Preview: Leeds United vs. Norwich City – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole presents Thursday’s Championship match between Leeds United and Norwich City, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.

A place in the championship playoff final is up for grabs when Leeds United Your welcome City of Norwich at Elland Road for the second leg of Thursday night’s semi-final clash.

The tie is a delicate one after both teams could not be separated in a goalless stalemate in last weekend’s first leg at Carrow Road.

Match preview

Leeds United head coach Daniel Farke on 12 May 2024.© Reuters

Close business tends to play out in the first leg of the play-offs, but there were hopes that both Leeds and Norwich, two attack-minded teams, would give the Carrow Road faithful an entertaining contest last Sunday.

However, both sides canceled each other out and lacked the edge to take a valuable lead in the second leg. Only 13 hits were recorded in the entire game, which also had an xG of just 0.76; only four league games have had fewer shots and a lower xG this season.

Daniel Farke he would have been the happier of the two managers to leave Norfolk with a draw, given his Leeds side faced a Norwich side unbeaten at home since 5 November. shape, though.

Indeed, the Whites go into Thursday’s contest having won just one of their last seven games and failed to score in four of those, including two of their last three games at Elland Road.

However, Leeds have come out on top in their last two home meetings with Norwich, including a 1-0 win in January, so there is reason to be optimistic as they bid to reach an EFL play-off final for the fourth time and the first time since the League One performance in 2007-08.

Norwich City manager David Wagner ahead of the match on 28 January 2024© Reuters

Norwich are also on a difficult run of form as they have won just two of their last eight games since the start of April, failing to win any of their last four in the process. They have also come out on top in just four of their last 10 away games.

A first-leg draw with Leeds at home was regarded by some quarters of the Canaries’ fans as a disappointment, but the manager David Wagner insisted they had not “automatically handed an advantage” to the Whites, who will host the second leg at Elland Road.

Norwich’s recent record with Leeds leaves a little to be desired as they have won just two of their last 12 meetings with the Whites in all competitions. Their most recent triumph was at Elland Road, however, in February 2019 under the tutelage of current Leeds boss Farke, who guided the Canaries to a 3-1 Championship victory en route to the title.

In what is their third EFL play-off appearance, Norwich are looking to reach the final at Wembley Stadium for a third time, having previously done so in 2002 and 2015. Success on Thursday would see the Canaries become only the sixth team to reach the stadium. final with a 100% record that has won at least three playoff semifinals.

Leeds United’s Championship form:

Norwich City Championship form:

Team news

Kenny McLean and Georginio Rutter in action for Norwich City and Leeds United on 12 May 2024.© Reuters

The Leeds defender Pascal Struijk was ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing groin surgery while attacking Patrick Bamford faces several weeks on the sidelines and will be a major doubt if the Whites reach the playoff final as he nurses a “minor patellar tendon injury”.

Daniel James managed to shake off a rib injury and a torn oblique muscle to be substituted in the second half in the first leg and the winger will push to start on the right flank ahead of Wilfried Gnonto.

Farke might be tempted to name the same midfield trio Archie Gray, Glen Kamara and Ilya Gruevbut one of these could make room for Joel Piroe to go on the attack if the German boss opts to strengthen his front line which should also include Georginio Rutter and Crysencio Summerville.

As for Norwich, they are sweating over the striker’s fitness Joshua Sargent who was forced off in the closing stages of the first leg with an ankle injury.

Ashley Barnes is also a doubt after missing the first leg with a calf problem, so his and Sargent’s potential absences could see Sydney van Hooijdonk made his first start for the Canaries since joining the club on loan in January.

Both Liam Gibbs (muscle) and Onel Hernandez (broken leg) remain in the treatment room, but Jon Rowe was fit to start the first leg and the 12-goal winger is expected to keep his place on the right flank, supported in attack by Borja Sainz.

Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Tradesman; Byram, Rodon, Ampadu, Firpo; Gray, Gruev, Kamara; Gnonto, Rutter, Summerville

Norwich City possible starting lineup:
Gunn; Stacey, Duffy, Gibson, Giannoulis; Nunez, McLean, Sara; Rowe, Van Hooijdonk, Sainz

SM words green background

We say: Leeds United 2-1 Norwich City (Leeds United will win 2-1 on aggregate)

Leeds will certainly fancy their chances of success in front of an Elland Road crowd and have already beaten Norwich at home this season, so go into Thursday’s contest as slight favourites.

The potential absence of goalscorer Sargent would be a huge blow for the Canaries, and while they can rely on other star attackers to push forward in the final third, they may come up short against the Whites this time around.

For data analysis with most likely results, scores and more for this match, please click here.

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