Championship playoff final prediction, odds, best bets for Leeds vs. Southampton 2024 promotion match | Sporting News

Championship playoff final prediction, odds, best bets for Leeds vs. Southampton 2024 promotion match | Sporting News

The annual mega-money match, the Championship playoff final, is set to take the Wembley pitch as Leeds United take on Southampton, two sides relegated from the Premier League just last season.

Leeds held an automatic promotion position for much of the 2023/24 season, but a disastrous finish to the campaign that featured just one win and one draw from their last six games saw them left in the dust by Leicester City and Ipswich Town.

That run-in included a final day defeat to this very Southampton side that sealed their fate, but they managed to turn things around and blank an in-form Norwich City across both semifinal legs to keep hope alive in the playoff final.

Southampton, meanwhile, also had a rough finish to the year, suffering three defeats and two draws across their last nine games, but they brushed West Brom aside in the semifinal to book their place in this match.

Leeds vs. Southampton prediction, odds

  • Moneyline lean: Southampton (+200)
  • Score prediction: Leeds 0-2 Southampton

This is an incredibly difficult match to call, as both sides sport enormous similarities in their seasonal story. They were both exceptional throughout much of the campaign, struggled down the stretch, and then recovered to win their playoff semifinal with an emphatic second-leg win following a scoreless first-leg draw.

However, there’s one glaring difference — Southampton did the double over Leeds this season, including a 2-1 result on the final day of the season. Those games were both close on the shots and expected goals tally, but in the end Saints were more ruthless on the days. The one glaring difference between the two sides in those games was down to efficiency: Southampton ripped off 21 shots between the two matches, of which seven were considered “big chances” by Opta, whereas of the 26 shots Leeds produced, not a single one was tabbed as a “big chance.”

Additionally, the referee for this playoff final, John Brooks, worked his only Championship match of the season in the 3-1 Southampton win earlier this year. Expect Southampton, the team in better seasonal and head-to-head form, to emerge with the final Premier League place in 2024/25, which would be an extremely bitter pill for Leeds to swallow.

Leeds win +130
Draw +240
Southampton win +200
Both teams
to score
Y: -140
N: +100
Over / Under
2.5 goals
O: -120
U: -120
-0.5 goals
+0.5 goals

Leeds vs. Southampton match facts

  • Date: Sunday, May 26, 2024
  • Kickoff time: 3 p.m. local (10 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT)
  • Location: Wembley Stadium (London, England)
  • Referee: John Brooks, VAR: Jarred Gillett
  • Last meeting: Leeds 1-2 Southampton (May 4, 2024 | Championship)

Leeds vs. Southampton best bet

  • Pick: Both teams to score — NO
  • Odds: +100 (BetMGM)

These two teams love to score goals, but the key to turning around their poor late-season form and advancing past the semifinals was a return to defensive solidity. Leeds blanked Norwich City (who were, in fairness, missing the white-hot Josh Sargent) over the two legs, while Southampton held West Brom to a single goal.

Additionally, Championship playoff finals have a tendency to be cagey. At least one side has been held off the scoresheet in eight of the last 11 playoff finals at Wembley, including two of the last three. And in all of those 11 games at least one team has been held to one goal or fewer.

Finally, both these two sides struggled with attacking form over their late-season dip — Southampton were blanked three times in their last nine regular-season games, while Leeds were held off the scoresheet in three of their last five. Then both sides played to a scoreless draw in the first leg of their playoff semifinal before a decisive second leg.

Leeds vs. Southampton prop bet

  • Pick: Half with most goals — 1H
  • Odds: +200 (BetMGM)

While fans love late drama, history tells us the business will likely be done early in this high-stakes game.

Across the last six Championship playoff finals, there was at least one first-half goal in all but one, and the first half boasted more goals in half of them. What usually happens is whichever team goes in front will prioritise keeping the opponent out over increasing the lead, refusing to risk their defensive shape with so much on the line.

That favours Southampton, whose +19 first-half goal differential this season was just one shy of the best in the league, while Leeds were a better second-half side owning a +24 goal differential after the break, also second-best in the Championship. Additionally, of the seven goals scored between these two teams across their two meetings this season, six of them were scored before the break, a big reason why Saints won both matches.

Leeds vs. Southampton live stream, TV channel

  TV channel Streaming
Canada  — DAZN
UK Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League Sky Go Extra

The entirety of the 2023/24 Championship season was streamed in the United States exclusively on ESPN+, and they will broadcast the playoff final on that platform as well.

In Canada, the match will be streamed exclusively on DAZN, while domestically in the UK the match will be broadcast on Sky Sports television and streaming platforms.

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