Wembley Play-Off Final Preview: Aston Villa v Derby County – Winner Takes All.

Aston Villa Derby County Championship Playoff Final Wembley

Aston Villa Derby County Championship Playoff Final Wembley

Contributed by Max Wilkins & Korben O’Brien | Editor – Dan Rogers

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Aston Villa vs Derby County – 27th May 2019

Championship Play-Off Final – 15:00 / 3pm [GMT]

Location: Wembley Stadium, London.

Odds & Betting Outlook:

Aston Villa: 8/13 | Derby County: 13/10

The season comes down to one final game for both teams.

It’s the most expensive game in football, worth an estimated £170 million pounds.

One game, that will decide each sides fate for next season.


Villa are heading to Wembley once again after emerging victorious in a tension-filled Championship Play-off semi-final.


Despite losing to a Craig Dawson goal on the night, taking the aggregate score to 2-2 , Dean Smith’s men reached the Play off final by winning the penalty shootout 4-3.

The finale could hardly have been dramatic as Jed Steer saved Albion’s first two spotkicks while Conor Hourihane and Mile Jedinak both sent former Villa keeper Sam Johnstone the wrong way. 

Tammy Abraham delivered the telling penalty, launching Villa into the final

Give us a Steer

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Jed doesn’t grab the headlines but he was the man of the moment in the penalty shootout which took Villa to a Wembley final.

He dived to his left to keep out Mason Holgate’s spot kick and then superbly to his right to deny Ahmed Hegazi’s penalty.

And although he was beaten by Albion’s next three kicks, the keeper had done enough to secure Villa’s place at Wembley.

Ahmed Elmohamdy

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Ahmed Elmohamdy says Aston Villa are determined to get it right at Wembley this time around, following bitter disappointment at the national stadium 12 months ago.

The Egyptian said;

“This year we have to get it right and get the club back into the Premier League.”

“It’s so important to everyone.”

“Last season was so disappointing. Hopefully now this is our time”.

“When you go through defeat and you see the pain for all those fans, it makes you stronger and more determined to go out there and put it right”. It’s what the club deserves.

“It’s a massive summer for me personally with the Play off final and the African cup of nations on home soil in Egypt.

“We can’t wait for Monday. Everyone is excited for it. We’re going for it.

Press Conference

Dean Smith on his emotions ahead of the final

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Smith remarked:

“I’m quite calm to be honest. Cool, calm and collected”.

“We’ve had some good rest days, some good training days and now we’re really looking forward to it”.

On Play off final tactics

“Its eleven players against eleven players and it’s who performs better on the day”.

“Tactics will play a small part, but it’s about who goes and performs on that big stage”.

“I feel we have the players who can handle that, and that mix of young and experienced players. Most have probably played at Wembley already, including last year.”

“But the key thing is momentum. I feel we have a lot of that going into it, given our run towards the end of the season and our two dominant Play off games. We can take it into the final.”

On his final words to the team before they walk out to Wembley

“Be a good team mate”.

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Aston Villa


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Villa go into the season decider the favourites to win and gain promotion.

They come into this game having lost to West Brom in normal time but winning the tie on penalties.

Across both legs against West Brom, Villa looked at times shaky and nervous generally.

In a variety of spells across the tie, Villa miss-placed many passes, including a mistake from a goal kick by Jed Steer which resulted in a goal line clearance from Tyrone Mings after a curling effort from Murphy.

Going into the Derby game, Villa will have to be on their toes and improve from their previous two outings.

Errors, particularly unforced, will have to be cut out and nerves will hopefully have been lessened.

Players such as Taylor, McGinn, El Ghazi and Green will have to be on top form if Villa are to right their wrongs from last season.

For this coming Play-Off final, Villa players on the whole will have much more experience when it comes to appearing in high pressure games and playing at Wembley.

Tammy Abraham has already experienced Wembley Stadium this season with Chelsea and he will need to step up to the plate to help Villa gain promotion.

Jack Grealish has been integral to Villa’s rise into the play offs and he will hopefully keep going with his excellent form to help fire Villa into the Premier League for the first time since relegation in 2016.


Derby County


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Derby County go into their first game at Wembley since they lost in the 2014 play off final to QPR.

