The League Two play-off final pits Stockport County and Carlisle United up against each other, the two sides looking to reach the third tier for the first time since 2010 and 2014, respectively.
Stockport’s rise up the leagues has been meteoric, winning two promotions in four years thanks to the backing of local business Mark Stott. He has put his faith in Dave Challinor, the 47-year-old is looking for a first EFL promotion after winning six in non-league at various clubs. Paul Simpson is the man in charge of Carlisle United, the 56-year-old already a hero after winning back-to-back promotions just shy of a decade ago – he also won the U20 World Cup with England in 2017.
This is a fascinating clash between two northern clubs with a long-standing EFL presence and all eyes will be focused on it ahead of the Premier League final day. We’ve therefore put together a stats pack with all the information you could want to create a Carlisle vs Stockport bet builder. To learn more about our stats packs, click here.
Carlisle vs Stockport starting LINEUPS
Mellish a banker to replace Barclay for Carlisle
Paul Simpson has fewer issues selecting his starting XI with John-Kymani Gordon doing a good job up top in the second leg of their semi-final, and Joe Garner likely to keep his place thanks to a freak Kristian Dennis shin injury. Ben Barclay was the hero of their win over Bradford City but he is on loan from Stockport County, meaning he is unavailable. Fortunately, Jon Mellish is back from suspension, with Corey Whelan expected to return to the right side of the back three.
Challinor with difficult selection choices for final
Dave Challinor was so unimpressed with his team’s performance in the first leg of their semi-final that he made wholesale changes for the second leg – Joe Lewis, Ryan Rydel, Isaac Olaofe and Paddy Madden all returning while Will Collar, Ryan Croasdale, Antoni Sarcevic and Myles Hippolyte all joined in after the hour mark. Madden and Olaofe should retain their places in attack but Challinor has a big decision to make in midfield.
Carlisle vs Stockport TEAM STATS
Carlisle overperforming at both ends
Carlisle’s rise has come thanks to an ability to create good chances and deny the opposition the same. They are just about in the top half as far as the number of shots at both ends goes but only two teams have conceded fewer shots on target and they rank third for goals scored and fourth for fewest conceded in League Two. Like their Wembley opposition, Carlisle are well disciplined but draw just shy of two cards per game from their opposition.
Stockport defensively sound
If you want a league with goals, League Two isn’t often the place and it’s no surprise that teams who concede fewer goals tend to perform well. Stockport have understood that this season, conceding the second fewest goals, shots and shots on target. Their discipline has been excellent too, picking up an average of 1.35 cards per 90 – best in the division.
Carlisle vs Stockport SHOTS AND SHOTS ON TARGET STATS
Moxon a danger from deep for Carlisle
Carlisle are in a similar boat. They haven’t had a number of big goalscorers beyond Kristian Dennis but Owen Moxon has certainly stepped up, the deep-lying midfielder has managed two or more shots in five of his last nine games, keeping up appearances with his shot total this term. Corey Whelan is one to keep an eye on in defence – he had five shots in Carlisle’s two play-off matches and managed two in both league matches against Stockport.
Hippolyte causes a fright for opposition
When a team attacks as well as Stockport, it’s often because players behind the strikers chip in and that is certainly the case. Myles Hippolyte is a case in point, averaging over two shots on goal per 90 minutes. Will Collar is another, the man who returned for their semi-final second leg has mustered two or more shots in nine of his last 15 matches. Fraser Horsfall is a well known danger for League Two clubs – he has had a shot in seven of his last nine starts and two or more in four of those.
Carlisle vs Stockport GOALS AND ASSISTS STATS
Moxon having the season of his life
Owen Moxon returned to Carlisle this summer after a spell in Scotland and has done so with a bang an extremely impressive 20 goal contributions from his deep-lying midfield position, including an assist against Bradford City last time out. He is available to score or assist at 3.10 and could be a worthy addition to your Carlisle vs Stockport bet builder. Jon Mellish will return for this one after suspension and could make himself a hero by adding to his six goals from centre-back.
Paddy Madden for a big final
Paddy Madden has previous in big matches. He scored the opener for Yeovil Town in their 2013 League One play-off win. He scored the winner for Stockport in the 1-0 win over Torquay United to secure their promotion last season. The Irishman hasn’t had the greatest campaign amid niggling injuries but has still come up with 14 goal contributions from 28.9 90’s and is available to score anytime at 3.60. With Chris Hussey and Ryan Rydel supplying bullets from the left (six assists apiece), he stands a chance of finding the net.
CARLISLE CARDS AND FOULS STATS
Garner fouls as much as he is fouled
While Garner may go down and appeal for a foul often, he is also not afraid to let his opponents know he is around – he has committed comfortably over 2.5 fouls per 90 minutes, committing two or more fouls in five of his ten starts. At the base of midfield, Owen Moxon does plenty of dirty work too and has committed three or more fouls in five of his last nine starts.
Garner will have plenty of candidates to get stuck into with direct competitor Horsfall being fouled over once per 90 and Chris Hussey, who will see most of the ball for Stockport at left centre back, being fouled just shy of twice per 90 minutes and six times in two recent matches. Moxon will have his hands full with Myles Hippolyte and Callum Camps, the latter of whom has been fouled in each of his last six starts.
Carlisle vs Stockport Key Matchups
Joe Garner vs Fraser Horsfall
Owen Moxon vs Callum Camps
Jon Mellish vs Isaac Olaofe
STOCKPORT CARDS AND FOULS STATS
Horsfall battle with Garner one to watch
Fraser Horsfall doesn’t tend to receive many cards but he is more than happy to commit a foul when necessary and that has especially been the case of late, the ex-Northampton Town man has committed ten fouls in his last three matches and two or more fouls in seven of his last ten. In front of him, Ryan Croasdale has committed two or more fouls in eight of his last 12 starts.
Garner has been fouled over 2.5 times per 90 minutes played and has been fouled two or more times in five of his ten starts since returning to Cumbria. His strike partner isn’t averse to being kicked – Gordon was fouled five times against Stockport recently.
Carlisle vs Stockport Key Matchups
Fraser Horsfall vs Joe Garner
Joe Lewis vs John-Kymani Gordon
Myles Hippolyte vs Callum Guy