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Championship Play-Off Final: Leeds vs Southampton: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

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Leeds United

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        • (24') A. Armstrong
        • (43') C. Summerville
        • (90'+12') E. Ampadu
        Yellow Card
        • (39') J. Bednarek
        • (45') R. Fraser
        • (51') T. Harwood-Bellis
        • (79') C. Adams
        • (85') F. Downes
        • (90'+12') J. Aribo

            Championship Play-Off Final Tips

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            Southampton to win & Both Teams to Score @ 9/2
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            Championship Play-off Final Leeds United vs Southampton: Preview & Prediction

            The biggest game of the Championship season takes place next weekend as the annual play-off final takes place once again at Wembley. Leeds United and Southampton are both trying to become a Premier League club once again at the first opportunity as both missed out on automatic promotion.

            Location: Wembley

            Date: 26/05/2024

            Kick-Off: 3:00 PM

            One of the biggest games in English Football sees third-placed Leeds United take on Southampton who finished the season in fourth place. Leeds United dragged the automatic promotion place to the final day as they went head-to-head against Ipswich Town. Unfortunately for Leeds United, they fell short as Ipswich Town beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 to send the Tractor Boys up at the expense of Leeds United.

            Leeds United were touted as one of the early-season favourites to win the Championship alongside eventual Champions Leicester City. Leeds's quest for automatic promotion was effectively damaged at the hands of Queens Park Rangers when they were defeated 4-0 by the London-based outfit. The defeat against a struggling QPR side at the time handed the momentum back in Ipswich Town’s favour. Daniel Farke’s side faced his former side Norwich City in the play-off semi-final.

            The first leg finished 0-0 at Carrow Road which set up a fascinating encounter at Elland Road in the second leg. Leeds United were ruthless in the second leg by beating Norwich City 4-0 thanks to goals from Ilia Gruev, Joel Piroe, Georginio Rutter and Crysencio Summerville.

            Southampton were the fourth-best team in the Championship this season under Russell Martin. The Saints had the potential to cause problems in the automatic promotion places at the end of the season since the side had games in hand over both Leeds United and Ipswich Town. Southampton ultimately failed to capitalise on their games in hand and had to eventually settle for a play-off spot.

            The Saints faced a similar path to their opponents Leeds United in the play-offs. Southampton drew their first leg away at the Hawthorns 0-0 which set up an intriguing tie at the St. Mary’s. Southampton were brilliant in the second leg, having beaten West Brom 3-1 thanks to goals from Will Smallbone and a brace from Adam Armstrong.

            The two respective teams have faced each other twice already this season, with Southampton coming out on top on both occasions. Southampton were 3-1 winners on home soil back in September and on the final day of the season, Southampton secured the league double at Elland Road with a 2-1 victory.

            TEAM NEWS

            Leeds Team News

            Pascal Struijk is ruled out with a groin injury. Ethan Ampadu, Wilfried Gnonto and Daniel James were suspension risks for this game although they should be available at Wembley.

            Southampton Team News

            Gavin Bazunu and Stuart Armstrong are both ruled out with long-term injuries. Flynn Downes, Ryan Manning, Kamaldeen Sulemana and Kyle Walker-Peters were suspension risks for this game but will be available.

            RECENT FORM

            The recent history between the two teams does favour the designated away team for this final. Southampton have won two of the last five meetings between the two sides, with Leeds only winning once and the other two games ending in a draw. Excluding this season, the last time these two teams faced each other in the Championship was in the 2011/12 season.

            This fixture provides an average of 2.37 goals scored per game. In the last 20 meetings between the two sides, it has been evenly contested between the two sides. Both Leeds United and Southampton have won eight of the last 20 meetings against each other with the four remaining games ending in a draw between the two sides.

            Interestingly, in the last ten meetings between the two sides, there have been no dismissals for either side. Although in the last 15 games for either side, only Southampton have received a dismissal which was against Ipswich Town at the start of April.

            The last time Leeds United beat Southampton, it was when both sides were still playing in the Premier League. Leeds beat Southampton at Elland 1-0 in 2023, thanks to a goal from Junior Firpo. The last time Leeds United did a league double over Southampton was in the 2020/21 season.

            Leeds United's home form has been the main source of their final league standing his season. The former Premier League outfit have played 24 games at Elland Road this season with one of those being the second-leg victory over Norwich City in the play-offs. Leeds United have won 17 games this season at Elland Road (16 league) and have drawn five and only lost two.

            Leeds United have averaged 2.33 points per game this season and have won 71% of their home games this season whilst only losing 85. Defensively they’ve been superb, only conceding 0.67 goals per game this season at Elland Road whilst boasting a 46% clean sheet rate.

            Daniel Farke’s side don’t have the best record entering this pivotal fixture at Wembley. Leeds United have only won twice in their last five games in the league/play-off phase. Leeds have also lost twice and drawn only once in those five. The record won’t provide a good omen as they try and progress through the playoffs in what is an unwanted record they currently possess.

            In their last five attempts at the play-offs, they haven’t been able to get promoted whether that be in League One or the Championship. Their only appearance at the newly established Wembley Stadium was in 2008 where they lost 1-0 in the final against Doncaster Rovers.

            Like Leeds United, Southampton’s home record is also what has led them to a strong league position in the Championship. The Saints have played 24 games in total at home this season, having won 16 games, drawn three and only losing five. Southampton’s last home win was the 3-1 win over West Brom in the second leg of the play-offs.

            Russell Martin’s side has averaged 2.13 points per game this season at home, whilst also winning 67% of their home games this season. Whilst defensively, they do concede more goals than Leeds United on average, they still total an impressive 2.38 goals at home this season per game.

            Southampton have an identical record of form heading into this game, having won twice in their last five games, losing twice, and drawing once. The Saints have a more recent Wembley appearance than Leeds United in the last decade. Southampton were most recently at Wembley in 2017 where they lost 3-2 to Manchester United in the Carabao Cup final.

            Their playoff record isn’t the greatest, however, that is down to their lack of appearances in this format. Despite gaining promotion to the Premier League both times were done via the automatic route, Southampton’s most recent play-off appearance was in 2007 where they were beaten by Derby County in the semi-finals.


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            Last updated 21/06/2024

            Where to watch

            The game will be live on Sky Sports Football.