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Monday, 19 November, 2018

Blackpool and Exeter to serve up a Wembley treat

Goals galore in store in League Two playoff final

Exeter's Ryan Harley is mobbed by fans after the semi-final win
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Sky Bet League Two playoff final
Sky Sports 1, 3pm Sunday

There was incredible drama in the Sky Bet League Two playoff semi-finals and the goals should continue to flow when Blackpool and Exeter do battle in the final.

Last week's League One showdown was a tense affair with neither team wanting to take chances before Millwall nicked a late winner against Bradford, but gung-ho favourites Exeter only know how to play one way and that should provide wonderful Wembley entertainment.

Over 2.5 goals is available at 10-11 and that looks fair considering the four semi-final matches all went over 4.5 goals as Carlisle and Luton just came up short in absorbing ties.

Exeter look the more likely winners and those who took the pre-playoff advice to back them at 5-2 for promotion are in nice shape as the Wembley pitch should suit and the Grecians will have the edge in the stands with around three times as many supporters. 

Paul Tisdale's team will go forward at every opportunity and only the top three of Portsmouth, Plymouth and Doncaster won more regular-season matches than City's total of 21. Just Donny and Pompey scored more than Exeter's 75-goal tally.

Exeter have scored 14 times in their last five matches and highlighted their ability in the final third throughout their 6-5 aggregate success over Carlisle in the semi-finals.

The impressive Ollie Watkins enhanced his growing reputation, although he is not the only threat.

David Wheeler scored 17 times in the league from wide positions and Reuben Reid was also in double figures and there are plenty of others who can make a difference with Ryan Harley, Joel Grant and Lee Holmes in the ranks.

However, for all that Exeter looked a class above Carlisle, the Grecians still conceded five times in 180 minutes and they have managed only one clean sheet in their last 19 matches.

Blackpool will look to exploit that obvious weakness and should be full of confidence having beaten Luton 6-5 on aggregate.

Luton finished the season with the second-best defensive record in the division so to score six is impressive even though the Hatters will be mad after making some key errors.

Blackpool don't quite have the same kind of individual threats as Exeter but there was only one point between them in the standings and the Tangerines finished with a better goal difference on plus 23.

Not much should be read into Blackpool's home 2-0 win over Exeter on the opening day of the season as it was so long ago but February's 2-2 draw in Devon paints a perfect picture of what can be expected in this final.

Recommendation
Over 2.5 goals
2pts 10-11 Betfred

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com


Team news
Blackpool
The Tangerines have a full squad to select from.

Exeter
Robbie Simpson and Matt Jay remain sidelined. Matt Oakley has returned to full fitness.

Key stat
No team have gained more promotions via the playoffs than Blackpool's four, which is joint-best with Crystal Palace.

Listen to our Postcast on the playoff finals

 

February's 2-2 draw in Devon paints a perfect picture of what can be expected in this final
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