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League One Playoff Final

Leeds United
vs.
Doncaster Rovers

Wembley Stadium

24/05/08

1500

On Sky

This Sunday the first Yorkshire Derby to hit Wembley will happen since 1993.
Leeds United will go into the game slight favourites after finishing the season strongly, whilst Doncaster missed the chance of automatic promotion on the last day of the season losing at Cheltenham.

Leeds battled their way to the Final after a stirring second leg performance at Carlisle. Going into the game trailing 2-1 after defeat at Elland Road young Leeds hero Jonny Howson scored two goals to see Leeds through. Doncaster had a much more straight forward progression against Southend. After drawing the first leg 0-0 Doncaster coasted to a 5-1 victory at the Keepmoat.

The teams form against each other this season couldn't be more closely matched, Doncaster winning 1-0 at Elland Road with a Brian Stock free kick and in the return game Leeds won 1-0 with another free kick form Alan Sheehan. Maybe if it goes to penalties they should take free kicks instead!

Wembley officials are expecting an 80,000 plus attendance. Leeds sold out their allocation in double quick time and could have sold out Wembley on their own whilst Doncaster have currently sold 27,000 tickets.

Leeds will be hoping to make a rapid return to the Championship after relegation last season. Doncaster are hoping to win promotion back to the second tier of Football for the first time in fifty years.

Vital Quotes:

Gary Mac:

"We are 90 minutes away from what I believe would be a fantastic achievement by this group of players,"

"The players have worked hard to buy into anything we have tried to get across to them. The work rate and enthusiasm is something I knew was already here and I haven't been let down by that," he explained.

"It's been a very hard season for the players. The 15 points was a major blow to the lads, and then they've had to get use to a new guy coming in and they had to buy into that.

"But I've never heard one word of complaint from them and they've never felt sorry for themselves. They've just got on with it.

"The players have realised over this season what the ambition of the club is. It comes with the territory, if you want to be a player at Leeds this is part of it."

"I'm proud of taking the team to Wembley, but the proudest moment will be if we get the right result."

Leeds United Team News:

Leeds welcome back Alan Sheehan after his three match ban for his sending off against Yeovil but the big quandary for Mcallister would be who to drop to bring him back in after the stirring performance at Carlisle. Jermaine Beckford as now fully recovered from the injury doubt he had against Carlisle.

Player to watch: Dougie Freedman

Since his arrival at Elland Road Leeds have looked a much better team. His experience in important games could be vital and he could help out a lot of the youngsters in the squad

Doncaster Rovers Team News:

Rovers have slight doubts over Gareth Roberts and Richie Wellens but both are expected to be fit.

Only Paul Heffernan is definitely out after his petulant red card in the first leg of the semi Final at Southend.

Player to watch: James Coppinger

After his superb hat trick against Southend he will be full of confidence. Leeds may need to bring Sheehan back into the side to deal with him down the right hand side.

Match Facts & Stats

Past meetings:
1947/48 Leeds 0-0 Doncaster Rovers
1947/48 Doncaster Rovers 3-0 Leeds
1950/51 Leeds 3-1 Doncaster Rovers
1950/51 Doncaster Rovers 4-4 Leeds
1951/52 Leeds 0-0 Doncaster Rovers
1951/52 Doncaster Rovers 2-0 Leeds
1952/53 Leeds 1-1 Doncaster Rovers
1952/53 Doncaster Rovers 0-0 Leeds
1954/55 Leeds 1-0 Doncaster Rovers
1954/55 Doncaster Rovers 0-1 Leeds
1955/56 Leeds 3-0 Doncaster Rovers
1955/56 Doncaster Rovers 1-2 Leeds
2007/08 Leeds 0-1 Doncaster Rovers
2007/08 Doncaster Rovers 0-1 Leeds

Overall surprisingly the head to head is much closer than I would have imagined
Leeds have won 7
Doncaster 3
with 6 draws
Leeds goals 19
Doncaster 14

Play off records
Leeds will be hoping to finally win a play off Final at the third time of asking.

1987/88 Final
Charlton 1-0 Leeds
Leeds 1-0 Charlton
Replay neutral venue
Leeds 1-2 Charlton after extra time

2005/06 Final
Watford 3-0 Leeds

Doncaster have only ever appeared in the play offs once. They became the first club ever to win the Conference play off Final.

2002/03 Doncaster Rover 3-2 Dagenham and Redbridge
* Rovers won with a golden goal winner in extra time.

Ref Watch:

Andy D'Urso is the referee for the big match. Lets hope he keeps count of his yellow cards!

Match Prediction:

I think its going to be a very nervous tense Final and I have already had a bet on either team winning on penalties! Doncaster Rovers 0-0 Leeds United Leeds to win on penalties?

Next Fixtures:

Who knows?


Writer:Dazza71
Date:Saturday May 24 2008
Time: 9:50AM

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