Everything You Need To Know About The EFL Play-Off Semi-Finals

There are six mouth-watering ties coming to your screens
14:01, 10 May 2023

The EFL play-offs get underway this Friday as the action-packed end of season competitions determine the final teams to achieve promotion to the Premier League, Championship and League One. With six mouth-watering ties coming to your TV screens, here are all the key details for the EFL play-off semi-final first legs.


Sunderland v Luton Town

Where: Stadium of Light

When: Saturday 13 May

Kick-off: 5:30pm

Referee: Tim Robinson

TV: Sky Sports Main Event/Sky Sports Football

Betfred match odds: Sunderland 8/5, Luton 15/8, Draw 21/10

Betfred promotion odds: Sunderland 10/3, Luton 5/2

Luton Town have reached the play-offs for the second successive season and there are going to be many neutral supporters backing the Hatters in the race for promotion. Under Rob Edwards they have continued their progress after the amazing work accomplished by his predecessor Nathan Jones. Luton lost just eight games all season, a record bettered only by champions Burnley (three) so there is a lot to be said for their defensive organisation.

Sunderland have become the first newly-promoted team from League One to finish in the top six since Brentford in 2014-15. The Black Cats have enjoyed a very successful year back in the second tier and the club is undoubtedly in a much healthier position than it was when they suffered back-to-back relegations from the Premier League to the third tier. They are blessed with a lot of attacking talent with the likes of Amad Diallo and Jack Clarke, but they will be wary of the dangers Luton possess.

Coventry City v Middlesbrough

Where: CBS Arena

When: Sunday 14 May

Kick-off: 12pm

Referee: Robert Madley

TV: Sky Sports Main Event/Sky Sports Football

Betfred match odds: Coventry 8/5, Middlesbrough 9/5, Draw 21/10

Betfred promotion odds: Coventry 7/2, Middlesbrough 13/8

Middlesbrough’s season was completely revitalised by Michael Carrick when he replaced Chris Wilder back in October. Boro have been an excellent force in the Championship and some have been left wondering whether they would have been in position to secure an automatic promotion spot had the former England midfielder been in charge earlier.

Coventry’s top-six finish has been an even greater story. The Sky Blues endured a slow start to the season and were still in the bottom three after 15 matches. Mark Robins has continued to work wonders for the club and if he were to complete the full set of promotions from League Two to the Premier League in the space of five years, it would be a monumental achievement. 

League One

Peterborough United v Sheffield Wednesday

Where: Weston Homes Stadium

When: Friday 12 May

Kick-off: 8pm

Referee: Anthony Backhouse

TV: Sky Sports Main Event/Sky Sports Football

Betfred match odds: Peterborough 7/4, Sheffield Wednesday 13/8, Draw 9/4

Betfred promotion odds: Peterborough 4/1, Sheffield Wednesday 6/4

Sheffield Wednesday head into the play-offs as clear favourites after a great campaign under Darren Moore. They will be disappointed that they did not seal their return to the Championship automatically after they went an incredible 23 games unbeaten and tallied a total of 96 points, an English league record for a third-placed club. However, a turgid run towards the end of the season confined them to the play-offs, where the Owls will be hoping they can get the job done.


Thanks to their final-day victory over Barnsley and Wednesday’s win over Derby County, Peterborough secured their place in the play-offs under Darren Ferguson. The Posh last won the League One play-offs back in 2010-11 and they were the runners-up in the third tier back in 2020-21 under Ferguson. They have plenty of experience of getting out of the third tier.

Bolton Wanderers v Barnsley

Where: University of Bolton Stadium

When: Saturday 13 May

Kick-off: 3pm

Referee: Andrew Kitchen

TV: Sky Sports Main Event/Sky Sports Football

Betfred match odds: Bolton 7/5, Barnsley 2/1, Draw 9/4

Betfred promotion odds: Bolton 10/3, Barnsley 5/2 

Bolton are looking to make an emphatic return to the Championship after four seasons away which saw them do the double drop down to League Two. Ian Evatt’s side have been very impressive throughout 2022-23 and a play-off campaign shouldn’t faze them after winning the Papa John’s Trophy against League One champions Plymouth Argyle last month.

Barnsley too have been familiar with the surroundings of the second tier in recent years and it was only two seasons ago that they were competing in the Championship play-offs under Valerien Ismael. Michael Duff’s side have been one of the strongest teams in the division this year, having scored 80 goals across their 46-match campaign.

League Two

Salford City v Stockport County

Where: Peninsula Stadium

When: Saturday 13 May 

Kick-off: 7:45pm

Referee: Tom Nield

TV: Sky Sports Main Event/Sky Sports Football

Betfred match odds: Salford 9/5, Stockport 8/5, Draw 11/5

Betfred promotion odds: Salford 10/3, Stockport 13/8

This Greater Manchester clash looks like one of the ties of the entire EFL play-offs. Salford City’s rise under Gary Neville and co continues as they look to make their way into the third tier for the first time in their history.

They will face a strong Stockport side who narrowly missed out on automatic promotion on the final day. Like Salford, they have spent some time in the National League and they were promoted back to the Football League as champions only last season. Both clubs are well backed financially for the fourth tier and it hasn’t come as a surprise to many that both have finished in the top seven.

Bradford City v Carlisle United 

Where: Valley Parade

When: Sunday 14 May

Kick-off: 7pm

Referee: Ross Joyce 

TV: Sky Sports Main Event/Sky Sports Football

Betfred match odds: Bradford 6/5, Carlisle 12/5, Draw 9/4

Betfred promotion odds: Bradford 3/1, Carlisle 3/1

There isn’t much to separate these two sides heading into these play-off semi-finals as both teams ended the season with 76 points, having won, drawn and lost the same amount of games. They even scored the same number of goals (43), but Bradford conceded five fewer goals than Carlisle.

Mark Hughes’ side are arguably the biggest club in the fourth tier, and after drawing a club-record crowd of over 22,500 on the final day against Leyton Orient they will be hoping to make the most of another big gate by opening up a decent advantage in the first leg.

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

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