Date: 20th December 2005 at 2:20pm
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Even before the transfer window developments, comepetition for places is hotting up at Leicester City.

Ex-Rangers midfielder Stephen Hughes made an arguably match-saving 15 minute return against Crewe – making two spectacular goalline clearances.

His likely reward could be a place in the starting line-up against Millwall at the Walkers on Boxing Day.

And there lies a difficult but welcome problem for manager Craig Levein.

Already much missed by his boss during his prolonged absence with an ankle injury Hughes says he now feels back to full fitness for the first time.

Speaking on the Blue Army website Hughes said: ‘On previous comebacks I always had the injury at the back of my mind.

‘But I played a closed doors game against Boston and, although disappointed not to start, played 15 minutes against Crewe and feel fine.’

But if Hughes does play the question is where does that leave in form Joey Gudjonsson and defensive midfielder Patrick Kisnorbo.

Adding spice to the ‘scrap’ is the enigmatic Gareth Williams who at last showed the appetite as substitute against Crewe to go with his unquestioned ability.

Unless Levein can change the rules to 13-a-side like rugby league, people like Kisnorbo and Sylla would seem most under threat.

But not necessarily. Levein has left Joey out before (though not when he was in such wonderful form as now) and whether he does so again may be as big a pointer to his future at City as anything.

Speculation says he may move to the Premiership before the end of his contract in the summer but Leicester’s assistant manager Rob Kelly insists no-one will be leaving unless there’s a big bid. So it will be a genuine selection dilemna.

Also ready to return are centre-backs Paddy McCarthy (suspended) and Nils Eric-Johannson (ill) while Alan Sheehan will serve a two match suspension for his second sending off of the season (the first being in a Reserves match).