Leeds United v Southampton - Match Thread

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Match Thread Leeds United v Southampton - Match Thread

Post by Cjay »



Sunday 26th May 3:00pm | Wembley


The 2023/24 football season comes to an end on Sunday, as Leeds and Southampton lock horns at Wembley to decide the biggest prize in World club football today. TV deals, sponsorship and other income streams worth an estimated £265m are at stake for the winners, as well as trips to the likes of the Etihad, Emirates and Old Trafford, a sharp contrast to days out at Portsmouth, Derby and Oxford Utd. Leeds have been given the home England dressing room, and an allocation of 35,796 seats (East side), with their South coast opponents occupying the West (35,667). Leeds will play in their famous all white kit, inspired by the late, great Don Revie; how ominous that this game should be decided exactly thirty-five years to the day of his sad passing.





There's no love lost between Daniel Farke and Russell Martin who Captained the Canaries during Farke's early tenure at Carrow Road. The two don't get on, which led to the Scot ending his eight year stay with Norwich, and joining Walsall (in 2018). Leeds will keep their cards close to their chest regarding the fitness of Patrick Bamford. He has missed four games with a knee injury (minor trauma in his patellar tendon). Joel Piroe, who impressed in the second leg against Norwich, stands by. Pascal Struijk remains a long term casualty. On-loan defender Connor Roberts is still looking to get back to full fitness, having picked up an ankle injury whilst on duty with Wales last time out. Both he, and fellow International team-mate Dan James (bruised ribs v Boro) were given a run-out during the last twenty minutes or so during the 4-0 win last Thursday evening.

Saints Striker Che Adams will be fit for the visit to Wembley. The 27yo forward has been in sparkling form for the South Coast outfit, netting 18 times this season from just 27 starts. Fellow forward Adam Armstrong (23 goals and 13 goals) shook off an ankle injury, and terrorised the West Brom defence in their 3-1 drubbing. Namesake Stuart Armstrong (no relation) misses out through injury. Shot stopper Gavin Bazunu has a ruptured Achilles tendon which is likely to keep him out until next year. One time Leeds keeper Alex McCarthy will continue to deputise. Striker Ross Stewart could play his first game in over six months after coming a troublesome hamstring problem!


Cjays thoughts...

A nice long build up to the final, 9 days to wait. 3rd vs 4th in the table with the 2nd vs 3rd biggest budgets in the Championship. The match-ups are tantalizing; Summerville vs Armstrong, Rutter vs Adams, Meslier vs McCarthy. Will Flynn Downes make it? His fitness seems on a knife edge. Will Bamford be fit enough for the bench?

Farke vs Martin Round 3. The tactical minds of Farke and Martin will also be on full display, with Farke carrying a personal edge after Martin publicly criticized his handling of his departure from Norwich. This history adds an extra dimension to an already intense rivalry, with Farke especially keen to avenge recent losses to Southampton.

Both managers are acutely aware that anything short of promotion would be seen as an underachievement. This mutual understanding heightens the stakes even further. Despite recent struggles in form, both teams convincingly dispatched the fifth and sixth-placed teams in the playoffs, showcasing their latent potential.

Their shared preference for possession-based football raises the question: will one team sit back or press forward in this critical one-off game? The risks of inviting pressure are immense, and neither side can afford a misstep. Southampton's tactical adaptability has paid dividends in previous encounters this season, forcing Farke to decide whether to counter their strategy or impose his own.

There seemed to be a better attacking plan against Norwich, a better attacking structure through midfield with the spaces and the positioning of the central midfielders, Rutter and Piroe, a braver approach dare I say, is this what we will see vs Southampton Confidence should be high in our team after one of if not our best performance of the season last match, Rutter, Piroe, Summerville and Gnonto had the mojo back.

Would it be a shock to see any changes?
Last edited by Cjay on Fri May 17, 2024 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

Post by Cjay »

5 players who may have been struggling for confidence.

Hopefully Meslier, Piroe, Gnonto, Rutter and Summerville can take great confidence from these key moments.
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

Post by The Subhuman »

Southampton won the first thirty at St Marys, we were the better team last hour. Choose to think we kinda knew we weren't getting second so low energy game from us at ER and gave no clues to the opposition. We saw more of them than they did of us.

Che Adams is their key player, out for the second leg, they're hoping to get him back for the final but no means certain
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

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The Subhuman wrote: Fri May 17, 2024 11:36 pm Southampton won the first thirty at St Marys, we were the better team last hour. Choose to think we kinda knew we weren't getting second so low energy game from us at ER and gave no clues to the opposition. We saw more of them than they did of us.

