Blogs & Opinion


Peter Beagrie:

Most Popular Posts:

Recent Comments:

Gary Bennett on Reading crashers

"Leeds have thrown away too many games this season with our dodgy defence conceding too many soft goals.Scoring goals has not been a problem and i think the play offs are still there to ... " View all comments

Rhodes to glory

Star striker Rhodes has ability to settle close clash, says Beags

Peter Beagrie - Peter Beagrie Posted 24th May 2012 view comments

Wembley plays host to a Yorkshire derby in this year's League One Play-Off Final and I'm anticipating a cracking atmosphere.

With more than 27,000 Sheffield United fans and 21,000 Huddersfield fans (and counting) expected at the Home of Football, it's fair to say we can anticipate a mass exodus from Yorkshire this Saturday.

Rhodes: could he make all the difference?

Rhodes: could he make all the difference?

I think I'm going to travel down on Friday night to miss all the traffic!

You would have thought Sheffield United would be considered the favourites. After all, they finished third and only just missed out on automatic promotion to their near rivals Wednesday.

However, I think a lot of people in the know would class Huddersfield as the more likely winners. The bookmakers can't split the two teams, but as far as I'm concerned the key to the game could be the deadly marksman in the Terriers armoury; Jordan Rhodes.

I'll probably get a medal for stating the obvious here, but he is the one player who is set apart from everybody else. For that reason his team has to be favourites.

Peter Beagrie
Quotes of the week

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
League One Play-Off Final

Huddersfield v Sheffield Utd
2.30pm, Sat, Sky Sports 2 HD
Watch on the move with Sky Go
How to remote record

I'll probably get a medal for stating the obvious here, but he is the one player who is set apart from everybody else. For that reason his team has to be favourites.

I expect to see them squeezing the play up to the half-way line, getting balls out wide and trying to get the ball to Rhodes.

He's had an outstanding season and not just in terms of goals; he's impressed with his footballing ability, the different ways he can find the net and his phenomenal thirst for work. I spoke to him this week and despite his incredible campaign he remains very self-effacing.

He wanted to redirect all the praise onto his team-mates, insisting he wouldn't have scored bags of goals without them. He is right, of course, but there's no doubt he's fashioned goals for himself, too.

They also have a lot of other players with athletic ability and creativity. Danny Ward has been a tremendous acquisition from Bolton and has fantastic crossing ability, either cutting in on his left foot from the right or getting around the back on the left flank.

Rich tradition

My head is ruling my heart when I say Huddersfield are the slight favourites because I spent two years at Sheffield United. It's a club with a rich tradition, lots of history and very passionate supporters.

It's a fans' club and a lot of the people that were working there when I was a 21-year-old player a quarter of a century ago were still there when I went back for the semi-final last week. Once a Blade, always a Blade!

But Danny Wilson hasn't had much luck lately. They've been without top scorer Ched Evans, while James Beattie has been banned and Richard Cresswell missed the second leg of the semi-final with an eye infection. They'd wrapped him up in cotton wool as he recovered from a neck injury, but they obviously forgot to put any eye patches on!

With all those forwards missing it was left to Chris Porter, who hadn't scored in his previous 16 appearances, to come up with the winning goal against Stevenage. They showed their ambition in the second leg of that game and I think the fans in the Kop End sucked that ball over the line!

Porter has had to play up front on his own with Stephen Quinn playing in behind and all of their moments of quality came through him. He was able to up the tempo with his passing and was constantly trying to slide balls into the widemen or the lone forward.

It'll be interesting to see if the system changes if Cresswell is fit. Personally, I think Danny Wilson will want to bring him back in to occupy the Huddersfield back-line. The two centre-halves are not the quickest and they will look to exploit that - although Porter and Cresswell aren't blessed with great pace themselves.

We're in for a tight game. Both defences have been excellent of late, but I think Huddersfield might just nick it on the day.

We saw Blackpool fall short last weekend in a game where they created enough chances to win. In these big games you have to be ruthless and take your chances.

And when it comes to being ruthless and finishing your chances off, then look no further than a certain Mr Rhodes...

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Chelsea edge semi-final thriller

Branislav Ivanovic's extra-time goal gave Chelsea a 2-1 aggregate win over Liverpool and a place in the Capital One Cup final.

Mourinho defends Costa

Jose Mourinho thinks Chelsea's Diego Costa should be left alone to play football after a controversial outing on Tuesday.

Rodgers: Costa lucky to avoid red

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes Chelsea's Diego Costa was lucky to stay on the field in the Capital One Cup semi-final.

Sheffield Utd v Spurs preview

Sheffield United will need to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit against Tottenham Hotspur to reach the Capital One Cup final.

Bent double beats Blackburn

Derby moved back up to second in the Championship as substitute Darren Bent inspired a 2-0 victory over Blackburn.

Features

Transfer window: From Gilberto Silva to Andre Santos, we look at the best and worst of Arsenal's Brazilian signings

Transfer window: From Gilberto Silva to Andre Santos, we look at the best and worst of Arsenal's Brazilian signings

It seems Gabriel Paulista is on the brink of a move to Arsenal as Arsene Wenger once again turns to a Brazilian in the transfer market.

Juan Cuadrado: We profile the Fiorentina winger who is a Chelsea transfer target

Juan Cuadrado: We profile the Fiorentina winger who is a Chelsea transfer target

His national team boss says he’d fit in perfectly at Barcelona, but Sky sources understand he wants to join Chelsea.

Transfers: We look at the players who may be on Louis van Gaal's Manchester United shopping list

Transfers: We look at the players who may be on Louis van Gaal's Manchester United shopping list

Manchester United seem set to spend big this summer - but who is on Louis van Gaal's shopping list?