EFL Championship playoff final: Abraham Tomori collide in the world’s richest game
The pre-match hype has focused on Frank Lampard and John Terry but there’s extensive African interest in the £170 million showdown
The prematch attention ahead of Monday’s EFL Championship playoff final between Derby County and Aston Villa has been firmly fixed on the eye-watering estimated £170 million financial windfall for the winners, and for two legends in the dugout, Frank Lampard and John Terry.
Since Derby saw off Leeds United 4-3 on aggregate and Villa defeated West Bromwich Albion 4-3 on penalties after being tied 2-2 in the semi-final, the former Chelsea teammates facing off for a place in the Premier League next season has generated column inches, even though Terry is only assistant to Villans manager Dean Smith.
Even though this narrative has overshadowed the meeting between these two sides for what’s tagged ‘the most valuable match in world football’, the direct competition between Nigerian duo Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham has been slightly swept under the rug, regardless of the fact it is one of the game’s fascinating subplots.
Both graduates of the Chelsea academy, the pair thrived in the 2018/19 season away from their parent club. Abraham netted a staggering 25 goals in 37 appearances – the first Villain to do so since Andy Gray in 1977 – which saw him end joint-second (with Brentford’s Neal Maupay) on the scorers chart, and four behind top scorer Teemu Pukki.