They will likely be on a high after coming from behind against Leeds United to win overall in their semi-final tie.

Jack Marriott, Harry Wilson and Mason Mount scored the goals for Derby as they beat Leeds 2-4 and 4-3 overall.

This win sparked large celebrations from the bench, players and fans.

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Derby have many key players that have helped their play off push to make it a success.

Tomori, Mount, Wilson, Holmes, Marriott and Waghorn have all been in good form during the run in.

They beat Bristol City and Middlesbrough into the sixth place position.

Derby come into this game on good form and an extreme high after the Leeds game and this mentality could be integral if Derby are to come out on top at Wembley.


Max Wilkins’ (Contributor) Prediction:

I think that villa will win 2-1. This is because Villa’s squad is far stronger overall than Derby’s and Villa have beaten them 7-0 (0-3 & 4-0) over two league games. This could be massive psychologically for both the Villa and Derby players as Villa may feel that, despite their below-par showings against West Brom, they will be able to get a result against a Derby side that has also been on a great run. Hopefully that we can right our wrongs from last seasons outing against Fulham and gain promotion. #UTV

Korben O’Brien’s (Contributor) Prediction:

My prediction for Monday’s play off final is that it is going to be a very tough game, but I truly believe that this is Villa’s year and is our time, and I think that with confidence and momentum and such a good togetherness about the squad I think Villa will leave Wembley winners of the Play offs.

Result: Villa 2-1 Derby – with Abraham and McGinn scoring for Villa.

Dan (Editor) Prediction:

Whilst many have enjoyed the quirks of The Championship, it’s now time for Aston Villa to haul ourselves back into the elite league of both domestic and international football.  It’s been a mixed three years, a rollercoaster of hard truths in terms of players, managers and indeed owners.

From a club on the brink of administration at the start of the season, we now find ourselves a mere ninety minutes from promotion.  We go into the game in incredibly good shape, arguably having overcome a more difficult double header against Albion.  With Leeds having spectacularly imploded, many, including this blog, remain surprised it’s Derby we’re facing.  However, it would be foolish to underestimate our opponents.

Despite enduring two thumpings from Villa over the normal campaign, things have come together as Lampard got his side ticking.  Indeed, Derby quietly went about building a run not dissimilar to our own in the closing 12 games of the season.

With that said, we carry immense threat.  Abraham is a potent poacher, Grealish our outstanding talent, McGinn the workhorse and in Mings we have genuine quality at centre half.  There are unsung heroes too.  The emergence of Jed Steer, El Ghazi’s dangerous progress and the settling of fullbacks Taylor & Elmohamady have been as important.

My view is that if Villa can contain the youthfulness of Derby in the opening exchanges, we will then have the opportunity to not only hurt them with our quality, but also our experience.  There is a merciless ruthlessness about Dean Smith too, suggesting that we will go on the offensive.  Whilst the idea of defeat doesn’t bear thinking about, one can’t imagine that this will resemble anything like the limp defeat to Fulham this time last season.  The result? Villa 2-0 Derby.


  • Villa defeated Derby 3-0 & 4-0 this season.
  • Tammy Abraham has scored four of the goals against Derby.
  • However, Derby were 7-1 losers on aggregate to Leeds in season.
  • Promotion is worth £170 million pounds (GBP).
  • Villa finished 5th.
  • Derby finished 6th.
  • 6th place has been promoted just once in the last 13 seasons.
  • Villa defeated West Brom in the semis.
  • Derby defeated Leeds Utd in the semis.
  • Villa have no fresh injuries nor suspensions.
  • Derby may play Ashley Cole with their regular left back suspended.
  • Villa have lost 5 of the last 6 at Wembley Stadium.
  • Harry Wilson is Derby’s key man for goal involvement.
  • Wilson is second only to Grealish at the most fouled player.
  • Frank Lampard is subject to speculation linking him to the Chelsea job.
  • Dean Smith has never featured in a play-off as a manager.
  • Smith lost out twice in playoffs as a player.
  • In the 29 league matches before Tyrone Mings joined Villa, we conceded 46 goals. 
  • Villa have conceded just 16 in the 18 Mings has played since signing in January.


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