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Predictions & Live Score Championship - Leeds United vs Southampton

Predictions & Live Score Championship - Leeds United vs Southampton
Championship - Leeds United vs Southampton
Match Time: 26-05-2024 22:00 Sunday (GMT+8)
Football Livescore | Match Prediction & Tips
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Leeds United

Reverting to their winter selves at the most opportune time, Daniel Farke's Leeds had lost their way in the closing stages of the Championship season to cede the final automatic promotion place to Ipswich Town, and there was no way through for the Whites at Farke's old stomping ground Carrow Road on May 12.

However, a clever free kick from Ilia Gruev sparked a four-goal rush just four days later, as Joel Piroe and Georginio Rutter also got in on the act in a first-half whitewash at Elland Road before Crysencio Summerville capped off a magnificent second-leg display in the final quarter of the match.

As David Wagner cleared out his Canaries office, Leeds rejoiced in reaching a playoff final for the fourth time in their history, but the omens are not promising for the more superstitious Whites fans, who have never seen their side earn promotion in such circumstances.

Indeed, Leeds lost their playoff finals in the 1986-87, 2005-06 and 2007-08 campaigns, and no side has ever suffered more defeats in such matches than the Whites, whose total of three is level with Bristol City, Exeter City, Lincoln City and Shrewsbury Town.

As such, unwanted playoff history will be made for Leeds if their winless streak in finals stretches to four from four matches, and the thrashing of Norwich being just their second victory from eight games is hardly a morale-boosting statistic either. Alternatively, they may have rediscovered their fire at the pivotal moment.

Southampton

Leeds' second-leg success was akin to that of upcoming foes and fellow 2022-23 Premier League relegation victims Southampton, who came away from West Brom's Hawthorns base with a creditable goalless stalemate to their name before running riot on St Mary's soil.

Rather than blow their visitors away in the first half, though, Will Smallbone's tidy 49th-minute strike preceded a brace from the inevitable Adam Armstrong, and even though Cedric Kipre wiped out the Saints' clean sheet, his looping header in the seventh minute of added time only triggered muted cheers from the Baggies faithful.

Sharing another similarity with their Wembley opponents, Russell Martin's side have also consigned a troubled end to the regular season to the past after losing three of their last four fixtures, and a first-ever playoff final now awaits the South Coast outfit, whose only previous post-season adventure ended on penalties to Derby County in 2007.

Furthermore, only twice before has a second-division playoff final been contested by two sides that were relegated in the previous campaign, as West Ham United edged out Blackpool in the 2011-12 edition, 16 years on from Leicester City's identical beating of Crystal Palace.

A ticket to the English elite with the Foxes and Ipswich will fall into the hands of Sunday's victor, and the playoff final comes just 22 days after Southampton left Elland Road with a 2-1 win to their name, thereby completing a league double over Leeds courtesy of a 3-1 home success back in September.

Prediction: Leeds United 2-2 Southampton
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