leeds fansWith Wigan, Reading and QPR relegated from the Premier League, the League One and Championship play-off finals will finalise Leeds United’s 2013/14 schedule.

The first of those two play-off finals will take place today as Brentford and Yeovil Town face-off at Wembley, both teams hoping to secure a place in the Championship. Unibet have Brenford as favourites for this one, but from a Leeds United perspective, Yeovil Town could be the preferred victors.

It’ll come as no surprise to hear that The Whites have a good record over both teams. Our last defeat against Brentford came in a 1953 FA Cup match, while Yeovil Town have never beaten us – a stat which could provide a slight psychological edge should Yeovil be our opponents next season.

Leeds and Yeovil Town had never faced each other before Leeds were relegated to League One in 2007. In the three seasons that followed, www.FootballScores.com shows that we played Yeovil six times, winning five of those fixtures and drawing the other.

Preferred winners of the Championship play-off final is a tougher one to call. Once again, Leeds United have the better record against both teams, but Watford recorded a humiliating 6-1 win over us this season and ghosts of the 2006 play-off final still give us nightmares.

Crystal Palace meanwhile have only beaten Leeds once in their last eight attempts and our record against them throughout history is vastly superior.

The sensible choice would therefore be Watford to go up. But our victory over them on the final day of last season, an ultimately meaningless match for Leeds, but one which would have sent Watford up had they beaten us, was seen as revenge for both the 6-1 hammering we took earlier in the season and the 2006 play-off final.

If Watford were to succeed at securing promotion via the play-offs a couple of tricky encounters would be removed from our fixture list, but it’d also mean Leeds United didn’t succeed in ruining Watford’s promotion party.

It’s quite a petty reason to back Crystal Palace for promotion, but half the fun of football is getting one over on other teams. Had Leeds succeeded in the 2006 play-off final, League One would never have happened, we’d probably be moaning about the “lack of ambition” we were showing in the Premier League by failing to sign £30m strikers and pushing for a Champions League finish (well, maybe not…)

Leeds United know better than most how big play-off finals are. No one could have predicted how bad things were about to get when we failed to secure promotion in 2006. Defeating Watford on the final day of this season was our chance to return the favour. Let’s hope Crystal Palace finish the job.

27 Responses

  1. Mark

    I’d rather Watford go up tbh. When they go up, they would struggle massively as all their best players will be heading back to their main clubs. Chalobah, Battocchio, Ekstrand, Geijo, Cassetti, Abdi, Anya, Vydra, Pudil. How will they replace them all. They will struggle and come straight back down. Also not sure if I could deal with Holloway in the PL again

    • Stuey

      Haha! Leeds fans are an odd bunch. Blame Watford for an inept performance in 2006? You lot should take a good hard look at yourselves before blaming a rival team. Also Leeds won at Watford thanks to a dirty bit of play by Poleon. I suppose the prefix Dirty came from somewhere. Also if Watford don’t go up they will have a stronger team next season. Mark my words. CP will be without Zaha.

      • colin

        Im a leeds fan and i totally agree with your comments,its high time we stop blaming others and start looking at the real problems at Elland road. With B M D now in charge i am hoping we can now start playing some proper football.

      • Exiled White

        The ‘dirty’ prefix came in 1964 from the fa, even though there were teams with a worse disciplinary record on the pitch than Leeds.

        T’other day I was in Pontypridd with a Leeds shirt on, obviously, and a cardiff says to me dirty Leeds. So I says we are everywhere. Unlike cardiff.

  2. Ceno

    Mark, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Most of the loan players will stay at Watford. They were never intended to go back. They signed as loans as they all arrived too late for the club to arrange permanent deals and any who don’t stay will be replaced. Watford are in a far better position to stay up than the other promoted teams as the clubs owners have a huge pool of players to pick from and plenty of cash burning a hole in their pockets.

    • Matty

      ‘A huge pool of players to pick from’ – it doesn’t matter how many they have they need to be good enough. It was easy this season as Udinese’s weaker players are still good enough stand out in the Championship but will they in the Prem? The Pozzo’s have done well for Watford so far but I would be suspicious until they’ve been around, for every Abramovich and Sheik Mansour there’s a Venkys and a Mittal

  3. spellz

    Who cares who goes up? good luck to both we will see the winner there after next season any way.

  4. Gary, Staffs

    Its Watford for me for the reasons you mentioned above. I would rather see Zola in the Premier League than Holloway and I like the way he tries to play the game, tbh I can’t see Watford losing.

  5. JDC

    At first I wasn’t sure which of the four I would like to see in The Premiership … ultimately none of them but I’ll settle for CP and Ian Holloway but only because I think that the owners of Watford, Granada and Udinese have totally abused the loan market at Watford. OK, apparently they haven’t done anything against “the rules” but how they have bent them and have certainly not used them in the spirit they were intended.

