Norwich City vs Leeds United: Preview and Prediction

Norwich City and Leeds United will aim to get a step closer to the EFL Championship promotion playoffs final when they clash at Carrow Road on Sunday.

The 2023/24 campaign is on the cusp of ending, with only a few more matches remaining in every league. The EFL Championship regular season has ended, and four teams are vying for the final promotion berth. The first of the playoff semi-finals will feature Norwich City and Leeds United, with the two sides locking horns at Carrow Road on Sunday.

The path to a top-six finish was not easy for Norwich City in the 2023/24 season. The Canaries were in the mid-table positions for much of their EFL Championship campaign. However, a run of only two defeats in their last ten games helped David Wagner’s men seal sixth spot on the table.

As for Leeds United, they were slow off the blocks, managing only one win in their first five EFL Championship outings. However, Daniel Farke galvanised his squad after the poor start, with the first three months of 2024 giving them hope of a top-two finish. But while the Whites had their fate in their hands, only one victory in their final six games meant they squandered the initiative.

Leeds United won both matches against Norwich City in the regular season, winning 3-2 at Carrow Road in October and 1-0 at Elland Road in January. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Norwich City

David Wagner does not have many injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Leeds United on Sunday, the Norwich City manager will be bereft of the services of three first-team players.

Ashley Barnes is the most notable absentee, with the veteran striker recovering from a calf injury. The 34-year-old accompanies Onel Hernandez (foot) and Liam Gibbs (muscle injury) on the sidelines.

Angus Gunn will take his spot between the sticks, with Norwich City lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him against Leeds United. The backline should feature Jack Stacey, Shane Duffy, Ben Gibson, and Sam McCallum.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Jacob Sorensen and Kenny McLean in the double pivot in the middle of the park. Marcelino Nunez will reprise the no. 10 role, with Borja Sainz and Gabriel Sara being the two wide attackers. Finally, Josh Sargent will spearhead the attack for the home side on Sunday.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Gunn; Stacey, Duffy, Gibson, McCallum; Sorensen, McLean; Sara, Nunez, Sainz; Sargent

Leeds United

Unlike his counterpart in the Norwich City dugout, Daniel Farke has one pressing issue to deal with ahead of the trip to Carrow Road. The Leeds United manager will be without one first-team player on Sunday.

While the visitors will travel to Carrow Road without only one player, he is a pivotal figure for them. Daniel James is the only absentee, with the Welsh winger recovering from an abdominal issue.

Wilfried Gnonto will deputise for James on the right flank, joining Georginio Rutter, Crysencio Summerville, and Joel Piroe in the final third. The quartet will get the license to freely express themselves, with the double pivot of Ilia Gruev and Glen Kamara looking to keep things tight in the middle of the park.

Illan Meslier will take his usual spot between the sticks, with Leeds United lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him against Norwich City. Finally, the backline should feature Archie Gray, Joe Rodon, Ethan Ampadu, and Junior Firpo.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Meslier; Gray, Rodon, Ampadu, Firpo; Gruev, Kamara; Gnonto, Rutter, Summerville; Piroe

Key Stats

  • Norwich City have won just one of their last seven home games against Leeds United in all competitions (D2 L4), losing the most recent three meetings. Their clash at Carrow Road in the regular Championship season finished 3-2 to the Whites.
  • Meanwhile, Leeds United are on a four-game winning run against Norwich City across all competitions.
  • Leeds United have never won promotion via the Football League playoffs, with this season’s campaign their sixth appearance. They lost 4-3 on aggregate to Derby County in the 2018/19 semi-final in their most recent attempt.
  • Norwich City have won both their home legs in the Football League playoffs by a 3-1 scoreline (vs Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2001/02 and Ipswich Town in 2014/15).
  • Since the second-tier rebrand to the Championship in 2004, the team finishing third has won promotion to the Premier League via the playoffs almost 50% of the time (9/19).

Player to Watch

Crysencio Summerville

Embed from Getty Images

With Leeds United struggling to put their opponents away in the last six weeks of the EFL Championship regular season, the cracks are visible in Daniel Farke’s team. So, the onus is on Crysencio Summerville to rediscover his best form and deliver the goods to return to the Premier League.

The Dutchman has enjoyed a spectacular campaign thus far, amassing 20 goals and 10 assists in 46 appearances across all competitions. However, that effort will come to nought if Leeds United cannot win promotion to the Premier League.


Norwich City 2-2 Leeds United

Neither side ended the season well, although Norwich City had slightly better form. However, Leeds United have had the upper hand over the Canaries in the two meetings this season, even though both victories came by a one-goal margin.

The visitors have more quality across the pitch, especially in the final third. However, Norwich City’s spirit and resilience will help them take the game deep. The Hard Tackle predicts an evenly contested affair that should end in a 2-2 draw between Norwich City and Leeds United at Carrow Road on Sunday.

Leave Comment


Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.