LEEDS United fans are hoping the Max factor will provide the foundation of a much-needed improvement in defence at Fulham this lunchtime.

After being skinned 5-1 and 6-1 in successive Premier League home games, supporters are hoping Max Wober is fit enough to start at Craven Cottage as the Whites continue their fight against relegation.

Since the Austrian international sustained a hamstring injury against Azerbaijan in March he has not featured in any of United’s last four games in which they have conceded 16 goals. He was on the bench against Liverpool on Monday night but did not feature.

Prior to his injury, Wober had struck up a decent partnership in central defence with Robin Koch and manager Javi Gracia has said Wober is in better shape now than in the build-up to the Liverpool game so it would be no surprise if h replaced Pascal Struijk in defence.

The next few days will be crucial to Leeds’ hopes of survival. They face a mid-table Fulham side without suspended striker Aleksandar Mitrovic and on-loan Dan James, who won’t be able to play against his parent club. They then tackle relegation rivals Leicester City at Elland Road on Tuesday before heading to Bournemouth, another club battling to stay up, on Sunday.

On paper there are opportunities to pick up points ahead of May when Manchester City, Newcastle, West Ham and Tottenham are on the agenda.

Striker Patrick Bamford missed the Liverpool debacle altogether with a calf injury and there is no guarantee that he will be ready to face Fulham.

Gracia has to make a big call on who will play at right-back. Luke Ayling was dropped against Liverpool, but his replacement Rasmus Kristensen was among several players in a white shirt who had a nightmare evening.

The Leeds hierarchy may be regretting the decision to let 21-year-old defender Cody Drameh, a former Fulham youngster, go out on loan to Championship side Luton Town in January. He was outstanding in his loan spell at Cardiff last season and is repeating that form as a wing-back with the Hatters who are virtually guaranteed a play-off spot.

Since Drameh went into the side in January, the Hatters have conceded from open play in just one game out of their last 16. His contract with Leeds runs out in summer 2024.

Drameh was a regular in United’s under-21 side before his switch to Kenilworth Road and his former team-mates can clinch promotion from Premier League 2 Division Two if they beat Middlesbrough at York’s LNER Community Stadium tomorrow in their penultimate game of the season.

Leeds’ Premier League match at champions Manchester City next month is expected to be rescheduled after Pep Guardiola’s side reached the Champions League semi-finals by overcoming Bayern Munich 4-1 on aggregate this week.

City’s semi-final tie first leg against Real Madrid is set to take place at the Santiago Bernabau on Tuesday, May 9 – just two days after the Leeds game.