Leeds United and Leicester City will test each other’s promotion credentials when the two sides face-off at the King Power Stadium on Friday night.

Of the two Premier League dropouts and pre-season promotion favourites, Leicester have made by far the brighter start in the bid for an instant return to the top flight

The Foxes sit five points clear of second-placed Ipswich Town at the top of the Championship table, having dropped just three points from a possible 42.

By contrast, Leeds United have had a rather mixed bag of results; eye-catching wins interspersed with frustrating defeats and draws.

As a result, Daniel Farke’s men find themselves in third place, 14 points adrift of the Foxes.

It is a gap Leeds United will be desperate to reduce if they hope to rein in Enzo Maresca’s runaway leaders, who themselves will be targeting a 10th league win on the bounce.


An attribute Leeds United have demonstrated they have abundance this season is bouncebackability.

The term ‘bouncebackability’ was coined by then Crystal Palace manager Ian Dowie back in the early noughties. It means having the requisite ability to bounce back from a setback at the earliest opportunity and get back on track.

The term aptly describes Daniel Farke’s side’s temperament. Every time they have suffered a setback this season Leeds United have shown admirable wherewithal to bounce back at the first time of asking.

True to this character, after the shock 1-0 defeat at Stoke City, the Whites dusted themselves down and returned to winning ways in their next match, a 4-1 thrashing of Huddersfield Town last Saturday.

Renewal of rivalry

The last time Leicester City and Leeds United met honours ended even, a 1-1 draw as both sides went in search of points to preserve their respective top-flight statuses.

Premier League relegation strugglers seven months ago, the rivals meet on Friday night in vastly different circumstances, this time as Championship promotion rivals. It makes for an intriguing contest.

Small margin for error

Leeds United need all three points more than Leicester City do. A maximum haul would see Farke’s side consolidate third place and close the gap to the top two.

But before they can even start thinking about dislodging Leicester, the Whites must get past Ipswich first. The Tractor Boys, who have a game in hand, are closer to the Foxes than they are to Leeds United and making quite a fist of the promotion race.

With another Premier League dropout Southampton snapping at their heels, Leeds cannot afford too many slip-ups. And with just five points separating third and seventh, defeat at Leicester could potentially see Leeds drop out of the play-off spots if results elsewhere this weekend go against them.

It’s too early to bill this tie as an automatic promotion play-off. There will be more twists and turns in this race before the medals are handed out. However, there is no doubt what a psychological boost it would be to Leeds United if they were to come away with all three points, and equally, a considerable psychological blow if they were to lose.

This tie has all the makings of a humdinger.

Leeds United, how do I love thee!


I'm Barrie Jarrett, born in Leeds, lived over a decade in South Africa, CEO And Co Founder of Planet Sport Limited and Planet Bet Limited.

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