We all know how good our play-off record is going into the game this Sunday against Lincoln, but how does our record in finals stand up against the rest of the clubs in the country? Paddy Power have done the research to find out.
The research looks at the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, League Cup, Play-Offs and EFL Trophy since 1980/81 and includes this year’s League Cup final, but not Leicester’s recent win of the FA Cup. It also only looks at the 73 teams who have reached at least three finals, so any who have made one or two are exempt. The FL Trophy started in 1983/84 and therefore all games are included.
Cup final kings
So how does our finals record compare with the rest of the country? Only five teams have better win percentages than us in cup finals.
For context, Sunday will be our tenth final since 1980 and only Manchester City have played more in the top 10. If we were to win, we’d equal Birmingham’s record of 80% having played double as many games. Only Peterborough, Charlton and Coventry have 100% records, though the three teams combined can only equal the Pool’s number of games over the last 40 years.
That really puts into perspective our record, and only Swansea (71%) and Hunddersfield (67%) have comparable records to us with over 5 games. If Swansea beat Brentford – who are bottom of the table – on Saturday then their record would be 75%, while if we lost on Sunday then our record would be 70%.
Biggest bottle jobs
Somewhat surprisingly, some sides have an even worse record than our neighbours down the M55. After PNE’s solitary win back in 2015 which they still talk about to this day, they climbed out of 73rd place and now boast the 62nd best record in English football. Right at the very bottom is Brentford, who contest in the Championship play-off final on Saturday – their eighth final and they’re aiming for their first win!
See below the full results. Only Liverpool (28), Manchester United (26), Chelsea (22), Arsenal (19), Spurs (13) and Manchester City (11) have played in more finals than us who go into our 10th on Sunday. Aston Villa have played 9, while Bolton, Bristol City and Sunderland have all played 8.
In terms of wins, Liverpool lead the way with 18 wins, followed by Manchester United (16), Chelsea (14), Arsenal (11) and Manchester City (9). Blackpool have won 7 ahead of Sunday, while Spurs have 6 and Swansea have 5.
Looking ahead to Sunday
Lincoln’s record is 54th, with one win from three finals. They won the Football League Trophy in 2018 so do have recent pedigree, though only Harry Anderson – who came on after 64 minutes that day – is still at the club out of the players who appeared for the Imps that day. Lincoln have lost their other two play-off finals, and are yet to make it through in any of their six campaigns in their history.
Fingers crossed that our excellent record – both in cup finals and play-offs – remains in tact come Sunday tea time.
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