Hull City boss Steve Bruce has suggested that Derby County are the favourites for promotion if pushed to choose but insisted anything can happen over the next week or two, Hull’s official website report.
The Tigers qualified for the playoffs after finishing fourth in the Championship and will play Derby in a two-legged semi-final, with Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday featuring in the other semi-final.
It has been billed as one of the hardest playoffs to predict in years, with all four teams having a great chance of not only reaching the final at Wembley but earning promotion to the Premier League.
Bruce’s Hull travel to the iPro Stadium to take on Derby in the first leg this afternoon, and the former Manchester United defender feels the Rams are probably the overall favourites to go up.
“You’d probably say that they (Derby) are the favourites. However, I don’t think there is a favourite. The one thing we have seen over the years is the unpredictability of the Play-Offs,” Bruce told Hull’s official website.
“They’re fabulous for the excitement they bring and they keep the season alive for teams. It’s a great two or three games and, of course, if you can get through to the final then a trip to Wembley is everybody’s cup of tea.”
Hull and Derby were separated by five points in the end, yet the two league games between the teams went the way of the East Midlands side as the recorded impressive 2-0 and 4-0 triumphs.
Brighton narrowly missed out on automatic promotion on goal difference, and they finished some 15 points clear of the Owls in the table. The Seagulls will be disappointed at missing out on a top two spot, and suffered a huge blow on Friday with a 2-0 defeat away to Sheffield Wednesday in the first leg of their play-off clash.