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Farke urges calm as Leeds prepare for key clash with Southampton

Danny Lawson - PA Images / PA Images / Getty

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Leeds and Southampton will slug it out for a lucrative place in the Premier League when they meet in football's single-richest match at Wembley on Sunday.

Financial experts Deloitte say the team promoted this weekend could eventually bank £305 million if they avoid relegation next season.

Relegation from the top tier can be ruinous, but Leeds and Southampton handled their demotion astutely enough to move within one win of a return to the promised land.

"We know it's a massive game. It's a final, and for that you're always more focused, but it's also important to stay calm and find a good balance," said Farke.

"It's a 50-50 game. But this also means it's a great chance of promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. For that we are really excited."

Promotion would be a Hollywood ending for Leeds, just weeks after movie star Will Ferrell became a shareholder in the club's 49ers Enterprises ownership group.

That star-studded consortium also includes actor Russell Crowe, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and golfers Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.

In a plot twist, Farke has a contentious history with Southampton boss Russell Martin, who played under the German at Norwich before having his contract terminated by mutual consent in 2018.

Farke was complimentary about Martin on Friday, saying: "He was my captain at Norwich and always looked at things through a manager's eyes."

But Martin, who skippered Norwich in their Championship play-off final win against Middlesbrough in 2015, conceded the Carrow Road exit was a difficult time in his career.

"I really didn't like his decision at the time. I can't sit here and pretend that is the case," he said.

"We never had a personal problem. I think people really wanted us to, and they still want us to now because it is a nice story."

Despite his placatory attitude, winning promotion at Farke's expense would clearly be a sweet moment for Martin, who urged his team to seize their chance.

"It is such a privilege to play in a game of this magnitude," he said. 

"They have the chance to feel something spectacular that they will remember forever."

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