Crewe come into this weekend’s crunch clash in decent form, having lost just one of their last six matches, and the Railwaymen are chalked up as Paddy Power’s 5/4 (2.25) favourites to win on Sunday afternoon.
The out-of-sorts Shrimpers can be backed at 21/10 (3.10) with the same firm to taste glory at Wembley. With nerves likely to play a part, draw backers may be tempted by Paddy Power’s 11/5 (3.20) quote that the match ends in stalemate in 90 minutes.
Southend parted company with former manager Paul Sturrock last month and the Shrimpers, who come into this clash without a win in their last five matches, will hope that they can find some form under the stewardship of former Hull City manager Phil Brown.
Brown’s first two matches in charge of the League Two side have ended in draws, having been held by Bradford City and Fleetwood Town respectively, and the 53-year-old boss will be desperate to taste victory for the first time since taking over the reins at Roots Hall.
The assignment, though, looks tough for the Shrimpers and Steve Davis’ League One outfit will be keen to stamp their authority on the match from an early stage.
Paddy Power go 13/5 (3.60) that Crewe lead at both half time and full time while the same firm offers a juicy 9/2 (5.50) that the first half is drawn with the Railwaymen winning the second half.
It is worth noting that Crewe’s slender 1-0 win over Preston North End last Monday was the first clean sheet that the League One side have kept in 12 matches.
Meanwhile, Southend have conceded in each of their last 13 games, so the 4/5 (1.80) quote for both teams to score is sure to attract plenty of support here.
More often than not, though, the big occasion leads to a tight, nervy match and a low-scoring encounter seems likely here.
Crewe are the form side going into Sunday’s final and Steven Davis’ side can justify their favourite tags by winning at Paddy Power’s generous 5/4 (2.25) quote, while the chunky 9/2 (5.50) quote from the same firm for the League One side to make the breakthrough after a tense opening period is the value selection here.
|Crewe Alexandra to win at 5/4 (2.25) with Paddy Power
||Draw half time/Crewe full time at 9/2 (5.50) with Paddy Power
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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter