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Match Previews

Sky Bet EFL: Weekend Play-Offs preview

11 May 2017

Two sides from Sky Bet League One have booked their place at Wembley already, and now it's time to do battle in the Sky Bet Championship and Sky Bet League Two.

This weekend sees eight teams contest the first legs of their divisional semi-finals, before going at it again in midweek. Here's our preview...

Fulham v Reading

The Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs begin in west London on Saturday evening, when Fulham welcome Reading for the first leg of their semi-final.

Fulham finished the season in sixth place, but were the joint-highest scorers in the division with 85 goals from 46 matches.

Their goalscoring exploits were highlighted when these two met at Craven Cottage in December - Slavisa Jokanovic's men running out 5-0 winners.

The Royals did win the reverse fixture, however, and a third-placed finish after seven wins from their final nine games stands Jaap Stam's side in good stead for their promotion bid.

Huddersfield Town v Sheffield Wednesday

On Sunday lunchtime, all eyes turn to Yorkshire, where Huddersfield Town and Sheffield Wednesday lock horns in a local battle.

Huddersfield have failed to score in their last six home matches against the Owls, and Carlos Carvalhal's men won both fixtures between the pair this season.

A six-game winning run in April helped Wednesday leapfrog the Terriers in the standings. Both clubs finished on 81 points, but a superior goal difference meant it was the South Yorkshire outfit who landed fourth spot.

Sky Bet Championship: Play-Off semi-final first legs

Saturday 13th May 2017

Fulham v Reading (5:30pm - live on Sky Sports)

Sunday 14th May 2017

Huddersfield Town v Sheffield Wednesday (12 noon - live on Sky Sports)

Social media: Follow @SkyBetChamp on Twitter for goal updates

Carlisle United v Exeter City

Both first legs of the Sky Bet League Two Play-Offs kick-off at 6:30pm on Sunday evening, with Carlisle and Exeter facing off again after a dramatic meeting on the final day.

The hosts already had a Play-Off berth secured, but the Cumbrians needed three points to keep their promotion hopes alive, and trailed 2-1 down in Devon with less than 20 minutes remaining.

However, four minutes later, Keith Curle's men were 3-2 up, and they held on to secure sixth place. The reverse fixture at Brunton Park also finished 3-2 to the Cumbrians after a last-gasp turnaround, so we could be in for a thrilling two legs.

Blackpool v Luton Town

The other tie sees Luton Town, who finished fourth, visit Blackpool in the first leg, and the Hatters have won the last six meetings with their opponents.

Nathan Jones' side won 2-0 at Bloomfield Road in December, followed that up with a 1-0 win back home in April, and enter the Play-Offs on the back of a seven-game unbeaten streak. The club also only lost nine of their 46 league games - the best record in the division.

Gary Bowyer's Seasiders made ground in the Play-Off race in 2017 after a run of 15 matches in which they only lost once, and ensured their spot with a final-day victory over Leyton Orient.

Sky Bet League Two: Play-Off semi-final first legs (6:30pm kick-off)

Sunday 14th May 2017

Blackpool v Luton Town (live on Sky Sports)
Carlisle United v Exeter City (live on Sky Sports)

Social media: Follow @SkyBetLeagueTwo on Twitter for goal updates

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