Leeds United vs Norwich City referee confirmed as Daniel Farke hopes to avoid 'annoying' first-leg fortunes

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Leeds United will hope decisions go their way at Elland Road after a frustrating first-leg at Carrow Road on Sunday.

The officials for Leeds United’s Championship play-off semi-final second-leg clash against Norwich City have been confirmed, with Premier League regular Jarred Gillett the man in the middle on Thursday.

Gillett has only been in charge of three Championship games this season and as a Select Group 1 Referee, is more often found in the top-flight with 21 games in charge at Premier League-level. This will be the Australian's first game in charge at Elland Road this season, having last officiated a Leeds game during the 2-2 FA Cup draw at Cardiff City last term.

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Coincidence it may be, but Leeds are unbeaten in the four games refereed by Gillett in the past, winning twice. Norwich City have won six of their seven games with the Australian in the middle and a record this term of just under 4.5 yellow cards-per-game is reasonable.

Elsewhere, Rebecca Welch has been confirmed as the fourth official while Neil Davies and Nick Greenhalgh are the assistant referees. There is no VAR in the play-off semi-final, only the final, and so there is no VAR assistant. There will be particular attention on those running the line, given Leeds felt aggrieved to see Junior Firpo’s goal ruled offside at Carrow Road after Georginio Rutter was adjudged to be offside in the build-up.

The travelling supporters also felt they deserved a first-half penalty when Wilfried Gnonto was brought down by Borja Sainz. The Italian was seemingly both pulled down and tripped as he entered the penalty area, with referee Josh Smith waving away either a spot-kick of free-kick.

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“During the game I was 100 per cent convinced [it was a penalty] but watching it back the foul starts outside,” Farke said of the Gnonto incident after the first-leg. “It was definitely a free-kick then, not a penalty but a free-kick should be given. I'm still pretty annoyed with the offside. I can just recommend everyone should have a look on the scouting feed, it's not offside.

“In doubt you go in favour of the offensive team, it feels like this rule is not in place any more. I'm annoyed. Small details make a difference, if you go in the lead it changes the picture. In the end everyone speaks about Wembley, a £100m game. On this level all the decisions have to be spot on. Perhaps [the referee’s assistant] was a bit scared the whole stadium is moaning if he doesn’t give offside.

“No, in doubt you give it in favour to the attacker. It's definitely not offside. Have to make sure I'm not too much in a rage. If you want to be in charge of such a game you have to be spot on. I have 12 apologising letters already this season. Whatever, we have to make sure we find a way even though this crucial decision went against us.”

Despite seeing some decisions go against them, Leeds fought hard to leave Carrow Road with a much-needed clean sheet, with the 0-0 draw seeing Farke’s men closer to their solid best. They will hope to be on the right end of any big calls when Norwich come to Elland Road on Thursday with a place at Wembley for the play-off final up for grabs.