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Dortmund’s Axel Witsel and Dortmund’s Paco Alcacer leave the pitch disappointed after losing the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04, Saturday, April 27, 2019.  (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Dortmund’s Axel Witsel and Dortmund’s Paco Alcacer leave the pitch disappointed after losing the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04, Saturday, April 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)|Associated Press
Soccer

Soccer Saturday: Miller picks Leeds v Derby in EFL Playoffs, Dortmund v Dusseldorf, Atalanta v Genoa, Sporting CP v Tondela 

Matches are at 9 am, 9:30, !2:15 and 3:30 pm EDT.

Sean Miller

Sean Miller

SATURDAY PICKS

It is very fitting that Leeds United dropped out of the automatic promotion spots in the English Championship over the last month of the season.

Leeds United finished third in the EFL Championship, and will face sixth-place Derby County in a two-legged playoff to see which team will head to Wembley in 10 days for a shot at promotion to the most lucrative league in the world.

The Peacocks, who have been outside of the Premier League since 2004, became embroiled in a spying scandal in January, dubbed Spygate (yeah, we know: very original). One of the Leeds coaching staff was caught outside of a team’s practice facility during the week before the match.

Guess which team caught Leeds spying?

That is right: Derby County.

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa revealed he had done the same for all opponents before that, until one of his coaches got caught.

Derby manager Frank Lampard has said that it is all over now, and will play no effect on this contest.

Ha.

This contest was already going to be spicy, but the football Gods have conspired to make sure we get two legs of these two teams battling like crazy to get to Wembley.
Derby had to fight and claw over the final month just to get into the playoff, and come into the tie in much better form than Leeds. Can Lampard’s side keep it going for 10 more days?

Leeds won both matches this season, 2-0 and 4-1, but the January match was the start of the Spygate scandal that rocked the Championship.

ENGLAND EFL CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFFS
Derby County (+225) vs. Leeds United (+135), draw (+215), 12:15 p.m. (ESPN+)
THE PICKS:

Derby County ML (+225)
Both teams to score yes (-105)

GERMANY BUNDESLIGA
Borussia Dortmund (-350) vs. Fortuna Dusseldorf (+850), draw (+500), 9:30 a.m. (FS 1 and
Fubo.tv)
THE PICKS:

Borussia Dortmund -1 (-130)
Borussia Dortmund half time/full time (-110)

ITALY SERIE A
Atalanta (-188) vs. Genoa (+500), draw (+320), 9 a.m. (ESPN+)
THE PICKS:

Atalanta ML (-188)
Atalanta -1 (+150)

PORTUGAL PRIMEIRA LEAGUE
Sporting CP (-333) vs. Tondela (+900), draw (+425), 3:30 p.m. (GOL TV and
Fubo.tv)
THE PICKS:

Over 3 goals (-115)
Sporting -1 (-115)
Sporting half time/full time (-105)