Ben Garner, the Swindon manager, is 100% correct when he says the play-offs are a different competition entirely, to the league games that got them to this game today.
He is also right that his team has shown a great ability to handle pressure in the last few weeks as they had to win every game to get into the play-offs, so they definitely have the attitude for one off games.
Vale too have grit about them and kept their playoff hopes alive with a 1-0 win at already promoted Exeter, so we have a pair of teams that can dig in.
It is the first time since 1993 that Vale has made the play-offs and I’m thinking they may well stop Swindon going straight back up having suffered relegation last season.
Swindon do not have a great record at home, in fact it’s the worst record of any top 10 side in League 2 with nine wins, seven draws and seven defeats. They also have the worst defensive record in the top 10, with 54 goals conceded.
Vale arrive though having suffered three defeats in their last four games and it may well have been the case Exeter didn’t turn up in their last game as they were already promoted.
Swindon have only failed to score in four home games this season and on head-to-head back form you’d be favouring a home win as they have a 10-4 record against Vale. Games between these two sides average nearly three goals (2.88), but as I say, this is a cup final as opposed to a league game and it’ll be squeaky tight.
I’m thinking that with the poor home record Swindon has, and Vale’s ability to dig in, this will end up a low scoring draw. Let’s say 1-1.
I will certainly have a bet on the draw @ 11/5