Leeds United vs Norwich City: Preview and Prediction

Leeds United will hope that home advantage will see them get the better of Norwich City for a spot in the EFL Championship playoff final.

The second leg of the Championship playoff semi-final between Leeds United and Norwich City promises to be a tense and pivotal encounter, with a place in the playoff final at Wembley at stake. Last weekend’s goalless draw at Carrow Road has left the tie finely balanced, setting the stage for an intriguing battle at Elland Road.

Despite the attacking prowess of both teams, the first leg failed to deliver the anticipated excitement, with neither side able to break the deadlock. Both managers will be eager to see their teams show more cutting edge in the decisive second leg, especially considering the limited number of chances created in the previous encounter.

Daniel Farke’s Norwich City may have been slightly more satisfied with the first-leg result, given their impressive home record and Leeds’s recent struggles for goals. However, they will be wary of Leeds’ strong home form and their history of success against the Canaries at Elland Road.

For Leeds, securing victory at home will be crucial as they aim to reach the playoff final for the first time in over a decade. Despite their recent dip in form, Daniel Farke’s side will take confidence from their previous home victories over Norwich and will be determined to produce a performance worthy of a place in the final.

Both teams will be aware of the significance of this fixture and the opportunity it presents to secure promotion to the Premier League. With tensions high and everything to play for, Thursday night’s clash promises to be a compelling spectacle for fans of both Leeds United and Norwich City.

Leeds United, in particular, will aim to salvage what has been a sensationally poor collapse in the final weeks of the campaign. Missing out on the playoff win would just be another bitter pill to swallow. The Hard Tackle delves into the potential elevens and tactics for this highly-anticipated clash.

Team News & Tactics

Leeds United

Leeds United will have to cope without the services of defender Pascal Struijk for the remainder of the season, as he continues his recovery from groin surgery. Additionally, striker Patrick Bamford is facing a spell on the sidelines due to a patellar tendon injury, casting doubt on his availability for the rest of the playoff matches.

Despite injury concerns, winger Daniel James made a cameo appearance off the bench in the first leg after overcoming cartilage and abdominal muscle issues. He will be vying for a starting role on the right flank, with Wilfried Gnonto.

Facing his former side, Farke will not be keen to add more regrets to his first season at Elland Road. He is expected to line up his side in a 4-3-3 formation, with Illan Meslier in goal. The French goalkeeper should be protected by the back four of Sam Byram, Joe Rodon, Ethan Ampadu, and Junior Firpo.

The trio of Archie Gray, Ilia Gruev and Glen Kamara should hold the fort in midfield, with Wilfried Gnonto and Crysencio Summerville providing the width. Georginio Rutter should start as the focal point in attack and will hope to rediscover his best in what is a pivotal game for his team.

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

Leeds United vs Norwich City: Preview and Prediction.

Norwich City

Norwich City are facing concerns over the availability of striker Josh Sargent, who sustained an ankle injury in the first leg and was substituted late in the game. Additionally, Ashley Barnes is nursing a calf problem, potentially leaving a void in the forward line. In their absence, forward Sydney van Hooijdonk could earn his first start for the Canaries since his loan move in January.

The injury list for Norwich extends to Liam Gibbs, who is dealing with a muscle issue, and Onel Hernandez, sidelined with a broken foot. The visitors have an otherwise fully fit squad to choose from.

Norwich City are expected to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation against Leeds United, with Angus Gunn in goal. He should be protected by the back four of Jack Stacey, Shane Duffy, Ben Gibson and Dimitris Giannoulis.

Marcelino Nunez and Kenny McLean should form the double pivot, leaving Gabriel Sara the freedom to play in the number 10 role. Jonathan Rowe and Borja Sainz should provide the width with Sydney van Hooijdonk leading the line.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Gunn; Stacey, Duffy, Gibson, Giannoulis; Nunez, McLean; Rowe, Sara, Sainz; Hooijdonk

Leeds United vs Norwich City: Preview and Prediction.

Key Stats

  • A win on the night will see Leeds United win three straight home games against Norwich City for the first time since 1972.
  • Leeds United will hope to avoid losing their third straight playoff semifinal, all of which saw them play their second leg at home.
  • Norwich City have made the playoff final in the Championship on both the previous occasions where they took part in the mini tournament.
  • A loss on the night will see Leeds lose three home games in a row in the Championship for the first time since 2017.

Player to Watch

Crysencio Summerville

Embed from Getty Images

The Leeds star was the standout performer for the Whites in the first leg and anything meaningful in attack on the night came down his flank. The Dutchman is coming off a sensational season that has seen him bag 20 goals and 10 assists in 47 matches across all competitions.

Summerville is attracting attention from clubs such as Liverpool and could end up playing in the Premier League nevertheless. However, he will be ken to end the campaign on a high and ensure Leeds United do not regret to bow out a campaign that promised so much.


Leeds United 1-1 Norwich City (Leeds United to win 2-1 in extra time)

With Elland Road unlikely to accept any more failures, Leeds will know there is no margin for error. The place will be buzzing and the onus will be on the home side to take the game to Norwich. The match is likely to be hard fought, and Leeds should book their ticket to Wembley in extra time.

Leave Comment


Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

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