Why Leeds United's unique unbeaten record and '91 per cent' win ratio is reason for Southampton to fear at Wembley

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Leeds United have scored the most goals during the opening 15 minutes in the Championship this season and remain unbeaten when taking the lead - a record no other side in the division can match.

Leeds' fast starts during 2023/24 were crucial to delivering the impressive, but ultimately insufficient, 90-point tally United accrued over the season.

No team managed to score more than Leeds' 17 goals during the opening quarter of an hour of games, nor did any Championship rival beat Leeds' record when opening the scoring - averaging 2.82 points per game from such scenarios. Daniel Farke's side are unbeaten in the league this season when scoring the first goal. On 23 occasions, including the play-offs, Leeds have scored the opener, going on to win 21 times. This record could be crucial if the Whites are to be successful in the Championship play-off final this weekend against Southampton.

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The Saints' record by comparison is impressive but not so much in terms of results, rather for the sheer number of matches in which they have opened the scoring. Russell Martin's side have done so in 33 of the 48 league matches - play-offs inclusive - they have contested this season, winning 25, drawing six and losing twice.

Fortunately for Leeds, the Whites managed to salvage something from ten of the 21 games in which their opponent scored first, winning a joint league-high seven and drawing four after conceding the first goal. Southampton, on the other hand, have lost nine of their 13 battles when their opponents have opened the scoring - a further incentive for Leeds to hit the front.

Farke acknowledged following the two sides' meeting earlier this month that he wanted to be more aggressive and front foot in his approach, as the team needed to win on the final day to salvage any hope of automatic promotion. Southampton opened the scoring that day, playing more vertically and exploiting the space in behind which Leeds were all too content to leave as they pushed for all three points.

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The game was a close-run contest and will be once more at Wembley this weekend. Whether Farke decides to catch Southampton early, or instructs his team to be a little more reserved remains to be seen, but Leeds' record when going a goal up speaks for itself.

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