Aston Villa heading to Wembley after draw with Middlesbrough in Championship play-offs

Aston Villa heading to Wembley after draw with Middlesbrough in Championship play-offs

Bruce's Aston Villa are heading to Wembley later this month for the £200m shootout with Fulham after a night of excruciating tension in the west Midlands.

Aston Villa held Middlesbrough to a goalless draw at Villa Park to go through 1-0 on aggregate.

At the heart of that defence was former Chelsea and England centre back John Terry who joined the club previous year on a free transfer and whose appointment as captain appears to have had a significant impact.

Yet again, like the first leg, Traore let his team-mates down with a poor final ball which saw his attempts either go out for a goal kick or hit the first Villa man after such promising dribbles.

Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cardiff were promoted automatically from the League Championship. With respect to Fulham (and Birmingham) fans, it's easy to make Villa the emotional favorite of the playoff final.

Jedinak's first-leg goal making all the difference with the Aussie veteran playing another full game in the middle of the park.

As a team, Villa made 29 total clearances against Boro, with James Chester contributing the most with seven.

With Middlesbrough confirmed to be staying in the Championship next season, there will be two Tony Pulis derbies in 2018/19 - providing the Welshman stays at Boro.

Boro got off to a better start in the second half and signaled their intent early on, with Muhamed Besic firing just wide of the target after 52 minutes.

Steve Bruce's side are one match away from returning to the Premier League from which they were relegated in 2016. The neutrals' favourites are looking strong.Yet there's no point in Villa and Middlesbrough feeling glum when there's still so much to play for before this season's done and dusted.