Matt tips his former club to go up

MATT Holland has tipped former club Bournemouth to win promotion to Division Two, by beating Lincoln City in today's play-off final, writes Derek Davis.

MATT Holland has tipped former club Bournemouth to win promotion to Division Two, by beating Lincoln City in today's play-off final, writes Derek Davis.

And he believes Ipswich Town will be playing Cardiff City and Sheffield United in Division One next season.

The Blues skipper joined the Blues from the Cherries in a bargain £800,000 move six years ago but still has a soft spot for the side which gave him his league debut.

Although The Imps rattled in five goals in their play-off semi-final first leg against Scunthorpe before going on to win 6-3 on aggregate, Holland feels Bournemouth will have enough to win through.

You may also want to watch:

He said: "I do fancy Bournemouth to win and they are probably slight favourites. It looked for a while that they might go up automatically but Wrexham put together a late surge and got through.

"It will be interesting though as Bournemouth relied heavily on their home form this season, losing just twice, and have not been as strong away from home.

Most Read

"We also know now that Lincoln are capable of scoring goals, as their semi-final showed, and are good in attack, but even so I fancy Bournemouth to nick it."

Holland has been in a training camp with the Republic of Ireland this week and will miss seeing the games live.

He added: "I would love to have been there to watch them. My father-in-law is a big fan and has tickets but I'm with Ireland until Sunday night so won't get back."

Neither Division One finalists Sheffield United nor Wolves will have much of a backing by neutrals, who would consider it like being asked who they would want to win between Argentina and Germany.

Holland though believes Neil Warnock's side have gone as far as they can this season.

He said: "I would just about prefer Wolves in this one. They have three great Irish lads with Denis Irwin, Paul Butler and Mark Kennedy and I have just got a feeling they will sneak it.

"They are like we were at Ipswich a few years ago when we kept knocking on the door, and like us I feel they will get up eventually and this is the year.

"You can't write Sheffield United off, they never give up and score a lot of goals.

"Michael Brown has been one of the most outstanding players in our division, getting more than 20 goals from midfield, so he is a dangerous player. It will be another tight game but I go for Wolves to edge it."

And the midfielder, who has attracted interest from a raft of Premiership clubs for the past year, believes Town will face Welsh opposition in the new campaign, although whether he is at Portman Road or not is another matter.

He said: "This is a tough one to call. Lennie Lawrence has spent a lot of money and many Cardiff fans expected promotion.

"They might have gone up automatically but had a poor end of season and Crewe nipped in ahead of them to get that second spot. They are a strong side and it is just about a home game for them.

"QPR are a good team with a lot of good players but I feel the Cardiff strikers, Robert Earnshaw and Peter Thorne, might just give them the edge – but again it will be close."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter