Leeds United vs. Forest preview..

Ooh, it’s been a long break, hasn’t it?  I certainly feel better for it, so hopefully that’s echoed in the Forest dressing room too as they prepare to return to action from the international break.  Leeds away is a tricky proposition in anyone’s book, and even more so given our chronic lack of recent form – and their rather good home record of late.  They’ve not lost at Elland Road since October.

We of course haven’t won in eight matches, and miraculously still find ourselves not only in the play-offs, but still with an admittedly slim shout of mounting a challenge for automatic promotion.  I’ve all but given up on that, but hopefully the glasses around the City Ground are half full compared to my half empty ones scattering the place.  Either way, with not all that much separating us from the pack chasing the play-offs, results are required regardless of our ultimate aim.

Leeds of course sit a place above us in the table, a point better off than us – to compound matters they also have a near enough full strength squad at their disposal – there’s some doubts around Jonathan Howson who has a hamstring injury, but they do have Jake Livermore – who once scored against us for the Sheep – a new arrival on loan from Tottenham.  Billy Paynter is missing too through suspension.

We don’t seem to have made much meaningful progress on the injury front, at least not so that players are yet ready to feature.  Moussi isn’t ready, Findley, Wilson and Blackstock remain on the longer term sick list, Earnie is also carrying a hamstring twinge but may be available, whilst Tudgay has recovered from the illness that kept him out of the Swansea game.  Konchesky is injured, but Lynch has recovered – so he or Bennett may get the nod.

Earlier in the season we fought a spirited draw with them – the Reds had the early running and should’ve done more than just score one, but Leeds rallied late and goal-line clearance from Bertrand gave us a share of the points.  In more recent times though certainly our respective forms have been less close, Leeds probably sit somewhere in midtable for form, whilst we’re firmly ensconced in the relegation zone.

I would dearly love to be all optimistic and predict the Reds to come back fully recharged and ready to start getting results, but it’s difficult to rationally do so – Simon Grayson has assembled a talented and hard-working squad who thrive in the atmosphere that a sell-out Elland Road will generate, and I’m not convinced our boys quite have enough in the tank to deal with it – without even mentioning the BBC cameras that will be there to document it.

Sad to say, but I’d take a draw…

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9 Responses

  1. I can see goals in this match. Its vital we dont lose the game though, for confidence more than anything.

    Im hoping Boyd starts again.

    Theres no way this forest team will win 6 or 7 out of the last remaining games. I do however believe we will get enough wins and draws to book a playoff spot.

    If only we got 3/4 points in that horrendous run we just had……

    U REDS!

  2. I agree with your comments,and would be happy with a draw.
    We have to be really up for it and come out of the starting blocks as if we are at home.
    Each of the 8 games is a cup final !!
    Lets see how much our players are determined to fight and scrap for every ball !!! ………………………………………

  3. just to add…

    im concerned with our left back spot again if rumours that Bennett is going to start. Gradel will have his pants down!

    Not great mckenna is out either although The Moose being back would add the steel we need

  4. Now McKenna is injured we have no natural holding midfielder. Personally, I’d play Jules at left back and move Joel Lynch into the defensive midfield role. Lynch is a decent footballer and would do a good job there I’m sure.

    Leeds have scored the most goals in this league and have great attacking wingers in Gradel and Snodgrass. If they are both on form, they could tear us apart in the same way that Sinclair and Dyer did at Swansea.

    Given our injuries and recent poor form, I’d snap your hand off now if you offered us a draw.

  5. Good to see you back in the mix nffc I agree with your last paragraph I think we will struggle.Billy has been trying to be bullish about things but form is what its all about now and ours is shocking.

    We simply dont have enough in the tank and have bottled it so far leeds will come at us big time and I think we will buckle.

    Having konch and mckenna and the moose out we look light and we needed all of them.Would snap arm off for a draw.

    U reds

  6. Home win.

  7. You know what, I might be pretty pessimistic about today’s game, but there’s actually a slight hope of optimism here.
    Despite scoring the most no. of goals in the league, Leeds United are a team that don’t score too many goals per game. They have a superb, young and inventive attack and midfield, but their defence is shit. That’s why they have conceded, the 4th most no. goals in the league, and that’s why they’re draw specialists, and win only twice in seven games. So even, if they take the lead, the Reds can look to bounce back from behind.
    And PLEASE, Mr. Davies let McGugan start this game, because he is the most creative player on the pitch for the Reds, and they’ve won most of their games, whenever he has started.
    Here’s hoping for a Forest win. COME ON, YOU REDS!!
    It’s time to give Leeds Utd their first home defeat in five months.

  8. Would you not use Cohen as the defensive midfielder and start with both Majewski and McGugan?

    Agree with David that I don’t think we can put together a run of 6-7 wins but never say never… it has happened before.

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