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Leeds vs. Southampton: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

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          Leeds vs. Southampton: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

          As the English Football League Championship season draws to a dramatic close, the fixture list throws up a particularly enthralling encounter between Leeds United and Southampton at Elland Road this Saturday. Both clubs find themselves at critical junctures, albeit with slightly different expectations and pressures. With 90 points from 45 games, Leeds United, known affectionately as the Peacocks, currently occupy third place in the table. On the other hand, Southampton sit just below them in fourth, having accrued 84 points from an equal number of fixtures.

          Date: 04/05/2024

          Kick-off time: 12:30

          Location: Elland Road

          The Peacocks entered this season with a singular ambition: secure automatic promotion to the Premier League. Only a few weeks ago, this goal seemed well within their grasp. However, a late-season collapse in form has not only seen them slide perilously close to missing out on direct promotion but has also placed their destiny out of their own hands. Leeds now finds themselves level on points with Ipswich Town but ahead on goal difference. However, Ipswich have two games in hand and need just a single point from their upcoming match against Coventry City to regain control over their own fate.

          This slip in form has ignited considerable unrest among the Leeds faithful. The discontent is primarily directed towards manager Daniel Farke, under whom the team’s performances, even during successful runs, have often lacked vibrancy and excitement. The current situation is a stark reminder of those underwhelming performances, stirring up frustration among supporters. If Leeds were to end up in the playoff spots, the disappointment would be palpable within the confines of their historic stadium.

          For Southampton and their manager Russell Martin, the season's end tells a tale of unfulfilled potential. Like Leeds, they were once in contention for automatic promotion. However, a late-season falter means they are now consigned to a playoff berth, unable to move higher or lower than fourth place. The style of football under Martin has been aesthetically pleasing at times, but it has masked a fragility at the core of the team, often making them easy targets for more ruthless opponents.

          This inherent softness and a series of poor results have not only dented their promotion hopes but also sown seeds of doubt about their competitiveness in the upcoming playoffs. Mentally, the task now for Martin and his squad is to regroup and approach the playoffs with renewed vigour and optimism, despite the palpable disappointment of how their campaign has tapered off.

          Recent encounters between these two sides have been fairly evenly matched, with Southampton slightly edging it with two wins to Leeds' one, alongside two draws. Their last meeting earlier in the season ended in a 3-1 victory for Southampton, a result that the Saints would be eager to emulate to end their season on a high note.

          Tactically, this match presents a fascinating duel. Leeds, under Farke, will likely opt for a more pragmatic approach, prioritising defensive solidity to avoid exacerbating their recent form woes, while looking to take advantage of transition opportinities through players like Crysencio Summerville and Georginio Rutter. This could see them deploy a compact midfield to stifle Southampton’s creative avenues, relying on quick transitions to catch their opponents off-guard.

          Conversely, Southampton, under Martin’s stewardship, might stick to their principles of playing attractive, attacking football. Expect them to control possession and attempt to penetrate Leeds’ defensive setup through intricate passing and movement. Their challenge will be to convert this dominance into goals, something they've struggled with during their recent slump

          With so much at stake, this Championship encounter is more than just a season finale. It’s a battle of nerves, strategy, and resilience. For Leeds, it’s a chance to salvage a season that promised so much yet threatens to deliver so little. For Southampton, it’s about finishing strong and heading into the playoffs with momentum and confidence.

          Both Teams To Score

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          Yes @ 8/15
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          Both Teams To Score In Both Halves

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          Both Teams To Score In Both Halves @ 9/1
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          Draw @ 16/5
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          Team News

          Leeds Team News:

          Leeds will likely once again be without Dan James, with this game likely coming too soon for the winger. Pascal Struijk and Darko Gyabi also remain injured for the Peacocks.

          Glen Kamara could come back into the starting lineup in place of Sam Byram, with Archie Gray moving back to right-back.

          Patrick Bamford missed the last game with a knock but could return here in place of Joël Piroe.

          Southampton Team News:

          Southampton will be missing Ross Stewart, Stuart Armstrong, Gavin Bazunu and Juan Larios.

          Changes to the starting XI are likely following the weekend's game with Stoke City, with Adam Armstrong, Che Adams and Flynn Downes all potentially in line for recalls to the starting lineup.

          Form Guide

          Leeds' form has faced a total collapse at the back end of this campaign as they enter this game with just one win in their last five matches. Daniel Farke's side were subjected to their most humiliating and dejecting game of the season last time out as they were hammered 4-0 away at Queens Park Rangers, a side who've spent the season battling relegation.

          Prior to that, Leeds did claim three points in a 4-3 win away at Middlesbrough, where goals from Crysencio Summerville (X2), Patrick Bamford and Wilfried Gnonto secured a big three points but before that came a drab three-match run where the Peacocks were beaten 0-1 at home by Blackburn Rovers after drawing 0-0 with Sunderland and losing 2-1 away at Coventry City.

          Leeds have only lost one game at home all season, but that game did come in their most recent home match.

          Southampton are also amidst a poor run of form as they come into this one amidst a three-match losing streak. Most recently, Southampton were beaten 0-1 at home against Stoke City, a result that followed a deflating 5-0 hammering away at Leicester City, which all but ended their hopes of claiming automatic promotion.

          Before that, Southampton were beaten 2-1 away at Cardiff City, which followed a 3-0 win over Preston North End and a 3-2 win over Watford, where Che Adams, Stuart Armstrong, Will Smallbone and Flynn Downes all got on the scoresheet.

          Away from home, Southampton are winless in their last four games, losing three of those.

          Footy Accumulators Prediction

          Both of these sides are in pretty shoddy form so this is a game that could easily go either way. Southampton's commitment in the forward areas means there'll probably be space for Leeds to utilise their transition threat so we fancy this one to throw up a few goals, and given the fact Leeds are usually very strong at home they should avoid defeat here at the very least. Leeds 2-2 Southampton.

          Don’t forget to check out the rest of our previews, tips and offers for this weekend’s action. Footy Accumulators is the #1 football betting site for the latest on betting in the UK - download the Betting Hub app for more!

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          Last updated 20/05/2024

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          Where To Watch

          This game is one of three final day Championship fixtures set to be broadcast by Sky Sports, but the exact channel listings are currently unconfirmed.