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Championship play-off predictions: Johnson out to fire up Forest
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James Mason
Brennan Johnson is hoping to help fire Nottingham Forest into the Premier League
Brennan Johnson is hoping to help fire Nottingham Forest into the Premier League

All eyes will be on Wembley today as Huddersfield and Nottingham Forest battle it out for promotion to the Premier League. 

The Terriers have fond memories of the play-offs, having beaten Reading on penalties in 2017, while this will be the first time Forest have participated in the Championship finale after semi-final defeats in 2010 and 2011. 

It seems somewhat fitting that these teams, who finished third and fourth respectively, will contest the 'richest game in football' with promotion potentially being worth £135milllion over the next three years. 

With so much on the line, who will be making plans for a season in the top flight and who will be resigned to another campaign trying to get out of England's second tier? 

Forest to buck play-off trend

Of the last 17 Championship play-off finals, the team that finished third went on to clinch promotion eight times, while the side that ended up fourth succeeded on just three occasions. 

History, therefore, appears to be on the side of Huddersfield, who are on a nine-game unbeaten streak heading into the final. 

But Forest look to have a little bit extra in the final third — and that could prove crucial in seeing them home. 

Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper is aiming for glory at Wembley
Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper is aiming for glory at Wembley

The Tricky Trees outscored the Terriers 73-64 in the regular season and conceded seven goals fewer than their West Yorkshire opponents.

Steve Cooper's men also won two of the three meetings between the two sides — one in the league and one in the FA Cup. 

Tight affair on the cards

So often these games turn out to be tight, nerve-jangling contests and it would be no surprise to see something similar pan out at the national stadium. 

Of the last 17 play-off finals, there have been 11 wins to nil, while over 2.5 goals has only landed in six of those matches. 

There have been just 35 goals scored in the last 17 finals, which averages out at just over two per game, while the last four Championship meetings between Huddersfield and Forest have ended in wins to nil. 

It may come down to just one piece of magic or even a mistake at the back and there is not much evidence to suggest this will be a goal frenzy.

Johnson gunning for goals

Brennan Johnson has caught the eye of several Premier League teams this season.

If Forest fail to earn promotion to the top flight, he could set for a summer exit from the City Ground. 

The 21-year-old attacker is their leading scorer with 18 league goals. 

And if there were any doubts whether he could deliver in high-pressure situations, he firmly put them to bed in the semi-finals as he scored in both legs against Sheffield United before stepping up to net Forest's first penalty in the decisive shootout. 

Johnson is one of the rising stars in England and it would be no surprise to see him notch for a fourth game running on one of the biggest stages around. 


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