With one of the biggest prizes in English football on offer in this National League Playoff Final clash between both Lancashire based Fylde & Salford, the stakes couldn’t be much bigger for either club. Fylde have really earnt their place in the final with a convincing 3-1 win over Harrogate and a great victory in the Semi knocking out 2nd placed Solihull Moors, who were 2nd favourite to win the entire playoffs.
Salford on the other hand, after failing to pip Leyton Orient to the league title, will see this season as a failure if they don’t get promoted. They were the antepost favourites for the National League title, but with some horrible runs of form and key injuries throughout the season they only managed 3rd. After a far from convincing Semi Final victory over Eastleigh, which needed 120 minutes and a penalty shootout to find a winner, Salford will need to be much improved if they are to keep Fylde at arm’s length come Saturday, if they are to reach the promise land of the Football League.
I wanted to just go through the ‘To Be Promoted’ odds for both clubs, Salford (1.80) & Fylde (2.00). A few of you may be marvelling at how high Salford’s odds for this two-way outcome, but a simple look at the league table, you’d see that Fylde only finished four points behind Salford. With Fylde also beating Salford away from home 1-0 just three weeks ago, thus scuppering any chance that they had of automatic promotion. On the flipside of that, Salford did beat Fylde 2-0 in Fylde earlier in the season.
Both teams have leading strikers to thank for their final position in the league. With marquee summer signing Adam Rooney firing an impressive 22 goals this season and Danny Rowe leading the goal-scoring chart this season in the National League with 27 goals. Another superb season for Fylde Talisman with it being the fifth season in a row where he has contributed 25+ league goals, it really makes you wonder how he hasn’t been snapped up by a larger club yet.
Fylde have definitely overachieved in terms of their aspirations this season and a promotion to the Football League really could be the cherry on top of an already great season. As I said earlier, Salford on the other hand, would see this season as a bit of failure without promotion. The backing and funding of the Class of ’92 has been well documented, with even fellow superstar David Beckham getting on board this season. This puts another level of pressure on top, but I believe the strength of the Salford squad should shine through.
As the odds suggest, this match really is on a knife edge. I think Salford at 1.80 to be promoted is a tad too big as I think they’ll get the job done on the big day. The other selections that I’m liking on the match market are BTTS (1.75) & Over 1.5 Salford Team Goals (2.5). I think goals will definitely be at the forefront of the match with both teams relying fairly heavily on their strong attack.
From a goalscorer perspective, you can’t really look past Danny Rowe (2.75) & Adam Rooney (2.62), both have been in scintillating form in front of goal this season as I mentioned earlier. You can get the pair of them to find the target at a fairly big (6.50), that looks a great price to me and with the Wembley atmosphere in full effect, I’m hoping they can step into the limelight.
Salford to be Promoted (Lift Trophy) @ 1.80
BTTS @ 1.75
Adam Rooney to Score Anytime (2.62)