Aston Villa and Fulham will meet on Wembley in play-offs final and one of these two will get promoted to the Premier League. This season we are finally having best two sides fighting for promotion in play-offs final. Fulham have finished this season 3rd, only two points behind Cardiff, while Aston Villa have finished 4th with probably the best defence in the league.
Aston Villa shouldn’t rely on their defence?
As much as I believe that their excellent defence has made them go all the way to the play-offs final, I don’t think that relying on your defence can get you a win against Fulham. It’s quite simple, if you let Fulham have more possession, you can easily concede as they are best against sides that try to score on counter. What Aston Villa needs to try on Wembley is an attacking football, they should try to break Fulham in midfield and let their attack to do more work this time. Albert Adomah and Robert Snodgrass were both excellent against Middlesbrough, and if there wasn’t for Darren Randolph, Aston Villa could have easily won with more than just one goal.
Probably the best thing that happened to Aston Villa in their last game was Mike Dean, a referee that made a lot of controversial decisions throughout his career, chose not to show a red card to Aston Villa’s goalkeeper Sam Johnstone for defending a goal with his hands outside the box. If he did, Sam Johnstone couldn’t be in the team for this play-offs final, and he is certainly one of the best Aston Villa players.
Steve Bruce should try to go with two up front?
It’s quite certain that Steve Bruce will once again go with his 4-1-4-1 formation, but if that doesn’t work in the first half, I think that he should try and put two up front. They have a lot of options in attack, Lewis Grabban will probably start, but they’ve got Scott Hogan and Jonathan Kodjia, and at least one of these strikers should play up front with Lewis Grabban if Aston Villa doesn’t manage to score with their 4-1-4-1 formation in the first half. Jack Grealish will probably be Aston Villa’s key player against Fulham, and considering the fact that Fulham’s defence make mistakes quite often, he could be the one to take advantage of that and help his team score as soon as they can.
Fulham needs to dominate the midfield?
In order to maintain possession and take the best from their team, Fulham needs to dominate the midfield. They have a lot of experience in that area and one thing that can be a big advantage to Fulham in this game is the fact that they play at Wembley. A pitch with a bigger size is providing them with more space; therefore they have a better chance of dominating the midfield and maintain the possession. I believe that Fulham is having enough confidence now that they’ve won against Derby County, so they will certainly start this game with a hunger for a win. If Aston Villa starts to defend, Fulham will probably win this one. They have to provide more balls to Ryan Sessegnon as he never had enough chances against Derby until that second half of their second game.
Fulham needs to score in the first half?
In order to secure a win with scoring more than once, Fulham needs to score in the first half. They can score a lot even against such a great defensive side like Aston Villa, but if they go into 60th minute with 0:0 they can become nervous and start making silly mistakes. Slavisa Jokanovic needs to sort out his defence, they can’t afford any mistakes in play-offs final, and they are certainly making mistakes in defence more often than they do in attack. Aleksandar Mitrovic hasn’t scored in his last three games, and although it will be hard for Serbian international to compete with James Chester and John Terry, he creates a lot of chances and he can easily be the one who’ll get Fulham a promotion to Premier League.