Derby County and Aston Villa lock horns on Monday afternoon in a Championship playoff final to determine who will achieve promotion into the Premier League. After a grueling 46-game domestic campaign, it all comes down to this game at Wembley where one will celebrate while the other will be heartbroken. Here are the Three Keys to this clash. Bet on the game here.
Tammy Abraham v Harry Wilson
Aston Villa talisman Tammy Abraham has been a revelation in his loan spell from Chelsea this season. The 21-year-old English international has scored 26 in the Championship which is 31 per cent of Villa’s total of 84 goals. Therefore, the young Englishman is a key cog for Dean Smith and he just might provide the goals to take Villa back to the Premier League.
22-year-old Harry Wilson is another player who might have a critical role in the final at Wembley. On loan from Liverpool, the youngster has been sensational for the Rams. He is Derby's top scorer with 18 goals in 48 games while contributing six assists. This will be Wilson’s final game for the Rams and what an ending it would be if he won the game for Derby!
John Terry v Frank Lampard
John Terry and Frank Lampard have stolen the show ahead of a cracking Championship final. After years of playing together to the highest possible level in club football, the two will be in the opposite dugouts. Terry is an assistant coach for Villa head coach Dean Smith. Despite fears that their team might fail to make the playoffs, the two engineered a revival that saw Villa finish fifth. Although he’s an assistant he’ll definitely want to flex tactical muscles with Lampard.
Frank Lampard’s appointment as Derby manager was dubbed as a gamble. A gamble that might pay off if they beat Villa in the final. A place in next season’s Premier League is not the only thing at stake, Lampard will be going head to head with former teammate, John Terry who will be in the opposite dugout as an assistant coach. Whatever happens at Wembley, Lampard’s future managerial career looks promising.
Aston Villa attack v Derby County defence
Aston Villa has the fourth-best attack in the Championship. They’ve scored 84 goals in 48 matches, that is 1.8 goals per game. The likes of Abraham and Jack Grealish will cause the Derby defence a lot of problems. Moreover, Villa scored seven goals against their opponents in the regular season. Therefore, Smith’s men should create goal scoring chances and be clinical.
On their day, Frank Lampard's team can be a dangerous attacking team. However, their high pressing style always leaves lots of spaces behind where a creative player like Grealish can exploit. Therefore, they’ll need to tighten up at the back and defend collectively if they want to play in the Premier League next season. This defence conceded 54 goals in the regular season including seven in two games against Derby.