Championship Play-Off Final Video Preview: Leeds predicted to beat Southampton

 | Thursday 23rd May 2024, 11:03am

Thursday 23rd May 2024, 11:03am

Leeds and Southampton meet at Wembley on Sunday for the Championship play-off final, with the two clubs desperate to secure an instant return to the Premier League. After Leicester City and Ipswich Town finished in the automatic promotion places, one of these teams will face another season in the Championship next term. 

Below Simon Lillibury has previewed this massive game alongside Football League experts Gab Sutton and Justin Peach, with both pundits backing Leeds United to come out on top in an entertaining encounter. 

Leeds vs Southampton - Championship Play-Off Final Odds

  • Leeds United to win the final @ 67/100
  • Draw @ 9/4
  • Southampton to win the final @ 46/43

This is certainly going to be an interesting match-up, given Southampton have beaten Leeds twice during the regular league season, including a 2-1 win at Elland Road on the final day. Manager Russell Martin has some intriguing tactical decisions to make, which the trio discuss, after switching to play three at the back in that away win over Leeds, and in the first leg of the semi-final against West Bromwich Albion. 

With Jack Stephens, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, and Jan Bednarek, Southampton boast three top quality centre-backs, and although Stephens has done well at left-back in a back four, Martin may choose to revert to the 3-5-2 that saw his side beat Leeds last time out. 

Meanwhile, Daniel Farke will be hopeful that his attacking quality can get his side over the line and back into the Premier League. Crysencio Summerville won player of the season in the Championship and will play a big role in this final, while Joel Piroe and Dan James are also dangerous threats. 

Leeds finished in third in the regular season, with a whopping 90 points, while Southampton in fourth accumulated 87 over the course of the 46-game campaign. They are the two highest points total posted by two play-off finalists and it shows just how high the quality has been at the top of the division this term. 

The cost of losing this final for both teams will be huge. Not just financially, as they miss out on the riches of the Premier League, but the fact that they both possess players that will not spend another year in the second tier. Flynn Downes will return to West Ham from Southampton, while Kyle Walker-Peters and Che Adams have both done enough to earn Premier League moves. 

Leeds could lose four of five of their starting XI by the same theory, with Archie Gray and Summerville already linked with several top flight clubs. Below you can enjoy this Championship play-off final preview, with predictions from the pundits included. 

Check out our other Soccer Betting Tips here. 

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