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Monday, May 27, 2013

Championship play-off preview

The Championship play-off final guarantees tension, drama and excitement with the promised land of the top-flight just 90 minutes away for both teams.
Gianfranco Zola's Watford came close to securing automatic promotion but had to settle for third place behind Hull City on a dramatic final day of the season.
They booked their place at Wembley in stunning circumstances against Leicester as Anthony Knockaert's last-gasp penalty was kept out by Manuel Almunia, with Troy Deeney then scoring on the break to seal a 3-2 aggregate success.
Palace, who finished fifth in the final standings, overcame bitter rivals Brighton in their semi-final, with Manchester United-bound Wilfried Zaha scoring twice in their second leg victory which was later overshadowed by the revelation excrement had been left on their dressing room floor.
Palace boss Ian Holloway is a veteran of the play-off finals, having guided Blackpool to the Premier League with victory over Cardiff in 2010, but tasting defeat at the hands of West Ham two years later.
Watford were last in the Premier League in 2006/07, when they overcame Leeds at the Millennium Stadium to secure promotion, while Palace's last taste of top-flight action was in 2004/05

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