THE Championship play-off final promises to be an absolute cracker this afternoon – and one that could go either way.
Both managers have been there and done it at the highest level and will be desperate to get back in the Premier League.
Out of Queens Park Rangers or Derby County, having watched both sides this season, the Rams were the ones that stood out for me.
QPR have huffed and puffed, but from their perspective it’s important they go up because of their finances.
As a squad they should have more than enough to get through. If they play to their best they should win.
But I have a sneaky feeling about Derby. There’s just something about them this season under Steve McClaren.
In Charlie Austin QPR have a potent weapon, though.
He was badly missed when he was sidelined with a shoulder injury but he came back to fitness at the right time for the team, and is probably a lot fitter now than he was a couple of weeks ago, so that’s a danger for Derby.
I can see it being quite an open game with goals.
If QPR aren’t successful, then I would expect Austin to move on in the summer.
He has already been linked with Hull City, which seems bizarre considering they had the chance to sign him last season.
One national newspaper has also printed the rumour that Austin could even return to Turf Moor for £6million.
Personally, I can’t see that happening.
For one thing, if the Clarets can keep Danny Ings and Sam Vokes together as a partnership when they’re both fit I don’t think Charlie would start games for them.
Don’t get me wrong, I think he would improve the squad.
But if you’re going to bring in a top striker, and spend that kind of money, you need to bring in someone tried and tested in the Premier League in my opinion; someone who’s been there and done it and can score goals.
But 19 other Premier League teams are vying for that kind of striker.
And it’s okay spending that kind of money on a striker – or any player – it’s giving them the wages that go with it.
It’s all about people who want to play for Burnley, not the amount of money they can earn while at the club.