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Firpo backed Leeds to sink Southampton in the Championship play-off final

Leeds United defender Junior Firpo is hoping his side will beat Southampton in the Championship final at Wembley.

The Whites came close to securing automatic promotion but lost to Ipswich Town on the final day of the regular season.

Instead, Daniel Farke's men had to struggle in the play-offs, but easily swept Norwich in the semi-finals.

Now, all that stands between them and a return to the top flight is Southampton.

Both teams will feel they belong in the Premier League and the benefits of whoever is promoted means there is a lot of momentum growing in the game.

The match will take place on Sunday, the day after Manchester United face Manchester City in the FA Cup final.

Firpo has been instrumental in driving Leeds to the top flight this season, making 28 league appearances and contributing eight assists.

Speaking to PA Media he said: “The players played 50 games – that's a lot.

“Especially at the end of the season, when you need new players. People were tired of knocking, not injured or anything.

“So I think the most important thing we have done is to recover on the road, because our thinking has not changed – if it is not automatic promotion, we will go to the play-offs.

“It's the finals. It's 90 minutes. It will be a nervous game, a tough game I think, but if I have to choose one team in the final, I choose them.”

Farke will be hoping his players perform well against Saints and has admitted he wants to manage at the highest level again.

The 47-year-old took Norwich into the Premier League in 2019 and hopes to do the same with Leeds, but knows how tough Southampton will be.

He added: “They are one of the best teams in the Championship.

“They have experienced players and a high-quality coach. The team did not panic. It's hard to beat them. This was proven in the first two games.

“I signed the contract because I believe that the team and the community are ready and should be in the Premier League.

“I want to work at a high level. The Premier League is the best league in the world. I am very motivated.”

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