Aston Villa vs Derby: Sky Bet Championship play-off final preview
Watch the Sky Bet Championship play-off final between Aston Villa and Derby live on Sky Sports Football from 2pm on Monday; kick-off is at 3pm.
Last Updated: 27/05/19 7:01pm
The Premier League awaits for either Aston Villa or Derby, who meet at Wembley in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final on Monday.
For Villa it is a second consecutive trip to the final, having been beaten by Fulham last season, as they aim to return to the top flight for the first time since 2016.
Derby, meanwhile, have been away from the Premier League since their infamous 2007/08 campaign. There have been more near misses since than they would like to remember, and their last play-off final saw them beaten by QPR in 2014.
Villa have had the better of their league fixtures this season, but Derby will be full of confidence after they way they beat Leeds in the semi-final.
When Redknapp met Lampard
Jamie Redknapp sat down with Derby boss Frank Lampard to discuss the play-off final, facing John Terry and that infamous bar bill...
On-loan defender Axel Tuanzebe is fit for Aston Villa ahead of the Sky Bet Championship play-off final against Derby at Wembley on Monday.
The 21-year-old limped off in extra-time of the semi-final second leg against West Brom with Villa going on to qualify for Wembley after a penalty shoot-out. Manager Dean Smith has revealed that the Manchester United defender is part of an almost fully-fit squad. The only player missing is injured goalkeeper Orjan Nyland.
Derby could be without Martyn Waghorn and Duane Holmes, who are both injury doubts. Striker Waghorn suffered an Achilles injury on the final day of the regular season when the Rams beat West Brom 3-1 and missed both legs of the play-off semi-final triumph against Leeds.
Midfielder Holmes started each of Derby's last three games following a thigh injury but has been substituted on each appearance. Craig Bryson (ankle) and David Nugent (knee) will both miss the final against Villa.
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith: "What we've got that can help us is, for the last 15 or 16 games, we've been playing must-win games. Each game we've taken in isolation and we've been on an unbelievable run. The players are the first to have won 10 games on the bounce at this club and they'll always be history makers.
"I think the fact that the last 10 home games we've had probably six or seven sell-outs, it just shows that we've caught the imagination of the supporters. They're enjoying what they're seeing, they're feeling entertained but they actually feel a connection with the players which is really important.
"We're confident without being over-confident. There's been no change in their attitude or application in training. There's a tightness about the group and a lot of banter goes on within the group. But when they get down to work they work very hard. They're calm but looking forward to it."
Derby boss Frank Lampard: "I've said it a few months ago [response to links to Chelsea] and I find it quite difficult because they have a game coming up.
"More importantly for me, we have a game before that. They also have a manager in (Maurizio) Sarri who is trying to get them to win that [Europa League] final. It's been a bit of an obvious link all season. We've had a good year and I get linked because of my 13 years with the club.
"I understand the link but in terms of how I'm seeing it, I don't want to think or talk about it. I want to talk about Monday, I want to talk about the team and get this over the line."
Championship play-off final memories
We take a look back at some of the most memorable moments from Championship play-off finals in years gone by...
Aston Villa have won six of their last nine matches against Derby (all in league competition), losing just once in this run, a 2-0 defeat in December 2017.
This is only the sixth second-tier play-off final between the teams finishing fifth and sixth in the division that season and the first since 2005, when West Ham won 1-0 against Preston.
Aston Villa are the first side to reach back-to-back play-off finals in the second tier since West Ham in 2004 (runners up) and 2005 (winners). The last side to lose consecutive play-off finals at this level was Leicester City in 1992 and 1993.
Aston Villa have lost five of their last six in all competitions in matches played at Wembley Stadium, with their only victory in this run coming back in April 2015 versus Liverpool in an FA Cup semi-final, with goals from Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph securing a 2-1 win.
Only Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Sunderland and Swindon have ever lost three straight games at Wembley without scoring - Aston Villa have lost 4-0 to Arsenal and 1-0 to Fulham in their last two games there.
The team finishing sixth in the Championship have been promoted via the play-offs in just one of the last 13 seasons, with Blackpool beating Cardiff City in the 2010 final.
Should Derby win promotion, their tally of 74 points in the regular season would be the fewest by a side promoted to the Premier League since Crystal Palace in 2012/13 (72 points).