Che Adams is their key player, out for the second leg, they're hoping to get him back for the final but no means certain
That last game was full pressure for us - knowing it was probably all in vein. It was a free hit for Southampton. Can't take much out of it. The first game kind of came at a tricky time too. We'd started getting a settled line up and showing some form. But we were still far from the side we became after Christmas.
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

Post by Sean_Nile »

To beat Southampton in the Championship playoff final, Leeds United will need to focus on several key areas, drawing insights from their past encounters this season.

**Defensive Organization**
Southampton's attacking prowess has been evident, particularly with players like Adam Armstrong and Che Adams consistently finding the net. In their recent 2-1 victory over Leeds, Southampton's quick transitions and clinical finishing were decisive. Leeds must tighten their defense, especially focusing on marking and intercepting passes to these key forwards. Adams was sidelined. against WBA so there is a question about his fitness, lets hope he is a Josh Sargent.

**Midfield Control*
Southampton's 4-3-3 formation relies heavily on midfield dominance. Leeds will need to disrupt Southampton's rhythm by pressing high and winning midfield battles. Players like Will Smallbone have been instrumental for Southampton, and neutralizing his influence will be crucial. A 433 formation like the first leg at norwich might put a stop to Southampton's midfield dominance.

**Capitalizing on Set Pieces**
Leeds are not very good at set pieces, save for the recent Gurev free kick. But it is an area where Southampton has shown vulnerability. Effective corner and free-kick routines could provide crucial scoring opportunities for Leeds, if they could overturn their poor performaces of the past

**Counter-Attacks**
Given tendency of Southampton to push their full-backs forward, Leeds can exploit the spaces left behind with quick counter-attacks. Utilizing the pace and dribbling skills of players like Wilfried Gnonto and Crysencio Summerville on the flanks can create dangerous scoring opportunities.

**Maintaining Discipline**
In their head-to-head matches, Leeds have struggled with disciplinary issues, receiving multiple bookings. Maintaining composure and avoiding unnecessary fouls will be essential to keep all players on the pitch and avoid giving Southampton set-piece opportunities.

By focusing on these strategies, Leeds can maximize their chances of overcoming Southampton and securing promotion in the crucial playoff final at Wembley.
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

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Russell Martin, currently managing Southampton, has faced notable challenges and criticisms at his previous clubs, including MK Dons and Swansea City.

**MK Dons' Defensive Frailties and Mid-Table Finish**:
During his tenure at MK Dons, Martin's commitment to a possession-based style often led to defensive vulnerabilities. In the 2020-2021 season, MK Dons finished 13th in League One. Despite their offensive efforts, they conceded a high number of goals, highlighting defensive issues that persisted throughout the season. This defensive instability was a recurring problem and a major contributor to their inability to secure a promotion spot.

**Swansea's Defensive Record**:
At Swansea City, Martin's philosophy of building play from the back and maintaining high possession rates led to mixed results. While Swansea scored a significant number of goals, they also conceded the fifth-highest number of goals in the Championship during the 2021-2022 season. This defensive vulnerability was a critical weakness, as Swansea's high-risk, high-reward style often left them exposed to counter-attacks and simple defensive errors.

**Failure to Secure Promotion with Swansea**:
Despite some impressive performances, Martin's Swansea failed to secure promotion to the Premier League. Inconsistent results and defensive lapses contributed to their mid-table finishes. The team’s inability to convert possession into consistent, meaningful attacking opportunities and their tendency to concede avoidable goals ultimately undermined their promotion ambitions.

Overall, Martin's managerial approach, characterized by a strong adherence to possession-based football, has been criticized for sometimes prioritizing style over substance. His teams often maintain high possession but can struggle with defensive solidity and converting possession into clear scoring opportunities. These issues have been consistent across his managerial career and represent significant challenges he will need to address at Southampton.

To sum up Martin is no tactical genious and his Southampton team has fallen to a 5-0 defeat from Leicster and a 3-2 defeat to Ipswich, teams that have been promoted, an we have beaten twice.


let's learn a lesson from how Leicster demolished them.
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

Post by YorkshireSquare »

The main thing I took away from the last game was that if you press Southampton high they will conceded possession. Think we have to be really on the front foot against them and we'll get rewards!
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

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YorkshireSquare wrote: Sat May 18, 2024 7:22 am The main thing I took away from the last game was that if you press Southampton high they will conceded possession. Think we have to be really on the front foot against them and we'll get rewards!
And also shooting from the 18 yd box... Alex McCarthy is vunerable... lets not try and walk it into the net. Snap shots by Willy and Jimmy could have the Goalie in trouble.
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

Post by weasel »

Part of the reason I wanted us to play Saints rather than WBA is that Corboran seems to have less of an ego over having to play 'his' way. He has shown that he can negate Leeds, to a large degree, and would have been prepared to alter tactics to negate us.

