Wednesday 15 May: 7.45pm KO
Live on Sky Sports
Leeds United are just two games away from the promised land. They last played in the Premier League in the 2003/04 season but go into this play-off semi-final second leg with a 1-0 lead over Derby County. Their boss is bound to have done his homework (though not as thoroughly as in the past) as Leeds bid to reach Wembley.
It’s been 15 years since Leeds United were relegated to the Championship. Since then they’ve had a spell in League One and now they find themselves just two games away from returning to the Premier League. Betfred have odds of 5/4 (2.25) on them winning promotion this season.
Since being relegated from the Premier League, Leeds have only once made it to the promotion play-off final and that was 13 years ago. They have regularly finished outside the top ten in the Championship but this season has been a different story.
They have been in the play-off positions all season and most of that time has been spent in the automatic promotion places. United have survived Spygate but not a bad patch towards the end of the season that saw them earn just one point from their last four league games.
Leeds got back in winning ways with a 1-0 victory at Derby County in Saturday’s semi-final first leg. A Kemar Roofe goal in the second-half secured the victory and they are 1/10 (1.1) at William Hill to make it into the final. Short odds but Leeds fans won’t believe they’re at Wembley until the final whistle is blown after years of near-misses.
Home form has seen them win five, draw one and lose three of their last nine league games at Elland Road. You can go to Betfred and receive odds of 3/4 (1.75) on them beating Derby County in 90 minutes on Wednesday evening.
Saturday’s defeat has seen the odds on Derby County being promoted lengthen. William Hill will give you 12/1 (13.0) on Derby winning the play-offs. Derby County are still raging after a first-half penalty was overturned in Saturday’s first leg.
The home loss at the weekend ended a run of six games without defeat Frank Lampard said after the game that his team “need to be better on the ball and be more confident on Wednesday.” If they can do that then they still have a chance of qualifying and defy the Betfred odds of 5/1 (6.0) on them qualifying for the Wembley final.
A home win was vitally important to Frank Lampard’s team due to their poor away record. County have won just one of their ten away league matches, a vital 2-0 win at Bristol City. You can get odds of 4/1 (5.0) at William Hill on them beating Leeds United in 90 minutes on Wednesday.
Leeds United are unbeaten in their last four games against Derby County winning the last three. The last two games between these two sides have seen Leeds keep a clean sheet and Betfred will give you odds of 7/5 (3.4) on them preventing Derby from scoring in this match.
Kemar Roofe is out of this game for Leeds United and also missing for the home side is Adam Forshaw, with Pontus Jansson doubtful. Derby County may be without Martyn Waghorn but Duane Holmes is available.
Klich the Key?
With Kemar Roofe unfit, Leeds might have to pin their hopes on Mateusz Klich. He’s scored in two of the last three games and William Hill have odds of 9/2 (5.5) on him scoring on Wednesday. If you think he’ll score the first goal, then Betfred will give you 9/1 (10.0).
Derby to Score
Derby County don’t have a great away record but they do tend to find a way to get on the score sheet. Only in one of their last eight away league matches have they failed to score. William Hill have odds of 4/9 (1.44) on Derby to score in this game.
Over the years Leeds have found many ways in which to miss out on promotion. Saturday’s win will have given them plenty of confidence after a poor recent run. A bet on Leeds to win and both teams scoring has odds of 5/2 (3.5) at Betfred.