Leeds United star sends Southampton a Wembley 'home game' warning as 49ers get wish

Leeds United midfielder Ilia Gruev celebrates
-Credit: (Image: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

If there was one big takeaway for 49ers Enterprises or the watching public after Leeds United's emphatic 4-0 play-off semi-final victory over Norwich City, it was the Elland Road factor. Leeds United supporters did what they always do in making the ground an inhospitable place for the opponents, but also an atmosphere to marvel and enjoy for those watching at home.

The scarves before the game looked stunning, the noise throughout was incredible and if there had been anyone new to Leeds who didn't know what type of atmosphere a packed Elland Road could serve up, they do now. Leeds supporters will look to replicate that on Sunday at Wembley in the Championship play-off final when at least 40,000 fans get behind the Whites in the play-off final against Southampton.

For Leeds owners, 49ers Enterprises, the game also represents an opportunity to showcase the club's size and strength of support base on an even wider scale with the showpiece game broadcast across the globe. Wembley will be a sea of white and a wall of noise, as the club is thrust into the limelight on a bigger scale once again.

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Southampton fans will of course do their best to ensure their team feels the support, but Leeds fans are expected to outnumber those of their opponents and it's a point not lost on Ilia Gruev, whose opening goal last week against Norwich set his side on the path to Wembley.

“It is going to be a full stadium and a lot of people are going to watch the game in a lot of countries. You play football because of these kinds of games," the Bulgarian told LUTV.

“Of course, we were a little bit down after the last game (of the season), when we knew we hadn’t been promoted directly because we wanted to go for it. But now we have another chance and it was very important to win the semi-final. Now it would be even better to go up at Wembley, at such a big event. The atmosphere and the emotions in this game are going to be amazing.

“You feel in the city a lot of people are really looking forward to this game. You felt this after the Norwich game and it is great because a lot of people are talking about it. The whole season our supporters have been great, but it was a special atmosphere against Norwich, it was incredible. I think at Wembley, we are going to make it like a home game for us, which gives us a lot of motivation and energy.”