Martin Russell appears to be more likely to stick to his way of playing regardless. An arrogance perhaps but that might play into our hands. Farkeshould know more about how Southampton will set-up and play whereas WBA would be more likely to surprise us.

When we played Southampton first time they were on a miserable run, we were on a good run, our fans were expecting us to spank them and maybe the players thought so too. It is perhaps also the first time that Farke picked what wasn't his strongest team, keeping Cooper in for Rodon who had just served a one match ban. Maybe Farke took it lightly too. We got blown away early, things fell Southampton's way but then we showed we could take the game to them, albeit withour threatening too much - however by that point it was set up for Saints to be able to park the bus and try to hit us on the counter.

When we played them the other week Farke tried something different. In one sense that might be a good thing as whatever he tried it didn't work so he know has a few days to decide what will work even if it means playing more like we did in the Norwich away leg. Maybe the key is to simply stay in the game early on and then look to take control, both times we have played them we have been behind early and that has then suited them and not us.
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

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Sean_Nile wrote: Sat May 18, 2024 6:53 am To sum up Martin is no tactical genious and his Southampton team has fallen to a 5-0 defeat from Leicster and a 3-2 defeat to Ipswich, teams that have been promoted, an we have beaten twice.


let's learn a lesson from how Leicster demolished them
You look at both those results and the winning team had about 35% possession. In fact if you look at most of their losses the magic number for opposition possession was between 30 and 35%. That’s as much to do with southamptons tactics as anything else but they are heavily reliant on transitions and the more possession the opp have the bigger the opportunity to win the ball in dangerous places.
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

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WhiteRose wrote: Sat May 18, 2024 8:25 am You look at both those results and the winning team had about 35% possession. In fact if you look at most of their losses the magic number for opposition possession was between 30 and 35%. That’s as much to do with southamptons tactics as anything else but they are heavily reliant on transitions and the more possession the opp have the bigger the opportunity to win the ball in dangerous places.
Looking at that Leicster video I think the breakaway goal was the best. Southampton pushed forward with their full backs which left then two at the back against three onrushing forwards.

I can envision Willy, Jimmy and Georgio doing something similar. Hit them on the break early, and shatter McCarthy's confidence just like we did to Gunn.

It gets my blood pumping just thinking about it.
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

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Does anyone happen to know if there’s any kind of fan zone around Wembley for the game ?? At least 8/9 of us going over now & very unlikely to get tickets but booked the flights & hotel anyway.
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

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CUSSIE01 wrote: Sat May 18, 2024 9:01 am Does anyone happen to know if there’s any kind of fan zone around Wembley for the game ?? At least 8/9 of us going over now & very unlikely to get tickets but booked the flights & hotel anyway.
I imagine thousands going ticketless, so we will make our own fanzone.
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

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Whatever happens, we need to play similar to how we beat norwich and on our fantastic run, close them down quickly and turn the ball over, win every second ball and don't let them settle.
It will be a tense game, but one we are capable of winning.
Both teams have their strengths and weaknessess, will they try exploit firpo, will we try exploit their left back !!
Our forward line up with 2 wingers is imho the stronger, with James coming on for the last half hour we can run them into the ground ,hopefully.
We also need to shoot on sight, stop trying to walk the ball into the net.
More of the attitude against norwich thursday night will do, keep up the attacks.
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

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mentalcase wrote: Sat May 18, 2024 9:23 am I imagine thousands going ticketless, so we will make our own fanzone.
I’ll give you a wave, I’ll be the one wearing a Leeds top & scarf.
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

Post by Jaydog »

Always amazes me how many tickets are available instantly on the secondary market. Some fans will be online queueing for hours.
Where do these tickets originate from
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

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CUSSIE01 wrote: Sat May 18, 2024 9:28 am I’ll give you a wave, I’ll be the one wearing a Leeds top & scarf.
OK cussie, I'll wave back at exactly 15.15 :tup: I'll be the one with a pint in my hand and a beer flush.
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

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I am cautiously optimistic of a big performance at Wembley, you could say this team are bottlers under pressure but everything we have seen this season suggests that we play the big occasions. You look at the calibre of teams we lost to in the run in and it looks more like complacency than anything else and that certainly won’t be an issue in the final.
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

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After last nights game that put Southampton into the final, Smallbone and Armstrong are going to give us problems.

So how does everyone feel about the final?
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Re: Southampton pre match chat

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