Sky Sports EFL Podcast: Play-off drama, agony, ecstasy & the finals

Listen to a new episode of the Sky Sports EFL Podcast every Monday throughout the season.

Jonathan Oakes is joined by Keith Andrews, Don Goodman and Andy Hinchcliffe to look back on a dramatic week of play-off semi-final drama, and ahead to the finals that are set to cap an incredible 2020/21 season.

In the Championship the panel look back on Brentford's comeback victory over Bournemouth, Swansea's resilience in seeing off Barnsley, and the upcoming battle for the final spot in next season's Premier League.

In League One it will be Blackpool versus Lincoln at Wembley, after Blackpool saw off Oxford and Lincoln overcame Sunderland.

And in the League Two final it will be Morecambe, who beat Tranmere, and Newport - who beat Forest Green in arguably the most dramatic tie of the week - meeting at Wembley.

All the play-offs are covered in the final Sky Sports EFL Podcast of the season, here were some of the main talking points...

Championship: Brentford vs Swansea

Brentford will play in the Championship play-off final for the second year in a row after beating Bournemouth 3-2 on aggregate. The Bees lost the first leg 1-0 at Bournemouth, and were a goal down in the second before a stunning comeback to seal their passage to Wembley.

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Swansea, meanwhile, took a 1-0 lead into the second leg and held on against Barnsley, drawing 1-1 in the second leg to win 2-1 on aggregate. They are eyeing a return to the Premier League after three years away.

Our pundits offered their thoughts on the final...

Andrews: "Tenth-time lucky does have a nice ring to it. I think it's going to be ridiculously tight. We've all been at these games, they can be quite dour and cautious and I think there will be an element of that. Both teams will be defensively solid.

"Swansea have produced it when they needed to this season, so you just can't rule them out. But sitting here today I have Brentford as favourites. I just think they have a little bit more about them. "

Goodman: "I think we all expected Brentford to beat Fulham last year. As a team we felt they were better, but what disappointed me most about the game is I didn't recognise that Brentford performance. If you fail you want to fail your way, and that will be their regret.

"I love Steve Cooper and Thomas Frank, and whichever doesn't win won't be too far behind in becoming a Premier League coach. But if Brentford turn up and play their way they win the game."

Hinchcliffe: "I do think Brentford are the better side. You saw against Fulham last season that they didn't turn up and weren't themselves, and Swansea will have a gameplan and have the character to beat Brentford.

"Brentford absolutely battered Swansea at the Liberty but they drew the game 1-1. That might be the Swansea approach. Brentford have more threats, but it's not about being the best team, it's about getting the job done. If Brentford turn up and play to their strengths, they will win."

League One: Blackpool vs Lincoln

Blackpool got most of the job done in their semi-final by winning 3-0 at Oxford in the first leg, and got over the line in a frantic 3-3 draw in the second to secure a 6-3 aggregate scoreline.

While Lincoln won 2-0 in the first leg against Sunderland, nearly blew it as the Black Cats pulled it back level at the Stadium of Light, before eventually prevailing 3-2 on aggregate.

Here are our pundits' thoughts on the final...

Andrews: "It's so difficult to call. Lincoln have some exuberant talents, and there's loads of pace and energy in both teams. You don't feel the Wembley pitch or the occasion will be an issue.

"The manner of how they got through against Sunderland should stand those young Lincoln players in good stead, but Blackpool are a serious outfit. If one team plays well they win, and I think if Blackpool bring their B+ game, I just fancy them a little bit more."

Goodman: "I think in terms of a spectacle and a game of football this is the one I'm looking forward to the most. League One tends to be a bit more open than the Championship final.

"They've got two fantastic teams, with very little between them. I'm struggling to separate them on the back of what we've seen in the play-offs. It could go all the way to penalties."

Hinchcliffe: "I think they're both in a good place. They're both good teams in different ways, and both will be high on confidence.

"It could be so tight. One of the finals has to go all the way, and it's so close to call. I'd edge towards Blackpool, but I see Michael Appleton down the gym quite a lot and he's a big lad, so I'll have to go for Lincoln!"

League Two: Morecambe vs Newport

Morecambe's dream of reaching the third tier for the first time in their history is one step closer after the saw off Tranmere in the semi-finals, while they will face Newport - who beat Forest Green 5-4 on aggregate in arguably the most dramatic tie of the play-offs.

Andrews: "From what I've seen from them, I'm going for Newport. Josh Sheehan is technically outstanding for League Two level and he could make the difference.

"They also showed against Forest Green that they've got players who can come off the bench like Nicky Maynard and Kevin Ellison."

Goodman: "I have to say I have a soft spot for both of these clubs. I made my Football League debut against Newport, and Derek Adams is a good friend of mine.

"Newport did the double over Morecambe during the season, while Adams will be looking at both of those games to see where it went wrong. They are confident, and in great form. On the spot I'd say with the potential fairy tale of Morecambe getting to League One for the first time, maybe it is written in the stars for them.

Hinchcliffe: It's a tight call. But if Newport bring their A game and replicate the intensity we saw in the first leg against Forest Green at Wembley, they might have a little bit too much.

"It won't be about how they start but how they finish, and with the players they can bring on they should have the edge."

Sky Sports Fantasy Football is back!

Sky Sports Fantasy Football is back!

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