The atmosphere is building at Wembley. It looks like the top tier is empty so the two sets of fans – two of the biggest fanbases in League Two – will be crowded into the middle and bottom tiers.
Some great pre-match reading for you: Will Unwin on the father and son on opposing sides at Wembley today
Carlisle (probable 3-4-1-2): Holy; Whelan, Mellish, Huntington; Senior, Guy, Moxon, Armer; McCalmont; Garner, Gordon. Subs: Kelly, Gibson, Edmondson, Patrick, Dennis, Charters, Robinson.
Stockport (probable 3-5-2): Hinchliffe; Wright, Horsfall, Hussey; Knoyle, Sarcevic, Camps, Croasdale, Rydel; Madden, Olaofe. Subs: Jaros, Byrne, Evans, Collar, Stretton, Hippolye, Lewis.
Hello all and welcome to the big one – Football League Play-Off Weekend II: Secret of the League Twoooze. (Yes, yes. Yes, I know. I’m sorry.)
If Saturday’s first instalment is anything to go by then we should be in for some entertainment. There was certainly no shortage of drama in the semi-finals, where Stockport came through on penalties against Salford, and Carlisle needed extra time in their second leg to beat Bradford. The sides played out a 2-2 draw in their league meeting in April and only three points separated the sides at the end of the season.
But if there recent paths have been similar, their last decade or so could not have been much different. Stockport were last in the third tier in 20019-10, rubbing shoulders with Leeds, Southampton and Brighton among others. But after a precipitous drop they were a still Conference North side as recently as 2018-19, tangling with Blyth Spartans, Alfreton Town et al. Two promotions in four seasons have followed and they stand on the verge of a third in five.
While County have been up and down Carlisle meanwhile have been tootling along in League Two since 2014-15, with this only their second trip to the playoffs in those nine seasons.
Kick off is at 1.30pm BST.