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May 27, 2019 at 3pm UK at Villa Park
Attendance: 85,826
Aston Villa
2-1
DerbyDerby County
El Ghazi (44'), McGinn (59')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Waghorn (81')

Dean Smith: 'Wrong to leave Championship playoff final until last'

Dean Smith: 'Wrong to leave Championship playoff final until last'
© Reuters
Villa lost in last season's Sky Bet Championship play-off final to Fulham.

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith wants the Sky Bet Championship play-off final to be given top billing.

Villa face Derby in their promotion showdown at Wembley on Monday, after the Sky Bet League One and Two play-off finals.

Tranmere face Newport on Saturday before Charlton and Sunderland play for the right to return to the Championship on Sunday.

The winner of Monday's match will net £170million even if they finish bottom of the Premier League next season and Smith feels it deserves to be first.

He said:  "It's a long time to wait. It's a little bit wrong in my opinion that – given the prize which is on offer – and we're the third game on at Wembley over the weekend.

"But the players are really excited and looking forward to the game now.

"We're confident without being over-confident. There's been no change in their attitude or application in training.

"There's a tightness about the group and a lot of banter goes on within the group. But when they get down to work they work very hard. They're calm but looking forward to it."

Villa's slow first-half performance against Fulham in last year's final contributed to their heartbreaking 1-0 defeat, but Smith feels they will avoid a similar problem this time.

He said: "What we've got that can help us is, for the last 15 or 16 games, we've been playing must-win games. Each game we've taken in isolation and we've been on an unbelievable run.

"The players are the first to have won 10 games on the bounce at this club and they'll always be history makers.

"They've got that on their side already. We've beaten West Brom who finished above us and the right team went through."

Only Orjan Nyland is missing for Villa, with the goalkeeper sidelined since January with a torn Achilles.

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Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa hangs his head after Leeds United are denied a spot in the Championship playoff final on May 15, 2019
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool38323385335299
2Manchester CityMan City382639102356781
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd381812866363066
4Chelsea382061269541566
5Leicester CityLeicester381881267412662
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs3816111161471459
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves381514951401159
8Arsenal381414105648856
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd381412123939054
10Burnley38159144350-754
11Southampton38157165160-952
12Everton381310154456-1249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381111163858-2044
14Crystal Palace381110173150-1943
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914153954-1541
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham38109194962-1339
17Aston Villa3898214167-2635
RBournemouth3897224065-2534
RWatford38810203664-2834
RNorwich CityNorwich3856272675-4921

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