'Up our sleeve' - Russell Martin's play-off final prediction reveals change Leeds United must be wary of at Wembley

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Leeds United may already have faced the game-plan Southampton are set to employ at Wembley in the play-off final this weekend.

Russell Martin's side ran out 2-1 winners over Daniel Farke's Whites less than three weeks ago before the two teams navigated their way beyond West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City in their respective play-off semi-finals to set up a tantalising Championship finale in the nation's capital this Sunday.

Having played each other so recently, both sets of players will be aware of the direct opponent they're likely to face up against, whilst Martin and Farke set out to outsmart each other from the touchline.

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Speaking after the Saints' victory at the beginning of this month, Martin suggested a change in his team's approach on the day helped them to secure victory at Elland Road. Southampton deployed more defensive-minded players in their starting line-up, accompanied by a more direct, vertical style which sought to stretch Leeds in behind by making them turn to face Illan Meslier's goal.

As Farke admitted he ordered his team to 'go for it', Saints exploited Leeds' looser-than-usual defensive approach.

"We soaked up pressure against a really good side in the second half," Martin said at full-time. "I'm proud of them. I think there's more to come.

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"We tried something a bit different, it worked quite well. We have it up our sleeve if we need it. Two good teams, good advert for the Championship.

"Suits the game today without getting certain players on the pitch and something we might use in the play-offs. Worked on it all week.

"To have that many defenders on the pitch wasn't a negative, explained to the players why and they were really on board with it. Players quite enjoy having new toys to play and think they quite enjoyed it," he added.

As for which two sides would take their place in the play-off final, Martin also had a prediction on May 4: "Our focus is on us and being aware we might play this team [Leeds] in three weeks' time."

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The Saints manager's prediction has come to fruition following second leg victories over the Baggies and Canaries with a place in the Premier League at stake this weekend. Both sides, meanwhile, are expected to sell-out their Wembley allocation.

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