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Rupert Wyman 21st May 2009 - 18:23

Holt can fire Shrewsbury to League 1

£170,000 of Shrewsbury's cash was splashed out on Grant Holt last summer and the striker has repaid the faith shown in him by Paul Simpson by scoring 20 league goals. And you wouldn't back against the ex-Nottingham Forest man grabbing a goal in the League 2 play-off final at Wembley on Saturday.

Shrewsbury's top scorer is 7/1 to open the scoring and 2/1 to score within 90 minutes. One thing is for sure the final will be a tense nervy affair with both teams hoping to get back to the third tier.

Gillingham were only relegated from League 1 last season and were in the Championship up until 2005. While Shrewsbury have not been in the third tier since their relegation in 1997.

The teams are evenly matched and this is evidenced in the betting with Gillingham slight favourites at 13/8, a Shrewsbury 90 minute win priced at 17/10 and the draw 11/5.

Quite often play-off finals aren't the best of matches due to what is at stake and this could be no different. The nerves could take over and with both teams not wanting to make a mistake goals will not be on the expensively-priced Wembley menu - under two goals could be the bet at 15/8. Exactly two is a 13/5 shot and over two goals is even money.

However it is unlikely to be a goalless affair with strikers of the calibre of Holt and Simeon Jackson about. The preference would be for a 1-0 win to Shrewsbury at odds of 7/1. But you can't rule out a 1-1 draw at 11/2 to take the match into extra time. Especially as Salop drew eight of their last 12 League 2 matches to help secure their place in the play-offs.

Indeed the match could be so tight that a penalty shoot-out can't be ruled out. The Shrews' goalkeeper Luke Daniels displayed his penalty-saving prowess in the semi-final against Bury and if it goes all the way Paul Simpson's side will fancy their chances again. Shrewsbury to win on penalties is a 10/1 shot.

As a result of the predicted tightness of the match it will probably be best to avoid the 90 minutes betting and back the team you fancy to win the play-offs. In this market Shrewsbury are priced at 10/11 and Gillingham are 4/5.

Early on in the season Shrewsbury thrashed Gillingham 7-0 at the Prostar Stadium but too much has been made of this result in the build-up to the final. And such an emphatic scoreline will not be repeated at the national stadium.

The semi-finals produced some high drama and this looks set to be repeated in the final at Wembley on Saturday. The match kicks-off at 15:00 and all the action is live on Sky Sports 1. From when the match starts we will be offering a wide range of in-play betting opportunities via our betlive service, all the way through to a penalty shoot-out if required.

William Hill have a tremendous bet one get one free on the league 2 play-off final. If you place £20 on 90 minutes market (home-draw-away) you will get a £5 free bet on the live correct score market. For full details click here.

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