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Norwich City and Preston North End can land play-off triumphs


Norwich should reach the Premier League while PNE will enjoy second bite of the cherry

The play-offs are often described as a lottery although nobody says that about the Champions League semi-finals and final.

The bottom line is that the best teams often come through the play-offs as winners and that should apply to Norwich City and Preston North End when it comes to Championship and League One respectively.

Norwich face Ipswich Town in their play-off semi-final before a potential Wembley showdown against Middlesbrough or Brentford. Manager Alex Neil will be glad that Watford and Bournemouth were the automatically promoted teams and will expect to get the better of the other three teams.

The Canaries finished third in the final standings and it should be noted that the new manager has enjoyed excellent results in the main since replacing Neil Adams.

Thirteen wins in the past eighteen matches illustrates that this is a team on an upward curve, with midfielder Bradley Johnson inspiring the Canaries, while Neil has a welcome dilemma over who to select in attack.

We’re happy to take Norwich at odds of 15/8 and those odds also apply to Preston’s chances of enjoying promotion to the Championship.

Simon Grayson’s side were in the box seat to enjoy automatic promotion before Colchester United beat them last Sunday, with PNE needing to lick their wounds quickly and step up to the plate against Chesterfield.

North End look capable of beating Paul Cook’s side over two legs, especially when you consider Eoin Doyle has moved on to Cardiff, with the Derbyshire side having enjoyed momentum after winning League Two last season.

Then there would be Swindon or Sheffield United at Wembley, with neither side having ended the season in particularly good form.

The Blades have been largely underwhelming under Nigel Clough and seem to lack goals, while Swindon were a lot stronger in the first half of the campaign and could be there for the taking should they reach the final.

The Preston and Norwich double pays odds of over 7/1 and we think you will have two teams in the final after overcoming their respective semi-final opponents.

We have taken a look at the League Two odds and Southend are the 2/1 favourites to claim promotion although there appears to be little between any of the four teams and it wouldn’t surprise us if Stevenage sneaked up at massive odds.

Norwich to get promoted @ 7/4 with Betfred
Preston North End to get promoted @ 7/4 with Betfred
Norwich and PNE promotion double @ 7/1 with Betfred
Stevenage to get promoted @ 7/2 with Ladbrokes

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