Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Prediction: Leeds vs Southampton

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: Dachbet

With all eyes falling on Wembley this weekend, Leeds and Southampton will meet for this season’s Championship play-off final.

Leeds

Starting with Leeds, while Daniel Farke’s men might have been disappointed not to have secured an automatic Premier League return this season, the Lilywhites certainly made a major play-off statement last week. Eventually breezing to a routine 4-0 romp at home against Norwich, the Yorkshire-based outfit will be desperate to use that performance as a platform to build on. However, although Farke’s side might have secured consecutive clean sheets for the first time since returning from March’s international break, Leeds have continued to show some extended issues away from Elland Road. Coming under plenty of scrutiny last month as they slumped to an infamous 4-0 defeat against QPR, the Whites have won just a pair of their previous eight showdowns outside of Yorkshire – a run that stems back to February 17th.

Team News

Although Patrick Bamford might have missed both of Leeds’ play-off showdowns against Norwich earlier in the month, Farke’s men remain hopeful that the England international will be able to return to their squad here. However, still dealing with a long-term groin injury, skipper Pascal Struijk remains on the sidelines and will not feature at Wembley.

Included in this season’s Championship Team of the Year, attacking talisman Georgina Rutter will play a leading role on Sunday afternoon. While Joel Piroe might have grabbed a second-leg strike against Norwich last week, the former Swansea striker could be forced to settle for a spot on the bench.

Southampton

As for Southampton, while the Saints might have signed off April in the midst of a minor rut, Russell Martin’s men have continued to impress many across the Championship this season. Gaining a reputation for their free-flowing approach under the former Swansea boss and just 90 minutes away from booking an immediate Premier League return, they will be excited by their recent success against Sunday’s finalists. Putting in a hugely impressive performance on May 4th as they clinched a 2-1 victory at Elland Road, Southampton secured back-to-back wins against Leeds this season by an aggregate score of 5-2. Punching their spot to Wembley last week as they stormed their way to a 3-1 romp at home against West Brom, Martin’s men will certainly be relishing their season-defining trip to north London this weekend.

Team News

Sustaining a long-term Achilles injury back in April, Southampton have already confirmed that number-one goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu will miss out at Wembley. Likewise, not making a single appearance over the past month, Scotland international Stuart Armstrong remains on the sidelines and will not be a part of Martin’s squad on Sunday afternoon.

Bagging a second-leg brace against West Brom last week and recording 23 Championship strikes this season, the red-hot Adam Armstrong will spearhead Southampton’s attack in the capital. Continuing to shine since completing a January switch from Bournemouth, David Brooks will partner Armstrong in the final third.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When Leeds and Southampton last met on May 4th, the Saints picked up a 2-1 victory at Elland Road.
    • Likewise, Southampton secured back-to-back Championship victories against Leeds this season by an aggregate score of 5-2.
    • The Lilywhites have secured just two wins from any of their previous eight showdowns away from Elland Road.
    • Aside from that 2-1 win in Yorkshire on May 4th, Southampton have failed to win any of their of their other five matchups away from St. Mary’s.
    • Four of the last five meetings between Leeds and Southampton have finished with both teams finding the net.

    Conclusion

    With one final chance for both Leeds and Southampton to book an immediate Premier League return, we certainly look set for a nail-biting affair from Wembley this weekend. Although the Saints might have secured back-to-back victories against Leeds this year by an aggregate score of 5-2, they will certainly face another stern examination in the capital. It should be noted, with four of the last five meetings between Saturday’s finalists finishing with both teams finding the net, we are expecting a similar outcome here.

    Verdict: Both teams to score

    Best Odds: 8/11

    Bookmaker: Dachbet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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