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Leeds vs Southampton: Watch live, stream link, team news

Leeds United and Southampton meet at Wembley Stadium on Sunday for the ‘richest match in the world’ as the two teams aim for an immediate return to the Premier League.

But only one will reach his season goal.

Daniel Farke took charge of Leeds last summer when the team was in disarray and many players left, either permanently or on loan, following an unexpected and chaotic relegation from the Premier League. But Farke, who has been promoted from the Championship twice before at Norwich City, has used all his experience to turn them into a clinical, high-quality team that fell just short in their quest for automatic promotion. Leeds’ 90 points this season would have seen them automatically promoted in most seasons, but Leicester City and Ipswich Town blew everyone away.

Russell Martin’s Southampton finished fourth in the table, just three points behind Leeds, and the Saints defeated Leeds home and away in the regular season. Martin briefly played for Farke at Norwich City and there is a lot of respect between these two teams. Southampton have completely changed their playing style to possession-based football and have a mix of players left over from recent years in the Premier League and many loanees who have brought them to the brink of returning to the top.

The championship was a mini-competition throughout the season, with the top four standing head and shoulders above the rest. Now the play-off final is between the two who missed out on automatic promotion and these two are so evenly matched. This should all lead to an epic Championship play-off final at Wembley as both teams are desperate to return to the top at the first attempt.

How to watch Leeds vs Southampton live in the Championship play-off final

Date: Sunday (May 26)
Kick-off: 10am ET
How to watch in the US: ESPN+


Leeds United team news, focus

Leeds have become a robust, intense team all season and Farke has used the brilliant attacking talents of Georginio Rutter, Crysencio Summerville, Wilfried Gnonto and Joel Piroe extremely well. In recent weeks they have missed the injured Patrick Bamford as their center up top and his absence for the final is a major blow. But against Norwich you couldn’t tell as Leeds blew past them in the second leg of the semi-final. Illan Meslier continues to make big saves in goal at the other end, while Ethan Ampadu has been a rock in central defense and Gruev and Gray have added so much energy to this side. Pascal Struijk remains out injured after groin surgery, while right-back Sam Byram had a hip flexion problem and did not play the second leg against Norwich, but he should be available.

Southampton team news, focus

Saints are without starting goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu after suffering an Achilles injury in April, while playmaker Stuart Armstrong suffered a serious thigh injury late in the season and will not feature. Strikers Che Adams and Ross Stewart are both fit, which is a huge boost, especially Adams. Southampton still boasted a fluid front three of Adam Armstrong, Ryan Fraser and David Brooks from the start, with Brooks brilliant in the play-off semi-final second leg victory against West Brom. Flynn Downes in central midfield is the heartbeat of this Southampton team, while their fluid 4-4-3 formation often becomes a 3-4-2-1 in possession and allows them to connect Joe Aribo and Brooks as much as possible to get the ball. Playing three centre-backs in the starting line-up has also seen them become more defensively solid in recent weeks.