BRADFORD CITY and Millwall go head-to-head in the first of the play-off finals at Wembley tomorrow with a place in the Championship at stake.
The Sky Bet League Two and Championship finals take place on Sunday, May 28: League Two – Blackpool v Exeter; and Monday, May 29: Championship – Huddersfield v Reading.
The battle for a place in the Premier League is the biggest prize in domestic football, but for the Bantams and the Lions the rewards for victory are equally precious.
Thanks to the EFL Media department for providing us with ten amazing stats about tomorrow’s rivals – and the play-offs themselves…
- The average attendance in Sky Bet League One this season was 7.932 with the highest gate of the season being 31,003 at Bramall Lane where champions Sheffield United beat neighbours Chesterfield 3-2 on the final day.
- Finalists Bradford, the only team in the EFL to go through the whole season unbeaten at home, were one of only two clubs to complete the campaign without picking up a red card. Fleetwood Town, beaten by Bradford in the semis, were the other.
- Bradford, who were shown the least amount of yellow cards in the division with a total of 53, have won promotion twice via the play-offs (in 1996 and 2013) – both times after finishing in the lowest of the play-off positions.
- Millwall have now reached the final in each of their last four play-off campaigns; 2009 (L), 2010 (W), 2016 (L). In doing so they became the fifth team to reach the third-tier play-off final in successive seasons and the first to do so twice.
- On the previous four occasions (Tranmere 1990 and 1991, Gillingham 1999 and 2000, Millwall 2009 and 2010 and Huddersfield 2011 and 2012), the returning side has won promotion at the second attempt.
- Down in 19th position in early October, Millwall claimed the final play-off spot, only entering the top six for the first time in February on the back of a 16-match unbeaten run during which they went 690 minutes without conceding a goal.
- Bradford and Millwall, who drew both league games this season 1-1, met in the League One play-off semi-finals last year, with the Lions winning 3-1 at Valley Parade before drawing 1-1 at the Den in the return. They lost to Barnsley in the final at Wembley.
- Millwall’s Lee Gregory has scored in each of his last three matches in all competitions against the Bantams, including a goal in each leg of the play-off semi-finals last season.
- The attendance for tomorrow’s clash could well be as high as 60,000, which would make it the second-biggest crowd for a League One play-off final – but still way behind the record attendance of 76,935: Gillingham v Manchester City in 1999.
- It is a momentous year for the play-offs with this season’s matches marking the 30th anniversary of their super successful introduction into English football.