Willy Gnonto (Leeds United) shoots during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Southampton

Championship play-off final tips: Leeds vs Southampton best bets and preview

Football betting tips: Championship play-off final

2pts Wilfried Gnonto 3+ total shots at 2/1 (bet365)

1pt Jack Stephens 3+ tackles at 13/8 (Sky Bet)

*All bets 90 minutes only

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair

BuildABet @ 35/1

  • Crysencio Summerville to score or assist
  • Adam Armstrong to score or assist
  • Junior Firpo to be carded
  • Flynn Downes to be carded

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CLICK HERE to back at an enhanced 40/1 with Sky Bet


Kick-off time: 15:00 BST, Sunday

TV channel: Sky Sports Main Event

Home 13/10 | Draw 12/5 | Away 2/1

A meeting between two teams who were, in all truth, good enough to achieve automatic promotion in a 'normal' season.

Leeds head to Wembley to take on a Southampton side who have beaten them on both occasions so far. The two play-off finals of last weekend shows us this is irrelevant though.

The Whites responded to final day disappointment in superb fashion with a 4-0 hammering of Norwich to book their spot here - Southampton got past West Brom in a 3-1 victory.

Leeds United's Georginio Rutter celebrates with team-mate Wilfried Gnonto
Leeds' Georginio Rutter celebrates with Wilfried Gnonto in victory over Norwich

The odds favour Leeds but this is a final that is likely to divide opinion near evenly on the outcome.

It's Marching on Together vs When The Saints Go Marching In at Wembley, in a contest that has all the potential to be thrilling, even if the final scoreline suggests otherwise.

What are the best bets?

It will be interesting to see which system Southampton boss Russell Martin opts for having trialled a back-three for the final day encounter against Sunday's opposition.

That did end up winning but they didn't look as impressive when running with the same in the first leg of their semi-final against West Brom.

Either way, Leeds should enjoy some success down their right side (or the Saints' left) as this is perhaps an area of vulnerability for Martin's men.

Jack Stephens' tackles made map

It'll be a busy afternoon for JACK STEPHENS, whether featuring at left-back or as a left centre-back in a three, making the 13/8 for him to see 3+ TACKLES interesting.

In the three, he'll have to cover at times for Ryan Manning who will drive forward; as a four, he'll still be dealing with Wilfried Gnonto and likely Archie Gray attacking from right full-back.

Stephens has returned at least two successful tackles in each of his last four, with three or more coming in two of the previous three. Recent form and the match-up makes this an appealing bet.

Wilfried Gnonto's shot map

And staying in that battle, GNONTO 3+ TOTAL SHOTS is another bet worth consideration with odds of 2/1 available.

The forward has returned three or more in three of his last four, which included that game against the Saints. Should Leeds line up in their usual 4-2-3-1 style, Gnonto will be a player they look to attack through on the right.

There will also be the occasional switching of wings which may present some chances to cut inside and get a shot away. With the pitch size similar to that of Elland Road, there shouldn't be too many problems in adjusting either.

Team news

Patrick Bamford celebrates his goal against Sheffield Wednesday
Patrick Bamford will miss out through injury

Daniel Farke has confirmed that striker Patrick Bamford won't be fit to feature at Wembley after missing both semi-finals through injury.

Full-back Sam Byram has returned to training with Farke saying the squad has had "a few issues" in the week but nothing which seems set to affect Sunday's availability.

For Southampton, Martin has revealed that forwards Che Adams and Ross Stewart are both back and available for selection.

Stuart Armstrong, Gavin Bazunu and Juan Larios remain long-term injuries though.

Predicted line-ups

Leeds XI: Meslier; Gray, Rodon, Ampadu, Firpo; Gruev, Kamara; Gnonto, Rutter, Summerville; Piroe.

Southampton XI: McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Harwood-Bellis, Bednarek, Stephens; Downes, Aribo, Smallbone; Brooks, Adams, Armstrong.

Match facts

  • Southampton were the only team to do the league double over Leeds United this season with the second of those wins coming on the final day at Elland Road (2-1); the last team to lose both league meetings with a team in the regular campaign before beating the same opponent in the second-tier play-off final were Fulham against Brentford in 2019-20.
  • Leeds United and Southampton have met 100 times previously with the Whites holding 48 wins to the Saints’ 30 victories (D22); of the 19 opponents Leeds have played 100+ times, their win-rate against Southampton is their greatest (48%).
  • This is the third second tier play-off final between two teams that were relegated in the previous campaign after Leicester City 2-1 Crystal Palace in 1995-96 and West Ham 2-1 Blackpool in 2011-12.
  • Leeds United have reached a play-off final for the fourth time, failing to win promotion on each of the previous three occasions (1986-87, 2005-06, 2007-08); that is the joint-most play-off finals any team has played in without ever winning promotion through such a tie (level with Bristol City, Exeter City, Lincoln City and Shrewsbury Town).
  • Southampton will play in their first play-off final with this just their second ever play-off campaign, after a semi-final exit on penalties to Derby County in 2007. The Saints last won promotion to the Premier League in 2011-12 when finishing as Championship runners-up.
  • Leeds United’s 4-0 win over Norwich City in the second leg of their play-off semi-final tie was the biggest ever victory by any team in a Championship play-off game (since 2004-05), following on from the goalless draw at Carrow Road; the last team to gain promotion to the top-flight via the play-offs without conceding a goal were Crystal Palace in 2013.
  • Including the play-offs, Southampton have averaged the highest share of possession (66%) across England’s top four tiers this season whilst only Manchester City (691 and 24) have recorded more passes and more sequences of 10+ passes per game than the Saints (663 and 22) in 2023-24.
  • Leeds United have scored 98 goals across all competitions this season, their most since 2009-10 (103) when they won automatic promotion to the Championship under Simon Grayson. The only other Leeds manager to see his side reach 100+ goals across a full campaign is Don Revie (6 times).
  • Southampton have won 29 matches across all competitions this season, their most since their promotion winning campaign of 2011-12 (30), whilst the Saints have netted 99 goals this term, last notching a century of goals in the 2009-10 season (112).
  • Only Mansfield Town’s Davis Keillor-Dunn (264) has recorded more combined shots and chances created than Leeds United’s Crysencio Summerville in England’s top four tiers this season (253 - 133 shots, 120 chances created), whilst should the Dutchman score or assist in this game he would be the first Leeds player to record 30+ goal involvements in a league campaign (including play-offs) since Chris Wood in 2016-17 (20 goals, 9 assists so far).
  • Adam Armstrong has scored 23 league goals this season (including play-offs), the most by a Southampton player since Rickie Lambert in 2011-12 (27). The Englishman has scored four goals across his last three starts against Leeds United, including three goals in two Championship appearances versus the Whites this season.
  • Only two of the current Leeds United and Southampton squads have scored at Wembley Stadium previously, with Ross Stewart netting for Sunderland against Wycombe in the 2022 League One play-off final and Kyle Walker-Peters scoring for Tottenham against Rochdale in the 2017-18 FA Cup fifth round.

Odds correct at 1400 BST (24/05/24)

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