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Preview: Championship Promotion Playoffs final

Preview: How to watch the Coventry vs Luton Town Championship Promotion Playoffs final live on May 27, 2023

May 27, 2023 By Ali M.
The Sky Blues and the Hatters lock horns at Wembley on Saturday for a ticket to the Premier League. Who will win this crucial final? Here's everything you need to know about this clash.

The Championship Promotion Playoffs final is – finally – here! Coventry City and Luton Town head to Wembley on Saturday in a highly-anticipated battle, with the winner of this clash set to secure their spot in the prestigious Premier League for the 2023/24 season. Both teams have fought tooth and nail to get here, but unfortunately for one team, there can be only one victor.

These two teams are 90 minutes away from promotion to the Premier League but wind the clock back to October and both sides were in the midst of a relegation battle. In fact, back in mid-September, when Coventry played out a 2-2 draw against Luton Town at the CBS Arena, the Sky Blues were bottom of the Championship table.

Mark Robins' side had games in hand but their situation was drastic and their fans were fearing dropping down to League One instead of thinking about promotion. However, the 1987 FA Cup winners went on an amazing run, losing only once in their last 19 outings to finish fifth in the Championship table, racking up 70 points, one more than sixth-placed Sunderland.

Not only that, but Viktor Gyokeres and Co. head into this Wembley showdown on the back of a nine-game unbeaten run, which includes their two-legged encounter with Middlesbrough in the semifinals of the Championship Promotion Playoffs. The Boro entered that clash as the Championship's second-highest scorers, behind only champions Burnley, yet Coventry prevented Carrick's men from scoring even once across both legs.

The Sky Blues failed to register a shot on target until the second half of the second leg but that mattered little. Gustavo Hamer's 57th-minute goal was enough to send Coventry to Wembley, leaving his team on the brink of securing a return to the Premier League for the first time in 22 years.

Luton Town overcame a North East heavyweight to book their ticket to Wembley as well. The Hatters, who finished the season in third with an outstanding tally of 80 points, sealed a date with Sunderland in the Promotion Playoffs semifinals, and just like Coventry, Rob Edwards' side triumphed by a slim margin.

The first leg, which was held at the Stadium of Light, saw Luton throw away a one-nil lead to lose 2-1, with goals from Amad Diallo and Trai Hume overturning Elijah Adebayo's 11th-minute opener. Not only was that a disappointing result, having let a one-goal lead slip, but it also ended the Hatters' impressive 14-match unbeaten run leading up to their trip to Sunderland.

However, Carlton Morris and Co. made amends by delivering an impressive performance in the second leg, winning 2-0 to overturn the deficit in front of their own fans at Kenilworth Road. Unlike Coventry, Luton Town have never played Premier League football before, meaning their 2-0 triumph over Sunderland has put them within touching distance of a historic promotion.

Their last appearance in the English top flight came in the 1991/92 campaign, the season before the launch of the Premier League. The Bedfordshire side were relegated that year and thus never got to taste the current system. Victory over Coventry would end their long wait but the fact that they are even through to Wembley is a remarkable achievement.

Just like the Sky Blues, Luton Town were facing relegation earlier on in the campaign. Rob Edwards, who was sacked by Wigan two months earlier after only 10 league games in charge, was appointed their manager in mid-November following the departure of Nathan Jones for Southampton. This move wasn't a popular decision but after guiding the club to 16 wins and only five defeats in 31 games, Edwards and his players are on the cusp of making history.

Team news

Coventry: The Sky Blues have no fresh concerns, meaning Kasey Palmer (hamstring), Callum O'Hare (knee), Fabio Tavares (Achilles), and Tyler Walker (knock) are the only absent players. Viktor Gyokeres will lead the line and should be joined by Matt Godden in attack. Ben Sheaf should start in midfield while Brooke Norton-Cuffy, who is on loan from Arsenal, and Jake Bidwell will be the wing-backs.

Luton Town: The Hatters are unlikely to make changes to the lineup that beat Sunderland in the semis. Cauley Woodrow is sidelined but he is the only injured player, meaning Edwards won't be forced into making changes. Morris and Adebayo are destined to lead the line but Allan Campbell will be pushing to start in the midfield over Jordan Clark.

Key stats

  • Not only are Luton Town competing for promotion to the Premier League for the first-time ever, but this is also their first appearance in a Football League playoffs final.

  • The Hatters are unbeaten in their last nine clashes with Coventry across all competitions (W4, D5).

  • The Sky Blues have never lost a Football League playoffs match (W3, D2) and have triumphed in their only previous playoffs final appearance (vs. Exeter City in 2017/18 in League Two).

  • Luton Town finished third in the Championship table, 10 points ahead of Coventry, and boast a better defense than their opponent. However, in five out of the last eight Championship playoffs finals, the team that finished third failed to secure promotion.

Broadcast listings


Match details, result and original broadcast info

Coventry City 1 - 1P Luton Town

May 27, 2023 11:45amWembley Stadium (London)

This match has ended. Below are the original Live broadcast details for this match.

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