs Sunderland, Thursday 16, 7.45pm - Live on Sky Sports Football from 7.30pm

Charlton vs Doncaster, Friday 17, 7.45pm - Live on Sky Sports Football from 7.30pm

The history

Look back over the last 10 seasons and there's something of a pattern that has emerged in League One; on three occasions, the team who finished as runners-up the season before has triumphed immediately the season after. It's been the case twice for Millwall (2010, 2017) and also for Huddersfield (2012), while Preston won the play-off final in 2015 having reached the semi-finals the year before.

Rotherham were promoted to the Championship last season after beating Shrewsbury 2-1 at Wembley

Rotherham were promoted to the Championship last season after beating Shrewsbury 2-1 at Wembley

That could bode well for Lee Bowyer's Charlton. Last season, the Addicks were defeated 2-0 on aggregate by eventual runners-up Shrewsbury in the semi-finals, but, having finished third, ahead of both Portsmouth and Sunderland this term, they are buoyed by a run of seven wins from their final eight games.

Last 10 League One play-off winners

Season Team Final league position
2008/09 Scunthorpe 6th
2009/10 Millwall 3rd
2010/11 Peterborough 4th
2011/12 Huddersfield 4th
2012/13 Yeovil 4th
2013/14 Rotherham 4th
2014/15 Preston 3rd
2015/16 Barnsley 6th
2016/17 Millwall 6th
2017/18 Rotherham 4th

The form

In contrast to the Championship, each of the last three teams to win promotion via the play-offs - Rotherham, Millwall and Barnsley - have won their final game of the regular season. Interestingly, just two teams during that time have progressed to the play-offs unbeaten in their final seven fixtures, yet both failed to reach the Wembley showpiece: Scunthorpe in 2017/18 (four wins, three draws) and Bradford in 2015/16 (six wins, one draw).

On that basis, only Charlton and Doncaster are able to continue the pattern this season; both Sunderland and Portsmouth lost last Saturday, with the form of the former a particular worry, seeing as no side in the last three seasons has so much as reached the final without a win in their final three regular season fixtures.

The odds

To win promotion to the Championship: Charlton (9/4 with Sky Bet), Sunderland (9/4), Portsmouth (5/2), Doncaster (3/1)

Lee Bowyer's Charlton are favourites to be promoted from League One via the play-offs

Lee Bowyer's Charlton are favourites to be promoted from League One via the play-offs

League Two

First legs

Newport vs Mansfield, Thursday 7.45pm - Live on Sky Sports Football from 7.30pm

Tranmere vs Forest Green, Friday 7.45pm - Live on Sky Sports Football from 7.30pm

Second legs

Mansfield vs Newport, Sunday 6pm - Live on Sky Sports Football from 5.30pm

Forest Green vs Tranmere, Monday 7.45pm - Live on Sky Sports Football from 7.30pm

The history

In the fourth tier, there could be good news for Newport, who secured the final play-off position on the final day of the season, after securing a 1-1 draw away at Morecambe. In 2016, AFC Wimbledon were promoted after finishing seventh, while Blackpool repeated the feat the following year. In fact, the team finishing seventh has been promoted in a remarkable five of the last 10 seasons.

Coventry were promoted to League One last season after beating Exeter 3-1 at Wembley

Coventry were promoted to League One last season after beating Exeter 3-1 at Wembley

Additionally, though, there could be further disappointment for Mansfield, who lost 1-0 to MK Dons in a clash billed as 'winner takes all'. Paul Tisdale's men were automatically promoted at Stadium:MK, while the Stags had to settle for fourth - a position that has only been occupied by the play-off winners twice in the previous 10 seasons: Bury (2009), Fleetwood (2014).

Last 10 League Two play-off winners

Season Team Final league position
2008/09 Bury 4th
2009/10 Dagenham & Redbridge 7th
2010/11 Stevenage 6th
2011/12 Crewe 7th
2012/13 Bradford 7th
2013/14 Fleetwood 4th
2014/15 Southend 5th
2015/16 AFC Wimbledon 7th
2016/17 Blackpool 7th
2017/18 Coventry 6th

The team finishing fourth has only won promotion to League One in one of the last 10 seasons (Fleetwood 2013/14), while the team finishing sixth has won promotion to League One just twice in the last 11 seasons, though Coventry did so last season.

The form

In the last two seasons, Blackpool and Coventry were promoted to League One, despite having entered the play-offs in the worst form of the four clubs to have reached the end-of-season lottery. Each side suffered three defeats in their last seven fixtures - the same number as Exeter, Luton and Carlisle combined in 2016/17; last season, Exeter, Lincoln and Notts County lost four combined.

Mansfield are favourites to be promoted from League Two via the play-offs

Mansfield are favourites to be promoted from League Two via the play-offs

In 2018/19, Mansfield, arguably, begin in the worst form, having lost their final three games of the season, while Tranmere won on just a single occasion in the final seven games. And even though their play-off berth was only confirmed on the final day of the season, just Newport enter on an unbeaten streak, having not suffered defeat in 10 games, stretching all the way back to 15 March.

The odds

To win promotion to League One: Mansfield (6/4 with Sky Bet), Forest Green (11/4), Tranmere (11/4), Newport (9/2)

How to watch the play-offs on Sky Sports

The play-offs have arrived and you can watch every single game live on Sky Sports Football. Here is how...

When are the play-off finals?

Saturday, May 25

League Two play-off final

Sunday, May 26

League One play-off final

Monday, May 27

Championship play-off final

All the ways to watch...

Sky Sports subscribers can stream games via the Sky Sports app or the Sky Go app.

Non-subscribers can watch through NOW TV. A Sky Sports day pass is available for £8.99, a week pass for £14.99 or a month pass for £33.99. NOW TV can be streamed through a computer or apps.

If you can't watch live then you can also follow the action with our live blogs on www.skysports.com and the Sky Sports app, with in-game clips and highlights throughout the match.

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