Nottingham Forest vs Leeds Prediction
Sunday 5th February 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Leeds’ visit to the City Ground. Can Leeds finally register a league win to reflect their recent improvement? Read on with our Nottingham Forest vs Leeds prediction.
Nottingham Forest vs Leeds Match Overview
Nottingham Forest come into this one on an unbeaten run of four matches and have lost just twice in the last 10. This run of form places them in eighth position in the form table for the last 10 games, with an impressive 16 points taken. If Forest manage to keep up this run of form, albeit having been somewhat less impressive last time out against a Bournemouth side in dire form, the East Midlands club may be able to beat the drop. With Forest gambling in the summer transfer window and needing time for their new signings to gel, perhaps it is rather unsurprising that they have been able to make amends for their terrible early-season form. Remarkably, Nottingham Forest have not lost in the league at home since September in a 3-2 reversal against fellow newly-promoted side Fulham, and as a result of this impressive home form, they will surely be targetting all three points today against a Leeds team which has one of the worst away records in the Premier League.
At various points during recent games, Leeds have threatened to improve their results but the results haven’t always reflected their performances. Highly creditable draws against Newcastle and Brentford were unfortunately negated by a 2-1 defeat away to Aston Villa in which they can consider themselves as a bit unfortunate not to take something from the game, and a 4-3 away defeat to Tottenham in which they found themselves 3-2 up with 15 minutes left to play. The fact remains though that Leeds are just three points clear of Southampton at the bottom of the table, level on points with Everton and the likes of Leicester and Wolves picking up somewhat unexpected victories on Saturday will hardly have helped matters. They do, however, have two games in hand on the teams around them and they will surely be acutely aware of the importance of winning a match such as this.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Awoniyi, Biancone, Gibbs-White, Henderson, Kouyate, Lingard, Niakhate, Richards, Yates
Might Not Play: Cooper, Perkins
Will Not Play: Dallas, Forshaw, Gray, Koch, Rodrigo, Summerville
Nottingham Forest vs Leeds Lineups (Predicted)
Nottingham Forest (4-3-1-2): Navas; Lodi, Worrall, McKenna, Aurier; Danilo, Freuler, Mangala; Gustavo Scarpa; Surridge, Johnson
Leeds (4-2-3-1): Meslier; Firpo, Struijk, Cooper, Ayling; Adams, Roca; Gnonto, Aarsonson, Harrison; Bamford
Forest’s New Found Defensive Solidity
In a development that would have been considered highly unlikely following their extremely shaky defence in the formative weeks of this year’s Premier League campaign, Forest have now put together clean sheets in three of their last five home matches, against Leicester, Crystal Palace and Liverpool. Leeds, although not one of the more goal-shy teams in the bottom half of the table have blanked in front of goal on six occasions. Forest can attribute their improved defensive performances to a more settled squad and starting XI. Despite suffering a raft of injuries of late, Forest have a deep squad and mercifully, most of those injuries are in other areas which has allowed them to play with a consistent back four and defensive shield for the most part.
Forest are sixth in blocks and second in clearances for all Premier League teams, which suggests that Forest prefer to play with a compact, deep-lying defence when out of possession. This can be a challenge for a team such as Leeds who prefer to attack in transition into space wherever possible, which was a big factor for them beating both Liverpool and Chelsea this season. Leeds will have to adopt a more patient, probing approach when in possession and will be relying on the likes of Aaronson, Gnonto and Harrison to be able to change gears and play more directly in the final third when afforded the opportunity in space. As a positive for Leeds, the return of Bamford provides them with an aerial route which has been mostly lacking this season due to his absence.
Leeds’ Recent Improved Performances
Perhaps it’s counter-intuitive to say this when results have been poor, but Leeds have been putting in improved performances lately which their results haven’t always reflected. Last time out, they condemned high-flying Brentford to zero shots on target and picked up a valuable point. They were worth at least a point away from home to Aston Villa and were the better team at home to West Ham yet had to settle for a point as a result of a poor ending to the first half and a bad start to the second. While critics may point out that such lapses are largely responsible for the lowly league position that Leeds now find themselves in, they have only suffered one defeat in their last seven matches in all competitions.
Some in the press were confounded by Jesse Marsch’s insistence that Leeds are improving, but we feel the eye test and the statistics bear this out. In all of their recent matches since the 0-0 stalemate with Newcastle, Leeds have fashioned at least four shots on target, which points to an increasing fluidity in attack. The return of Patrick Bamford to the starting XI now provides them with more of a focal point and a physically disruptive presence, which they will need against a Forest side that is becoming increasingly capable in defence.
This is an extremely difficult game to call. On the one hand, Nottingham Forest have been impressive at home lately and they are eighth in the form table in the Premier League over the last 10 games for a reason. Perhaps somewhat worryingly for them though is the lack of goals despite this run of good form. They’re averaging less than a goal per game during this impressive run, and Leeds have been putting in improved performances lately including completely stifling Brentford’s attack last time out. We don’t foresee Forest scoring more than once, even with home advantage, and we feel that Leeds can turn up and spoil the party here, finally getting a win on the board to reflect their improvement since the World Cup break.
Nottingham Forest 1-2 Leeds
Beat the Bookmaker Nottingham Forest vs Leeds Betting Tip – Leeds Odds:
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