Championship play-offs 2024: Will Leeds, Southampton, West Brom or Norwich prevail to reach the Premier League?

Both first legs are live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event on Sunday with coverage getting under way from 11am; Norwich City vs Leeds United (12pm kick-off) followed by West Bromwich Albion vs Southampton (2.15pm kick-off)

The Championship play-off semi-finals get under way on Sunday, but who out of Leeds, Southampton, West Brom and Norwich will prevail and reach the Premier League?

The Championship play-off semi-final first legs: How to watch & follow on Sunday

On TV: Live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event from 11am.

  • EFL play-offs 2024: Fixtures, dates and schedule
  • How to watch your EFL team live on Sky at least 20 times next season!
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Online: Sky Customers can also watch on Sky Go or the Sky Sports app from 11am.

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How to follow: You will be able to follow our live blog from 11am across our website and app, where we will have free in-game clips of all the goals and key moments, and free highlights shortly after full-time.

The schedule

First legs – Sunday May 12

Norwich vs Leeds (12pm)

West Brom vs Southampton (2.15pm)

Second legs

Leeds vs Norwich (8pm) – Thur May 16

Southampton vs West Brom (8pm) – Fri May 17


Wembley (3pm) – Sunday May 26

Who will win the play-offs?

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How the season finished

Norwich vs Leeds: Two stellar attacks, but who will prevail?

Sky Sports EFL Editor Simeon Gholam:

A manager familiar with the play-offs, versus a manager familiar with promotion. David Wagner took Huddersfield through to the Premier League in 2017 against the odds, and will hope to do the same with Norwich City. While Daniel Farke, twice a Championship champion, is into the play-off mixer for the first time with Leeds United.

It has been a strange season for Norwich. They were poor for a lot of it, but had some really strong patches. They have also had an Ipswich-shaped cloud hanging over them, as their fierce East Anglian rivals blew away all-comers to achieve back-to-back promotions.

Image: Norwich striker Josh Sargent

The team that finishes sixth rarely do well in the Championship play-offs but Norwich possess a real threat. In Gabriel Sara they have arguably the best midfielder in the league, and in Josh Sargent possibly the best striker. The USA international has 16 goals in just 26 appearances this season. Had he been fit for the other 20 games then the Canaries would likely have been much closer to the top two.

There is also Jonathan Rowe, just turned 21 and one of the most exciting young winners in the country, who is regaining full fitness himself after several months out. And also Borja Sainz, who didn’t start a game until December but has come into his element in the second half of the season on the left wing. Sargent flanked by Rowe and Sainz, with Sara just behind, is enough to cause any side problems.

Image: Crysencio Summerville of Leeds

Leeds rather limped into the play-offs in the end but have their own weapons to power to promotion. Crysencio Summerville was Championship Player of the Season, scoring 19 times and with nine assists.

Forward Georginio Rutter, while perhaps lacking on the goal front, proved himself to be a chance-creating wizard from open play, with 15 assists to his name. On the other flank, Wilfried Gnonto enjoyed a very fruitful second half of the season after he settled back into the club. It is easy to forget he is an Italian international and still just 20 years old.

West Brom vs Southampton: The tactician vs the pass master

Sky Sports EFL Editor Simeon Gholam:

Here are two sides who have had a long time to think about the play-offs. West Brom occupied fifth place for 29 of the final 30 gameweeks of the season, briefly dipping as low as sixth in gameweek 45. Southampton, meanwhile, were 5th, 4th or 3rd in the table for all but two gameweeks since mid-October.

Carlos Corberan has play-off experience – albeit not the entirely successful kind. He was part of Marcelo Bielsa’s coaching setup at Leeds United – that exited against Derby in 2019 at the semi-final stage – before taking Huddersfield to Wembley in 2022, losing to Nottingham Forest in the final.

Image: Mikey Johnston of West Brom

But there are still few managers you would want in charge of your club more for a few one-off games than one of the league’s master tactician. He also has real quality at his disposal with the likes of Mikey Johnston and Grady Diangana in attacking positions. Perhaps the one thing they do lack is a natural goalscorer. Brandon Thomas-Asante is their top Championship scorer with just 11 goals.

Image: Adam Armstrong of Southampton

In the red corner is Southampton. Russell Martin has a very specific philosophy, and you fear for anyone trying to get the ball off the Saints on that huge Wembley carpet, should they make the final.

It also bodes well for Southampton that they have beaten West Brom twice already this season. And in Adam Armstrong they have a forward with 21 goals and 13 assists to his name.

Who is in form?

Form (last six games)

  • Leeds: ❌🤝❌✅❌❌
  • Southampton: ✅✅❌❌❌✅
  • West Brom: 🤝✅❌❌❌✅
  • Norwich: ✅🤝✅🤝🤝❌

But does form really matter?

The stats suggest that since 2004/05 the formbook does, largely, go out of the window for the play-offs…

Season in stats

Final-day highlights

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Southampton

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship game between West Brom and Preston

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship game between Birmingham and Norwich

EFL play-off records

Image: Leeds were beaten in their most recent play-off attempt by Derby in the Championship semi-finals in 2019

Leeds have appeared in the EFL play-offs five times and have failed to seal promotion on any occasion.

  • 1986/87 – lost in Division Two (now Championship) final over two legs to Charlton Athletic. This was before the final was played as a one-off a Wembley.
  • 2005/06 – lost in Championship final to Watford 3-0 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
  • 2007/08 – lost in League One final to Doncaster at Wembley.
  • 2008/09 – lost in League One semi-finals to Millwall.
  • 2018/19 – lost in Championship semi-finals to Derby County.

Image: Southampton's only play-off excursion saw them beaten in the Championship semi-finals by Derby in 2007

Southampton have just one EFL play-off appearance so far, losing to Derby County in the Championship semi-final in 2006/07.

Image: West Brom crashed out of the Championship play-offs in 2019 to Aston Villa in the semi-finals

West Brom have four EFL play-off appearances, winning just once in the third tier. They have never won through in the Championship play-offs.

  • 1992/93 – WON in Division Two (now League One) play-offs, beating Port Vale in the final at Wembley.
  • 2000/01 – lost in Division One (now Championship) semi-finals to Bolton.
  • 2006/07 – lost in Championship final to Deby County at Wembley.
  • 2018/19 – lost in Championship semi-finals to Aston Villa.

Image: Norwich City won their last play-off campaign in 2015

Norwich have two EFL play-off appearances, both in the second tier, winning promotion once.

  • 2001/02 – lost in Division One (now Championship) final to Birmingham City at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
  • 2014/15 – WON in Championship play-offs, beating Middlesbrough in the final at Wembley.

Who wins through in the Championship play-offs?

In the 19 Championship play-off campaigns there have been since 2004/05, the team that has finished third has by far the most wins. The team that finishes sixth has the least. Blackpool in 2010 were the last team to occupy the final play-off place and seal promotion.

Who has won promotion? Since 2004/05…

  • 3rd: ✅✅✅✅✅✅✅✅✅
  • 4th: ✅✅✅✅
  • 5th: ✅✅✅✅
  • 6th: ✅✅

Championship Team of the Season revealed!

Sky Sports duo Simeon Gholam and David Prutton reveal their Sky Sports Championship team of the season for 2023/24.

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Sky Sports’ Simeon Gholam and David Prutton reveal their Sky Sports Championship team of the season for 2023/24.

How to watch your EFL team live on Sky at least 20 times next season!

Sky Sports will show over 1,000 EFL matches next season. Here’s what you need to know to watch your team…


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