Nottingham Forest made fast starts in both legs of their semi-final with Sheffield Utd, opening the scoring inside 20 minutes on both occasions, but ultimately required penalties to get past the Blades after a pair of feisty encounters.
A terrible start to the season has been overcome, with the appointment of Steeve Cooper in September a catalyst for an impressive season that even saw them down Arsenal, Leicester and Huddersfield themselves in the FA Cup, before bowing out 1-0 to eventual winners Liverpool.
Huddersfield rode their luck as Jordan Rhodes bagged a late winner against Luton Town in the semi-finals, but it proved enough to see them through and they’re now unbeaten in nine games, with seven wins across this period. They also kept clean sheets in five of those victories, and goals look set to be at a premium once again in this encounter.
That’s certainly ben the case in recent meetings between these two sides, with four of five clashes since the start of last season finishing either 1-0 or 2-0, as the other fixture saw Forest take a 2-1 win in the FA Cup.
There hasn’t been any late drama in any of these encounters, with the latest time of a goal coming at 61 minutes, while this season alone just one goal has been scored in the second half across the three meetings as even that came at 48 minutes.
Both Teams To Score (No)
Past Championship play-off finals also point towards a cagey affair, perhaps unsurprisingly given the high stakes involved.
At least one team has failed to score in 14 of 19 finals since 2003, including seven of the past nine, with the only time one of these two sides reached the final seeing Huddersfield play out a goalless stalemate with Reading before triumphing on penalties.
Forest may have failed to register a clean sheet across their past five outings, but they had managed five from their previous six. They’re certainly no strangers to low-scoring affairs either, as eight of their past 11 matches have seen fewer than three goals over 90 minutes.
Huddersfield will need to be resilient with Forest a better team on paper, even if only two points separated them at the end of the campaign.
However, with 15 of their 24 Championship games since late December featuring a maximum of two goals, they can’t be ruled out of the running in what should prove a tight game.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
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