Play-off quartet set for Nottingham showdown

The Elite League descends on Nottingham this weekend for its annual showpiece play-off final event.

Quadruple-chasing Cardiff Devils play Dundee Stars in Saturday’s first semi-final (face-off 1.00pm), with Belfast Giants meeting Sheffield Steelers in the second game (5.00pm)

The losing teams take part in the third-place play-off the following day (12noon), with the two winners progressing to the final (4.00pm).

The Devils are favourites to secure the Grand Slam this weekend and if you’re looking to wager on the event, check out these excellent iphone betting apps for the best odds.

We take a look at how the teams fared against each other during the 2016/17 league campaign:

Cardiff Devils v Dundee Stars (Devils W4 L0 – aggregate 17-8)

The Devils have already won the regular season title, Challenge Cup and Erhardt Conference and are favourites to add the play-off crown to their haul this weekend.

Andrew Lord’s team swept their league series against Dundee this season and will fancy their chances of extending that run on Saturday, although their opponents shouldn’t be underestimated.

Dundee impressively disposed of Braehead Clan in the quarter-final and head to Nottingham full of confidence.

However, Cardiff are likely to prove too strong and should progress to the final.

Belfast Giants v Sheffield Steelers (Giants W4 L4 – aggregate 20-27)

Belfast finished a point ahead of Sheffield in the regular season standings and there was little to choose between the teams in their eight league meetings.

The Giants produced two professional performances to see off Fife Flyers in the last round and Derrick Walser’s team have steadily built momentum towards a serious tilt at the play-offs over the last few weeks.

Sheffield were taken to overtime by Nottingham Panthers in their quarter-final, but they’re a dangerous team to rule out with any confidence.

This one could go either way, but we fancy the Steelers to get the job done after a titanic tussle.

(Image permission: Cardiff Devils)

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