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Baggies reach Wembley to face Derby

West Bromwich Albion this morning beat Wolverhampton Wanderers in a Black Country derby play-off to set up a Championship play-off final against Derby at Wembley on May 28.

After an exciting first leg at Molineux, the second leg was a bit sub-dued as the expected Wolves attack never eventuated but it was the Baggies who dominated the second leg as Kevin Phillips continued his scoring run.

Derby had to go through the penalty shoot-out after losing the second leg 3-2 at Pride Park. The two games yielded a total of eight goals but I think the Saints played quite well in the second leg knowing they had nothing to lose and so they just went for it.

The play-off final should be a tight encounter and I won't be surprised if the match is decided on penalties. In the normal season, the Baggies beat the Rams 1-0 at the Hawthorns and at Pride Park the home team won 2-1. So its honours even but this time there is a very big prize at stake and that's the premiership.

If the Baggies win at Wembley it will mean that for the first time all the three relegated sides from one season would have gone back to the premiership on first attempt.

...congrats Wes, but let me just warn you that Derby are not an easy proposition, and are slight favourites (bookies!!!)
Good luck to both teams...a team from the Midlands, means trouble for my team Arsenal..doesn't do well against such sides...if Albion qualifies, they might get Kanu back from Portsmouth...enjoy

Actually I will not be surprised if Derby were to win the final because I think they deserve to have been promoted automatically given the way they played throughout the season but they lost some key games towards the end.

However, if they play the way they did against Soton at Pride Park, then the Baggies have a chance especially with Phillips and Kamara combining the way they are doing with Koumas pulling up the strings in midfield.

As for Kanu I don't think he will even think of coming back to the Hawthorns because he didn't contribute much apart from that win against Arsenal and I think he better stay with Pompey. I also don't like these players who ditch teams the moment they are relegated and yet they contributed to the relegation.

..all good players are like that, they don't want to play in unfashionable leagues, I'm surprised that Kamara stuck with the Baggies, he is Premier League material and I don't see Phillips staying as well, he has done enough to attract the attention of big teams....

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But then again there is loyalty. Maybe its time that some of these players show a bit of loyalty to the clubs they play for. Kamara has been good for the Baggies and I think he stayed in the hope that the team would be promoted after just one season and if that doesn't happen on May 28, then he will probably be leaving to a premiership club.

As for Phillips, I doubt he will leave the Baggies but then again in football anything is possible these days. He has been instrumental in the 100 goals scored this season and he has sort of captured the goal scoring form he had at Sunderland a few years ago.