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Paul Merson comments on Leeds United in Championship playoffs

Fans arrive at Elland Road stadium prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Brentford at Elland Road on October 6, 2018 in Leeds, England.

Leeds United are in the Championship playoffs.

General views of the stadium ahead of the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United v Aston Villa at Elland Road on December 3, 2016 in Leeds, England.

Leeds United will have to clinch promotion to the Premier League via the playoffs, with Norwich City and Sheffield United having secured their place in the top two of the Championship table this season.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side are third in the league table at the moment with 83 points from 45 matches, three points clear of fourth-placed West Bromwich Albion, who have also secured their place in the playoffs.

Aston Villa are the other team who are guaranteed of a place in the playoffs and are currently fifth in the standings with 76 points from 45 matches.

 

It is likely that West Brom and Villa will face each other in the Championship semi-final playoff this season.

The sixth and final playoff spot is yet to be decided, with Derby County, Middlesbrough and Bristol City all fighting for it.

Leeds will have to wait until the final weekend of the ‘regular’ Championship to know their semi-final playoff opponents, and former Villa striker Paul Merson has suggested that this is a disadvantage for the West Yorkshire outfit.

General views of Elland Road before the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Aston Villa at Elland Road on December 03, 2016 in Leeds, England.

Merson said on the Gillette Soccer Saturday show on Sky Sports News on Saturday afternoon (2:23pm, April 27, 2019): “Villa and West Brom sort of know each other they are going to be playing each other, Leeds won’t have a clue who they are playing yet.

"Because there are three teams they have got to wait to literally the last day of the season to know if it’s going to be Bristol City, Derby or Middlesbrough.”

Meanwhile, former Derby County midfielder Robbie Savage has given his take on the playoffs, and said on BBC Radio 5 Live on Saturday evening (7:09pm, April 27, 2019): “To go to Bristol City and win 2-0, didn’t play great against QPR but won, momentum and confidence is with Derby.

“I understand why the Derby fan said it (that they were going up) and why you’ve come on to say you hammered them 6-1 across the two games, I get that, it’ll be an intriguing game at this time of the season. But if it was now and you had to play them tomorrow, I think Derby will have the upper hand.”

A general view of Elland Road, home of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road on April 13, 2019 in Leeds, England.

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