After last season’s disappointing playoff exit, Leeds United kick-start another season in the Championship with the aim of going one better this year: securing promotion.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men showed their intent in their opening game against Bristol City, cruising to a 3-1 win.
However, this week’s opponent might not be so wayward in defending and unconvincing in the attack.
The team in question are Sabri Lamouchi’s, Nottingham Forest.
Despite the sub-par display they produced against West Brom in Match Day one, the Reds could make things a little tricky for the home team to clinch consecutive wins.
Which is why our Leeds vs Nottingham Forest predictions and betting tips are forecasting a narrow win for the Whites – which you can bet on in our Championship betting markets.
But first things first…
Leeds vs Nottingham Forest Predictions
The plan to complete ‘unfinished business’ has seen Bielsa’s team batton down the hatches during the transfer window and turn their collective attention to the squad at hand
The only signing of the summer so far has been bringing Wolves’ Helder Costa from Molineux to Elland Road – which you can read about in our 2019/20 Championship season preview.
Keeping Kemar Roofe was pretty lucrative stuff from the Argentine, in what appeared to be a ruthless move to keep the squad compact ahead of the new season.
The same ruthlessness they’ve been executing off the field was visible on it during their opening games vs Bristol City.
Bielsa once again waved his magic wand, producing a line-up from days gone by. And it was those trusted classics – Pablo Hernandes, Patrick Bamford, and Jack Harrison – that all made it onto the score sheet again for a 3-1 win.
The star of the show, of course, was Hernandes – his trickery, guile, and clinical shooting made him a compelling watch in all of Leed’s attacking moves.
By Lee Johnson’s own admission, Bristol’s defence was ‘stodgy’, and ‘lacklustre’, which did not help the Reds cause to topple their opponents – Forest can’t afford to be just as sloppy in the back four considering the kind of attacking options the Whites possess.
Our Leeds vs Nottingham Forest predictions forecasts that a defence led by Matty Cash will be the main cause for concern.
The man playing as a right-back for Forest is anything but and has been suspect whenever he’s been fielded in the starting XI.
But as we witnessed in the latter stages of last season, Bielsa’s men are prone to the odd bout of, what most fans would call, ‘the fits’.
Whether it’s mistakes at the back or lack of pressing and accurate decision-making in the attacking third, these moments have cost them in the past, as they did against Derby last year.
Alfa Semedo and Tiago Silva will be the two dangermen for the Leeds defence to keep in check.
The former was strong in the centre of the park, while the latter looked sharp with pace and cutting passes.
Yet if Leeds come anywhere close to the performance they produced against Bristol and make the most of Forest’s unstable backline, the win will be theirs.
Leeds vs Nottingham Forest Head To Head
The head-to-head stats favour a win for the Whites, supporting our Leeds vs Nottingham Forest predictions.
Indeed, in the last five clashes between the two teams, Lamouchi’s men have only drawn games, losing three,
However, in the last games, two of these draws – both taking place in 2018 – have showcased the attacking prowess that Forest possess in Joao Carvalho and Lewis Grabban.
If unlike last week’s performance against West Brom, they can get the pair firing up front, they’ll definitely make the Whites work for the three points we’ve forecasted them to claim.
Leeds Team News
Bielsa has quite the list of injured players to address ahead of the game.
Spearheading the inventory is Luke Ayling.
The right-back suffered from several injury problems last year that have reappeared to ensure he won’t make it back in time for the start of the championship.
Another man who may join him on the sidelines is Stuart Dallas.
As the undisputed first-choice winger, Dallas missed the end of last season with knee surgery and will have to fight for his place in this Saturday’s clash with Forest.
The most damaging absence, however, is that of Kemar Roofe’s.
The striker picked up a knock to his ankle during the match against West Sydney Wanderers.
While it seemed fairly innocuous at the time, Leeds have now confirmed that Roofe will miss their opening three fixtures, including this Saturday’s game – music to the ears of Nottingham Forest fans.
Nottingham Forest Team News
Unlike Leeds, the tricky trees have more optimistic news on the injury forefront.
Carvalho has made a return to training after hobbling off during Forest’s pre-season outing against Alfreton Town in June.
The 15-million-euro man is back in contention for Saturday’s clash with Leeds, which means that Lamouchi will be able to field his strongest starting XI at Elland Road.
Yet despite the injury concerns Bielsa is handling, the depth of talent present in the squad means that it’s fair to believe our Leeds vs Nottingham Forest predictions and betting tips are right in tipping Leeds for a narrow win.
Leeds United vs Nottingham Forest Betting Tips
Lamouchi’s men are leading the betting markets as 53/10 odds-on favourites, while their opponents are operating at more tempting odds of 23/50.
The chances about a draw in our Leeds vs Nottingham Forest match bets are priced up to 13/4, but given the calibre of attacking talent on the pitch, there is little to suggest that our Leeds vs Nottingham Forest predictions won’t come into fruition.