Predicted Leeds United line-up to take on Southampton in 2024 Championship Play-Off final

Leeds United players celebrate
-Credit: (Image: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)


A wave of excitement and nerves descends upon the capital from West Yorkshire on Sunday as Leeds United have the biggest match in their long, arduous 2023/24 campaign to date - the Championship Play-Off final.

It was only three weeks ago that United wrapped up their 46-game season at Elland Road, confirming their third-place berth with a dispiriting 2-1 defeat to Southampton. If promotion was to be won, it would be via that dreaded showdown format.

Russell Martin's side also entered in fourth, meaning both sides were kept apart on opposite sides of the mini tournament tree. Ultimately both earned their place in Sunday's final in similar fashion, with Daniel Farke 's men beating Norwich City 4-0 in the second-leg after a goalless first meeting, and the Saints coming out 3-1 winners vs West Brom having drawn 0-0 initially.

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It has been 10 days since the last of those semi-finals took place, so Farke has had plenty of time to prepare his team for a challenge that presents mixed signals. On the one hand it was their opponents that came out on top in both regular league fixtures this year, but on the other Leeds' win rate of 48 percent against the Saints is higher than against any other team they have played more than 100 times throughout history.

The boss has also had the benefit of having no new fitness troubles to deal with in the run-up to the Wembley match. In fact, there boost as Sam Byram pushes to be involved.

"We had some minor issues during this back, but each and every player will be available," Farke said in his Friday update," as he also confirmed long-term absentees Patrick Bamford and Pascal Struijk would not make the squad. Comparing that to Southampton, they are on course to be without Stuart Armstrong, Gavin Bazunu and Juan Larios in London.

So ultimately Farke's team selection should come down to a few factors. Who has maintained their red-hot form from the 4-0 rout of Norwich? Do those limited injuries still mean certain areas of the team pick themselves? Should the possibility of a penalty shoot-out enter his thinking pre-match? They are just some examples that heap the pressure on the coach for the £140m-fixture.

With that said, there appears to be no reason for the manager to disrupt the harmony and alter the line-up that got the club into the position it finds itself in now. That devastating front four were unplayable, the midfield duo performed their roles perfectly - plus Ilia Gruev even got on the scoresheet - and finally the back-line, bar one Ethan Ampadu mistake that was rectified by Illan Meslier, looked solid throughout.

Yes, a plan can be put in place for penalties, but the match is there to be won within 90 minutes, therefore here is how Leeds United could line up for the 2024 Championship Play-Off final:

Illan Meslier; Archie Gray, Joe Rodon, Ethan Ampadu, Junior Firpo; Ilia Gruev, Glen Kamara; Wilfried Gnonto, Georginio Rutter, Crysencio Summerville; Joel Piroe