  6. Mersey-White

    Id prefer the stronger side goes up – it makes the championship next season that bit easier’ up against the smaller clubs. Losing big spending Cardiff and Hull, as well as Wolves going the other way, to be replaced by Doncaster, Yeovil etc means we should be looking at next season slightly more optimistic. Surely?

  7. Irving08

    I am uneasy with the ‘Watford model’, which too closely resembles a fanchise, for my liking; so I will be rooting for Palace. Besides, they are a club with grand supporters and traditions, including an interesting history with us, going back to the 1980s. And I used to live there – which may not though be a recommendation. As to which of Palace and Watford I’d rather us face next season, unfortunately it has to be Palace. Yet I still want them to win.

  8. igiveup

    WHO GIVES A FUCK?!! Expect better than this TSS, you must be bored cos nowt happening at ER…as usual!

  9. Max

    What ought to happen is that CP go up and the League fixes the loophole in the loan system. At which point tricky fixtures against Watford are removed from the calendar.

    If Palace go up they’ll lose Zaha immediately and may well come back down (though the current financial structure of the Premier League is such that only the top 7 actually look safe).

    The other issue for anyone in the Championship is that after next season the teams relegated from the Premiership are going to come back down with so much money that the only place to play for may well be in the playoffs.

  10. SB

    It baffles me how people assume Watford will be in trouble once their players loan periods are over. As soon as a transfer window allows it I am sure most of them will sign after enjoying a season of first team football rather than rotting in the Udinese reserves. Forestieri was so keen he signed in January. Abdi and Pudil have expressed the fact they want to stay and i’m sure other will follow suit. Has no one ever heard of try before you buy???

    • Matthew

      Actually the most likely outcome is those Udinese players of value who have had a good season in the Championship will have more first team chances at their parent club. Certainly I don’t expect Vydra back at Watford next season if Palace win. 22 Goals in the Championship from him, he’l be back on his clubs radar again, or they’l sell him to the highest bidder.

      A Watford without a 22 goal scoring striker next season(If they lose) will be an easier Watford to beat :P

      • Danwfc

        Shame we have a second 20 goal a season striker in Deeney.

      • Matthew

        Shame one good striker won’t get you back into the playoffs next season, should you lose :)

  11. Jo King

    JDC – We have actually used the FIFA rules exactly in the spirit they were intended, no more no less. The rules were laid down to assist clubs with overseas feeder clubs to access “their” players even though they don’t actually hold the registration. If it’s good enough for United, City and Arsenal then why is it not good enough for us?

    • LUFCRob

      Son, if you come on this forum and use the word “United”, you can only be referring to Leeds………….and as far as I know Leeds United do not have a feeder club. (I don’t think we can count Norwich!)

  12. Matthew

    I honestly don’t care who wins. We certainly have an easier time against Palace than Watford, from a match perspective, a Crystal Palace without Zaha would be a much weaker team next season if Watford win.

    For that reason I would rather see the harder team win, so we’l have more chances to pick up points next season. Fuck we already have 6 nailed on points from Yeovil next season LOL

  13. Pete

    As a Watford fan I was at the Aresenal game a couple of years back when you drew 1-1 and your away support was amazing – so well done. It was lively at Vicarage Road and you came to spoil the party and that you did, but to say that your job wasnt done if we dont lose to Crystal Palce is nonsense and one that I think a club like Leeds would be bigger than. Watford’s loan system has upset others ever since Ian Holloway turfed up at the Vic and claimed he knew nothing of our loan/ownership situation but felt that was still more than enough to comment on it.
    Matty – you make a great point about being wary of owners (and having had Ken Bates you would know) and in the first few days we were but these owners have been with Udinese since the mid 80’s owned and supported Granada up from the third tier of Spanish football up to La Liga and we believe we have hit the proverbial jackpot when it comes to owners. they have provided players who not only worked hard for the cause and connected with the fans but they are technically excellent and we are playing football that – lets be honest, Watford werent exactly known for!
    Without the Pozzo’s taking over from our previous owner (name changed and bankrupt twice yet still able to skip through the “fit and proper persons test”! we would be where Portsmouth are. Instead we have an ownership able to provide us with a wealth of playing talent without risking the future of our club. I would have thought with your past 20 years you might appreciate that.
    Good luck next season.

  14. Lee Stephenson

    TSS – you may not have full control of ad content, but ads for Man Utd TV, ‘MUTV, the home of champions’, are not really appropriate surely?!?

  15. barnzy

    dont you think it was great,how revenge for 06 has come about,evan aidy boothroyd found out what it was like to loose a play off final 3-0


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