Charlton and Sunderland are no strangers to one another when it comes to play-off finals having been part of an epic encounter 21 years ago. The two sides meet again on Sunday with a place in the Championship on the line and it is worth getting behind underdogs Charlton to turn back the clock.
The south London outfit emerged victorious on penalties after an amazing 4-4 draw when they faced Sunderland at the old Wembley in 1998. It was a game that was eventually voted as the best in the history of the national stadium.
Whether we will get another high-scoring classic remains to be seen, although Charlton did give us a treat in their 3-3 draw with Doncaster in the second leg of their semi-final tie. The Addicks eventually progressed on penalties but their sharpness in front of goal is what gives them the edge.
Lee Bowyer’s men ended the season in third after a strong run of results, winning eight of their last 10 matches to finish three points clear of Sunderland.
The Black Cats dragged themselves across the line, winning just one of their last six matches, that solitary victory coming in the first leg of their last-four clash with Portsmouth. They then dug out a goalless draw at Fratton Park to reach Wembley – but it was far from convincing.
Jack Ross’s side have already lost at Wembley once this year, losing a shootout to Portsmouth in the Checkatrade Trophy final, extending their dreadful record at the national stadium to two draws and four defeats since they lifted the FA Cup back in 1973.
The Wearsiders are a tough nut to crack though, losing just seven league games all season, while they took four points off Charlton in their two regular season meetings.
Sunderland start as the 29/20 favourites but their unconvincing form and dreadful record at Wembley means Charlton are worth taking to edge it in 90 minutes, with the added safety of your money back should it go to extra-time.
Taylor rejected a move to Sunderland in favour of joining Charlton last summer and it appears to have been the right choice as he has flourished at the Valley, netting 22 times in League One.
The Montserrat international got hot towards the end of the season and has netted 10 goals in his last 12 appearances for Charlton. He bagged at the Stadium of Light way back in August and could be the difference between two evenly-matched sides on Sunday.
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