Leeds United's Championship promotion rivals hope for major injury boost ahead of crucial run-in

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Leeds United will hope to see Leicester City slip up at home to Southampton on Tuesday.

Leicester City will hope to have Ricardo Pereira available for Tuesday’s game against Southampton in a huge boost for Leeds United’s promotion rivals.

Pereira was on the bench for Leicester’s 1-0 win over West Brom on Saturday but was not fit enough to feature, with manager Enzo Maresca conscious of managing minutes. Fellow doubts Jamie Vardy and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall both started but their Portuguese teammate did not feature - albeit stand-in right-back Hamza Choudhury proved crucial with three goal-line clearances and a Man of the Match performance.

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Leicester face a quick turnaround, with Tuesday evening’s visit of Southampton to the King Power Stadium offering a chance for them to cement their automatic promotion credentials. And Maresca is hoping to have his first-choice right-back available in time.

"Ricky was on the bench [vs. West Brom], he could be available for Tuesday," Maresca said. "Now we’ll see. We have two days. He didn’t train all week with us.

“Even [Friday], he was not with us. I spoke to him and we decided, at this stage of the season, that even five or 10 minutes, every player is important. We said: ‘Come with us in case we need – hopefully not – but you can come in’.

"Hamza was fantastic. Hamza knows very well his role. Sometimes when Harry Winks didn't play, he played as a No.6. Most of times when Ricky was out, he played there. He did fantastic always. A big part of where we are is because of Ricky."

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Leicester could secure a top-two finish come Tuesday, with defeat for Leeds at Middlesbrough this evening handing them a chance to pull seven points clear of second-place with just two games remaining. But with things so tight at the top, Daniel Farke’s side could also feasibly go into the weekend top if they take six points from Boro and QPR while Leicester falter.

The automatic promotion race looks set to go down to the final day with the likelihood being that three teams are fighting for two places. Leeds host Southampton on that pivotal day, with Ipswich Town at home to Huddersfield Town while Leicester go to Blackburn Rovers.