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Here are Will Rook‘s football tips for Aston Villa v Derby on Saturday.
Aston Villa to lift the trophy
Having beaten Derby 3-0 and 4-0 in the league this season, Aston Villa are rightly favourites to overcome them again.
Dean Smith’s side weren’t at their best in the semi-final against West Brom, but still had plenty of the play, and have won 11 of their last 14 matches overall.
Derby did well to beat Leeds 4-2 at Elland Road in their semi-final second leg, but that was just their third victory in eight matches against teams in the play-offs this season.
Under 2.5 goals
The last six Championship play-off finals have come in under this mark, including two 0-0s and three 1-0s, with teams unwilling to take too many risks.
That sequence includes last season’s final, which Villa lost 1-0 to Fulham, so there is no reason why this game should buck the trend.
Jack Grealish to be carded
Grealish’s class could turn this game in Villa’s favour, but his feistiness could also land him in trouble.
He was booked in last season’s final, as well as away at Birmingham in the league this season, so doesn’t hold back when the stakes are high.
Bradley Johnson to be carded
Grealish has also been fouled comfortably more than any other player in the division, so at least one of Derby’s midfielders are likely to have their name taken.
Johnson has been carded nine times this season, and ranks top for fouls in Frank Lampard’s squad, so is the outstanding candidate.
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