Leeds United's chance to end 179-day streak leaves Leicester City powerless as run-in becomes title race

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Leeds United have the chance to go into March’s international break top of the Championship table for the first time this season.

This weekend’s meeting between Leeds and Millwall at Elland Road will give Daniel Farke and his squad the opportunity to knock Leicester City off top spot for the first time since mid-September.

The Foxes have maintained a firm grip on first place over the past six months but faltered in recent weeks, falling to defeat against Middlesbrough, Leeds and Queens Park Rangers in consecutive matches. Enzo Maresca’s side were back to winning ways with a recent victory against Sunderland but in their next outing held by play-off hopefuls Hull City, making it just one win in their last five.

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Leicester’s difficult run has coincided with Leeds’ unbeaten streak, now spanning 12 league matches since the beginning of January. Eleven wins in that period has allowed Leeds to claw back precious ground on the league leaders, reducing the deficit - which at one stage stood at 17 points - to just three.

Due to Leicester’s continued participation in this season’s FA Cup, the Foxes are not scheduled to play another Championship game until Easter weekend at the end of the month. Leeds, on the other hand, welcome Millwall to Elland Road on Sunday, where a win by two clear goals would send them level on points with Maresca’s men - and top of the table.

This particular outcome is anything but a foregone conclusion, what with Neil Harris’ return to the dugout at Millwall coinciding with a four-match unbeaten run in which the South Londoners have won three and conceded just twice. But, if Leeds are to make a title race out of the Championship run-in, it’s exactly the type of game they must be professional and ruthless in.

Beating Millwall by the required goals to go top would leave Leeds in pole position for just short of two weeks, before Leicester next have a chance to reclaim their crown of champions-elect. Having been at the summit for so long, there’s no way of telling what a prolonged period in second might do for the collective psyche of a team who’ve already showed signs of wobbling.