Bradford City and Millwall meet in the Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final this weekend, with promotion the prize for the winners at Wembley.The season showpiece at the national stadium is just reward for two sides who have impressed throughout the campaign. Here’s all you need to know ahead of Saturday’s meeting…
Sky Bet League One — how they fared
Bradford City were a model of consistency, quickly finding their way into the Play-Off places and settling there — they didn’t fall out of the top five from late August onwards.
The Bantams made themselves very hard to beat, drawing more games than anyone else in the league, and lost just seven games — a figure only bettered by runaway champions Sheffield United.
Millwall, on the other hand, started the season slowly and were hovering just above the bottom four as late as mid-October.
However, a 16-match unbeaten run in the league pulled them back into contention, and they secured sixth with a thrilling 4-3 win at Bristol Rovers on the final day.
Season in brief
Position: Fifth - 79 points
Goals: Scored 62, conceded 43
Stat: Finished the season unbeaten at Valley Parade, winning 11 and drawing 12 there.
Position: Sixth - 73 points
Goals: Scored 66, conceded 57
Stat: Went all seven league games in February without conceding a goal.
Wembley — how they got there
Bradford took on Fleetwood in their semi-final, and gave themselves a slender advantage by winning 1-0 at fortress Valley Parade, courtesy of Rory McArdle’s bullet second-half header.
The Cod Army, who had finished the season in fourth, could not break through in the reverse leg, and a goalless stalemate was enough to see Stuart McCall’s men through to the Final.
Millwall hosted Scunthorpe United in the first leg of their semi-final, but neither side managed to break the deadlock at The Den.
There was much more drama at Glanford Park in the second leg, as the Lions went a goal down before sparking into life. Three goals turned the tie on its head, and despite an Iron consolation, it was Neil Harris and his troops who prevailed.
On the pitch this season, the pair simply cannot be separated. In September, in London, the clubs battled out a 1-1 draw after a Byron Webster own goal cancelled out Joe Martin’s first-half effort for the Lions.
In Yorkshire four months later, the scoreline was the same. Millwall led again through Lee Gregory, but full-back James Meredith responded 10 minutes later and the points were shared once more.
Over the years, Millwall have the better record with 17 wins to Bradford's 10 in all competitions, but draws lead the way, with 18 taking place since the maiden meeting in 1914.
Bradford: 10 wins
Millwall: 17 wins
Need to know
The two sides also met in the play-offs last season, albeit in the semi-finals. A triumphant trip to Bradford saw Millwall hold a 3-1 advantage to take back to the capital, and they sealed a Wembley visit with a 1-1 draw at home.
But Barnsley were a team on a mission in the second half of the year, and their momentum carried them past the Lions at Wembley, where the Tykes won 3-1 to earn promotion to the Sky Bet Championship.
Key info: Click here to see more information about the Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final