Leeds vs Nottingham Forest – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Tuesday 4th April 2023
As part of our midweek Premier League predictions, we take a look at Nottingham Forest’s visit to Leeds. Forest have 3 points from 7 Premier League matches – can they improve their dreadful away form? Read on with our Leeds vs Nottingham Forest prediction.
Leeds vs Nottingham Forest Match Preview
Following the weekend’s Premier League action, Leeds host fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest at Elland Road. Like many teams this season, Leeds had an afternoon to forget at the Emirates Stadium, falling to a comprehensive 4-1 defeat. While Leeds will be relatively pleased with the chances they created and the five shots on target they subsequently achieved, Arsenal had the vast majority of the ball but crucially created by far the better chances throughout the course of the match. The xG stat of 3.72 to 0.85 is roughly commensurate with the action on the pitch.
Leeds have improved results recently and as a result, now sit outside the relegation zone in 17th place. However, we note that both of those victories came against fellow strugglers Southampton and Wolves. While it’s always a positive to be able to gain three points at the expense of your relegation rivals, it’s perhaps telling that Leeeds have won none of the other 12 fixtures since the restart following the winter World Cup in Qatar. Fortunately for the West Yorkshire side, they’re facing another relegation-threatened side in this fixture.
Nottingham Forest’s impressive home form had been propping them up in the Premier League table, but unfortunately, the victories have dried up for the East Midlands outfit. Cooper’s men are now winless in seven Premier League matches, accruing just three points over the same period. They started brightly against Wolves, possessing a greater threat than their opponents despite being deprived of possession for much of the match, and took the lead late on in the first half.
Forest did a lot of the same things that have served them well for much of the campaign on home soil but were unable to extend their lead in the second half following a poor piece of decision-making from Dennis while through on goal, and in the end Wolves were able to convert an opportunistic equaliser. The match mostly went to plan for Nottingham Forest as they consistently carried a greater goal threat. Their cushion outside of the relegation has been cut to just a single point ahead of 18th-placed Everton, and only Leicester City are in worse form over the last five Premier League matches.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Adams, Dallas, Forshaw, Gnonto, Wober
Might Not Play: Aurier, McKenna, Scarpa, Yates
Will Not Play: Biancone, Boly, Henderson, Richards, Wood
Leeds vs Nottingham Forest Lineups (Predicted)
Leeds (4-2-3-1): Meslier; Firpo, Koch, Cooper, Ayling; Roca, McKennie; Harrison, Aaronson, Summerville; Bamford
Nottingham Forest (4-3-3): Navas; Lodi, Worrall, Felipe, Williams; Mangala, Shelvey, Freuler; Gibbs-White, Lingard, Dennis
Leeds vs Nottingham Forest Analysis
Leeds have Improved at Home
Though it’s true that the results haven’t always followed, Leeds have, in fact, performed reasonably well at home since the restart following the World Cup. They were, on balance, the better team in their 2-2 draw with West Ham, they limited an impressive Brentford team to zero shots on target in their 0-0 draw and they were unfortunate to lose by two goals to Manchester United and arguably merited a draw on the balance of play (though they were fortunate in the reverse fixture to get a draw). After grinding out a 1-0 victory over Southampton, they held Brighton 2-2 in an entertaining draw in which they matched their opponent’s xG exactly (1.74).
We’re almost certain that Leeds will have perhaps 60-65% possession in this one as Forest look to absorb the pressure and counter at pace. They’ve shown that they can limit a counter-attacking side’s ambition with the draw against Brentford, but that was at the expense of their own goal threat. Fortunately, Nottingham Forest have the league’s worst away record and have scored just 4 times away from home this season. Therefore, as long as Leeds are relatively disciplined and don’t commit too many men forward, we feel they can gradually impose themselves on this Forest side.
Forest Can’t Get to Grips With Playing Away
It’s not just that Forest have 6 points from 13 away Premier League fixtures. The entire bottom half of the away league table, which includes Liverpool, average less than a point per game. It’s that they have been woeful at both ends of the pitch, which suggests they are neither solid nor an effective counter-attacking presence. In short, they’re leaky and passive rather than tight and aggressive, which is the worst possible combination for a side trying to play low-block football in order to maximise their chances of a positive result.
Forest appeared to have turned a corner a couple of months back. They managed consecutive positive results away from home; a 1-0 victory against Southampton and a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth. In addition to their mostly positive home form, there was a real sense of optimism. Now though, winless in 7 and having conceded 9 goals in their last three away matches with just one in reply (when the game was already gone away to Spurs), they’re clearly struggling again. In order to get anything from this match, even against a team who are two places beneath them in the league table, they will need to replicate their home form and if they could use their last match against Wolves as the template then they might have a chance.
The elephant in the room is Nottingham Forest’s away form. We give them credit for an impressive, yet wasteful counter-attacking display against Wolves who are in a similar position to both Leeds and themselves and had north of 70% possession. We expect that Leeds will also have the lion’s share of possession, but there is one crucial difference in this match.
In addition to home advantage, Leeds possess more creative threats than Wolves. This was borne out a few weeks ago as they put four past Wolves at Molineux. Therefore, if Nottingham Forest are posing a similar variety of counter-attacking threat as they did at the weekend, Leeds can afford to be more patient and wait for the right moment in the final third. By contrast, Wolves monopolised the ball but actually created very little except turnovers. We feel Leeds can get the balance right and finally get the kind of result their home performances have merited.
Leeds 2-0 Nottingham Forest
Leeds vs Nottingham Forest Betting Tip – Leeds Odds:
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