After a season filled with drama and suspense as fans watched on from their homes, the 2020-21 EFL campaign comes to an end at the home of football as six teams compete for promotion up the football pyramid, with a small number of supporters able to head down Wembley Way with hopes and expectations of Play-Off glory.
It all kicks off on Saturday afternoon with the Championship sides, as one of Brentford or Swansea City will secure their place in the Premier League next season alongside Norwich and Watford. The Bees, who have not played in the top flight of English football during the post-Second World War period, overcame a one goal deficit in the first leg of their Semi-Final with Bournemouth to win 3-2 on aggregate. Their Welsh opponents took control in the first leg of their tie with Barnsley, winning 2-1 on aggregate as they look to return to the Premier League three years after they were relegated.
On Sunday it’s the turn of the League One sides, as Blackpool and Lincoln City clash under the Wembley arch. The Tangerines emphatically saw off Oxford United 6-3 on aggregate as they look to return to the second tier six years after the first of back-to-back relegation seasons that saw them drop from the Championship to League Two. Four years on from their promotion from the National League to the EFL, the Imps kept their meteoric rise on track with a 3-2 win over Sunderland in the Semi-Finals.
The season comes to a close on Bank Holiday Monday, as League Two sides Morecambe and Newport County face off for the right to be promoted to the third tier. For the Shrimps, who saw off Tranmere 3-2 in the Semi-Finals, promotion would mark the highest position they’ve reached in their history, having reached the Football League for the first time in 2007 and played in the fourth tier since then. For the Exiles, it’s been a long road back to the football league after going out of business and being re-formed in 1989. After beating Forest Green Rovers 5-4 in the semis, they are now one win away from returning to third tier for the first time in 34 years.
One of the best way for fans to get hyped up ahead of the game, whether watching from the comfort of your home, or if you’ve been lucky enough to get a ticket for the big day and are heading on the walk down Wembley way is to get their ears stuck into the EFL SkyBet Play-Off Finals Playlist 2021 – available to follow and stream on Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music.
The playlist is topped by artists who are fans of each of Saturday’s Championship finalists, London garage crew Kurupt FM and Hard-FI representing Brentford, and Swansea’s own alt-rockers Trampolene, plus a song close to the heart of every Swans fan, Depeche Mode‘s ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’. The playlist is also packed with some of the biggest new tunes from the likes of Major Lazer, Years & Years, Pendulum, Noel Gallagher, Coldplay and more.
Ahead of the game, Kurupt FM and Trampolene have taken over their club’s respective playlist and spoke to EFL.com about their expectations ahead of kick off on Saturday.
Kurupt FM’s MC Grindah has predicted an 8-0 win for the West London side, Speaking about being a Bees fan when he was younger, he said, “Growing up, Brentford felt like this weird football club that no-one had heard of and you’d get laughed at by all the kids in their Man United shirts or whatever. But now we’re on the telly and we’re seen as a proper team. They still laugh at our shirts but they’ve heard of us now, so who’s really laughing!”.
He also had this message for the Brentford squad, “Stay focused, don’t let yourselves be distracted by stupidness. Remember what the most important thing is – if you win this game you’ll literally be in the Premier League and you’ll get bare money.”
Trampolene frontman Jack Jones will be watching in France, where he is currently self-isolating with the rest of Peter Doherty and the Puta Madres, who he plays lead guitar for. His favourite Swans players is Andre Ayew, adding that “in general I just love the way we play…fast passing and pressure…it’s the Swansea city way…great young players too.”
Jack has predicted a 3-2 win for Swansea, however he says that “Win or lose they’ve smashed this season for me. Hopefully we’ll win though.”