Further Leeds United blow following defeat at Preston North End as promotion landscape changes

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Leeds United’s defeat at Preston North End has been followed by another blow with the automatic promotion landscape changing.

Leeds would have cut the gap to the Championship’s automatic promotion spots down to four points with victory in Boxing Day’s lunchtime kick-off at Preston but instead fell to a 2-1 defeat in which keeper Illan Meslier was sent off.

The reverse left Leeds third and seven points behind the top two but the Whites have now dropped to fourth place and behind Southampton following a 5-0 romp for the Saints against Boxing Day afternoon visitors Swansea City. Russell Martin’s now third-placed side are unbeaten from their last 16 games, 11 of which have produced a victory.

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Their 5-0 hammering of Swansea put them just four points behind second-placed Ipswich Town and ten behind leaders Leicester City ahead of the day’s evening kick-off between the Tractor Boys and Foxes at Portman Road (7.45pm). Leeds are now just six points ahead of fifth-placed West Brom who they visit on Friday night.