Blackburn Rovers man makes Leeds United play-off prediction amid cheeky Elland Road dig

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Leeds United face a huge challenge in turning their form around ahead of Sunday’s trip to Norwich City.

Blackburn Rovers striker Sammie Szmodics insists Leeds United have the quality to win the Championship play-offs - despite not being able to beat his side last month.

Szmodics was key to inflicting a first home defeat of the season on Leeds with his late finish securing a shock 1-0 Rovers win on April 13. A concerning day for Daniel Farke’s side rounded off a week in which they also dropped points at home to Sunderland and failed to score in consecutive games for the first time throughout the campaign.

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Two more defeats since has consigned Leeds to the play-offs and they go into a semi-final clash against Norwich City having taken just four points from six games, with confidence and form at a season low. But in keeping pace with Leicester City and Ipswich Town, the Whites showed just how devastating they can be and Szmodics is backing them to turn it around for three decisive games.

“I would have to go, just because I have played against them, with Leeds,” Szmodics told the No Tippy Tappy Football podcast when asked for his play-off prediction. “Elland Road, tough place to go but not for Blackburn actually! We went there and beat them but the players they’ve got, and the team they’ve got I think they will do it.”

Farke’s biggest challenge this week will be picking up the players after a woeful end to the regular campaign. Leeds won just one of their last six games and were well beaten by potential play-off rivals Southampton on Saturday.

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It was after full-time last week that supporters tried to play their part, with those still inside Elland Road giving a brilliant reception to the players during their lap of the pitch. If there is to be success in the play-offs then that support will prove crucial and Sam Allardyce, who managed the club at the end of last season, is hoping to see Premier League football back at Elland Road.

“I was only at Leeds a short time but what a great club,” the former Whites boss added. “Hopefully they can get back into the Premier League and find some stability, try and stay there this time. But it’s been a good season for them and if they don’t quite make it, they’ll have to cut financially again so it gets more difficult.”

Leeds go to Carrow Road for the first-leg against Norwich on Sunday, having done the double over their semi-final opponents during the regular season. Farke’s men came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 away from home in October while Patrick Bamford scored the only goal of a 1-0 win at Elland Road in January.

Norwich come to West Yorkshire on Thursday evening with the winner over two legs facing one of Southampton or West Bromwich Albion at Wembley on Sunday, May 26.