Neil Sullivan claims Leeds United can gain a 'psychological edge' over Aston Villa

Dean Smith head coach of Aston Villa in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Millwall at Villa Park on April 22, 2019 in Birmingham, England.

Leeds United and Aston Villa will lock horns in a heavyweight clash in the Championship on Sunday.

Dean Smith, Manager of Aston Villa and Marcelo Bielsa, Manager of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Leeds United at Villa Park on December 23, 2018...

Neil Sullivan has stated that Leeds United can gain a 'psychological edge' if they beat Aston Villa on Sunday ahead of a potential playoff final showdown in May. 

As things stand, both teams are headed for the playoffs, with Marcelo Bielsa's side sitting in third place and their weekend opponents currently in fifth. 

Speaking to LS11's official YouTube account (24/04/2019), former Chelsea and Leeds goalkeeper Sullivan spoke about the importance of Sunday's game, even if the Whites miss out on automatic promotion. 

 

"Aston Villa, they are flying and you might get them in the playoff final," Sullivan told LS11. "If you don't make it up automatically, you're going to think 'they are going to be one of the teams [that can make the final].

"Even if you beat them and don't make it up automatically, the psychological edge you would have going into the playoffs knowing that you had beaten them two or three weeks ago would be huge."

There is a slim chance that Leeds can still finish in second but they will need a very big favour from already-relegated Ipswich Town who travel to Sheffield United on Saturday.

Ipswich Town's manager Paul Lambert  during the Sky Bet Championship match between Ipswich Town and Swansea City  at Portman Road on April 22, 2019 in Ipswich, England.

If Paul Lambert's side can cause an upset of some sorts then it would blow the race for automatic promotion wide open and give Bielsa's side the boost they need heading into their clash against Villa on Sunday. 

The Midlands outfit have won 10 games on the bounce and will want revenge after the Yorkshire club beat them 3-2 during the reverse fixture in December - Villa were 2-0 up in that game. 

Nonetheless, Villa will also have an eye on climbing up the table because with six points still available in the season, they can leapfrog fourth-placed West Brom, who are currently two points ahead of them. 

Dean Smith head coach of Aston Villa in action during training session at the club's training ground at Bodymoor Heath on March 28, 2019 in Birmingham, England.

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