Leeds United will be looking to get their promotion charge back on track when they lock horns with fourth-place Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
It’s felt like deja vu for Leeds fans these past few weeks. Marcelo Bielsa’s men started the season in tremendous fashion, only for his side to experience a rough patch and elicit nervous tension across Elland Road.
If there are certain doubts beginning to emerge in West Yorkshire, then the same can hardly be said of Nottingham Forest, who have somewhat defied expectations this season under Sabri Lamouchi. The back-to-back European champions of 1979 and 1980 are currently taking up a convincing habitation in the play-off positions.
Leeds have won just once in their previous six outings, so will this encounter prove to be the latest hiccup in their long-awaited quest for promotion? Or can Bielsa rally the troops and dent Forest’s own aspirations of passage to the promised land?
Read on for Nottingham Forest vs Leeds preview, predictions, TV coverage information, live stream options, team news and more.
Nottingham Forest vs Leeds key details, TV info and live streaming:
Venue: City Ground
Date: Saturday, 8 February 2020
Kick-off: 5:30 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): Sky Sports Main Event
Last five meetings: N Forest vs Leeds
10 Aug 2019: Leeds 1-1 N Forest (Championship)
1 Jan 2019: N Forest 4-2 Leeds (Championship)
27 Oct 2018: Leeds 1-1 N Forest (Championship)
1 Jan 2018: Leeds 0-0 N Forest (Championship)
26 Aug 2017: N Forest 0-2 Leeds (Championship)
Aggregate Score: N Forest (DWDDL) 6-6 Leeds (DLDDW)
Ones to watch
Forest: Matthew Cash
The 22-year-old right-back was highly sought-after across the January window, with AC Milan and West Ham just two of the names that were bandied about for his signature. Cash has been a regular fixture in the Forest XI across the past few seasons but has truly risen to prominence this campaign, with his attacking exploits from full-back providing Lamouchi plenty of zeal and zest on the byline.
Key stat: Only two Nottingham Forest players (Tiago Silva and Joe Lolley) have created more chances than Cash (32) in the Championship this season.
Leeds: Mateusz Klich
With Kalvin Phillips serving out the last match of his three-game suspension, Klich’s dynamism and energy will be key to alleviating the midfield void vacated by his teammate. The 29-year-old has proven a vital cog in Bielsa’s meticulous machine and will be looking to exert authority in the middle of the park when Leeds travel south this weekend.
Key stat: Only centre-back Ben White (1418) has executed more accurate short passes than Klich (1137) for Leeds in the Championship this season.
Confirmed Nottingham Forest line-up:
Today's team news 🔴⚽️
— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) February 8, 2020
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Confirmed Leeds Utd line-up:
📋 No changes to the Starting XI for this evening's clash, but Jean-Kevin Augustin is named on the bench for the first time since joining from RB Leipzig
— Leeds United (@LUFC) February 8, 2020
Bielsa will be desperate to avoid a repeat of last season, and that will certainly be his message to the dressing room, particularly after another disappointing defeat to Wigan.
If the Leeds side that took the Championship by storm before the turn of the year rock up in Nottingham, then expect and defiant win for the visitors.
That said, Forest have proven a more than capable side this campaign, and Leeds are just far too unpredictable under their mercurial tactician to back them outright, so a score draw is the most probable outcome here.