Excluding the goalless 2017 final between Huddersfield and Reading, 14 of the last 15 occasions a team has scored first in a second-tier play-off final has seen them go on to win promotion, with the exception being Cardiff City against Blackpool in 2010 (lost 2-3).
The Key Battle - Jack Grealish vs Mason Mount
While they may not be in direct competition in terms of trying one trying to stop the other, there is no doubt that Grealish and Mount have emerged as the key men for their respective sides this season.
Both Villa and Derby saw their form dip dramatically following mid-season injuries to the midfield pair, while their returns to fitness triggered their runs into the play-offs and through to the finals.
Grealish was contained well by West Brom throughout most of their semi-final, but the few minutes in which he managed to get some space in the first leg he created the first and won the penalty for the second Villa goal to turn the tie in their favour,
Neither are hugely prolific goalscorers yet, in the mould of say a Frank Lampard, but both can make decisive impacts in the final third and whomever can gain the ascendancy in that respect will go a long way to deciding this final.
Fans' view - what would victory mean?
Ryan Pitcher, @HeartOfTheHolte
Victory for Villa would be a big stepping stone, whereas defeat brings so much uncertainty both financially and how we are to operate moving forward. We've brushed Derby aside twice with ease twice this season but that counts for nothing. I just sense the quality of our individual players and team togetherness will see us to victory.
Alex Allen, Derby Vlogger
Victory would mean everything to Derby fans. We have had a lot of heartbreak in recent years as well as a plethora of managers who have all failed before reaching the final hurdle. With the battling spirit of Lampard and the experience of some famous cup wins I am confident that we will be playing Premier League football next season.
The £170m game... at least
According to Deloitte, the winners will benefit from future additional revenue of approximately £170m across the next three seasons.
The £170m game
The Sky Bet Championship play-off final between Aston Villa and Derby on May 27 is worth approximately £170m for the winners.
This is a combination of:
- Extra revenue they will earn from playing in the Premier League in 2019/20 - at least an extra £95m, mostly from central distributions
- Parachute payments in 2020/21 and 2021/22 should they be relegated after one season - totalling an estimated £75m across two seasons
If the play-off final winners can stay in the Premier League for a year, that £170 actually becomes a minimum of £300m, consisting of £200m from two years in the top flight, plus around £100m from three years of parachute payments.
Clubs who stay in the Premier League for more than one year receive an extra year of parachute payments.
WhoScored.com have picked out their combined Aston-Villa derby XI based on performances in the Sky Bet Championship this season...
Aston Villa are the slight favourites here, I think that is safe to say. They have already blown away Derby twice this season as well, beating them 4-0 and 3-0 in the league. Frank Lampard's side are a lot better now, though, and I can't see that happening again.
It should be a great game on Monday and there are plenty of subplots at play as well at Wembley. We have also got Lampard versus John Terry, all the young players on loan from the Premier League playing their final games for their clubs, Villa being beaten finalists from last year and Derby trying to finally shake off their tag of a side that always falls away at the wrong time.
These are such nervy affairs because there is so much at stake, and you can usually feel the tension in the air from hours before kick-off. There aren't often too many goals either. You have to go back to 2012 for the last time both teams scored in the final, and more often than not lately it has finished 1-0.
Both of these sides are much better going forward than in defence, but I wouldn't be surprised if a solitary goal decided this one again. It could so easily go either way, but I just think because of the way Derby came back against Leeds they will believe they can do it again.
David Prutton predicts: Derby to win 1-0 (9/1 with Sky Bet)
All the ways to watch the play-off finals...
All three play-off finals will be live on Sky Sports Football.
Sky Sports subscribers can also stream games via the Sky Sports app or the Sky Go app.
- Watch on Sky Sports
- Create a Sky iD to watch highlights on the Sky Sports app and skysports.com
- Watch on NOW TV for £8.99
Non-subscribers can watch through NOW TV. A Sky Sports day pass is available for £8.99, a week pass for £14.99 or a month pass for £33.99. NOW TV can be streamed through a computer or apps.
If you can't watch live then you can also follow the action with our live blogs on www.skysports.com and the Sky Sports app, with in-game clips and highlights throughout the match.