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Championship Play-Off Final: Simon Grayson backs 2-1 win for Leeds


Former Leeds manager Simon Grayson is backing Leeds to triumph 2-1 over Southampton in the Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley on Sunday, but is expecting a tough game between two evenly-matched teams.

The game is regularly billed as the ‘richest game in football’ with a place in the lucrative Premier League up for grabs, and after 48 games in their Championship seasons, Leeds and Southampton will battle it out for an immediate return to the top flight.

Southampton arguably hold the slight upper hand having beaten Leeds home and away this season, but the Peacocks finished above Saints in the league table and will be full of confidence having demolished Norwich at Elland Road last week, leaving the game evenly poised in Grayson’s view.

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Leeds to win 2-1

Simon Grayson's Tip

Speaking exclusively to Freebets.com Grayson, who achieved promotion with Leeds himself in 2010, said: “It will be a tough game against a really good team in Southampton, who keep the ball well, have some threats in Armstrong and Che Adams and other lads that can win football matches for them.

“I think they’re a good strong team, but I also think Southampton will look at Leeds and think they’re a decent team with what they’ve acheived and the threats they have got.

“I think it will be a really good game of football and probably will boil down to who can handle the occasion rather than the abilities of the two groups. Who will thrive and who will embrace it, rather than the ones who might feel the pressure of playing in such a hotbed of a game and the pressure of what’s at stake.”

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Both teams to score

Simon Grayson's Tip

Grayson is a Leeds fan, having not only managed the club in League One and the Championship but also coming through the academy and playing for the club in the late 80s and early 90s, and he is siding with his former club to just about edge the tie.

“I would have both teams to score at the weekend,” he said when asked about his tip for the weekend. “I would think it would be 2-1 either way, and my head and my heart is saying Leeds are going to win 2-1, and that’s what I’m wanting.

“I cannot see it being a dull, drab affair. I think there is too much quality on the pitch.

“There is a lot riding on it and mistakes could happen. I expect both teams to score, and probably 2-1 to Leeds.”

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Leeds to win and BTTS

Simon Grayson's Tip

Championship Play-Off Final Odds

Backing Grayson’s predcition, Leeds are priced as favourites to win the final on Sunday despite a miserable record at Wembley and despite their record against Southampton this season.

With attacking threats such as Crysencio Summerville, Georginio Rutter and Wilfried Gnonto, they might have too much going forward for Saints to deal with, but there is plenty of value to be found in the goalscorer markets ahead of the game.

Win in 90 Minutes Odds

TeamOdds
Leeds5/4
Draw9/4
Southampton9/4

Outright Winner Odds

TeamOdds
Leeds4/6
Southampton6/5

Goalscorer Odds

PlayerOdds
Joel Piroe21/10
Adam Armstrong9/4
Patrick Bamford9/4
Ross Stewart9/4
Che Adams5/2
Crysencio Summerville5/2
Mateo Joseph5/2
Sekou Mara11/4
Georginio Rutter3/1
Wilfried Gnonto3/1

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Will Jackson

Will Jackson

Sports journalist, formerly of PA Media, latterly a PR manager before moving into the content world with the Gambling.com group. Long-suffering Leeds United and Yorkshire fan, 'for my sins'...