We preview Sunday’s Premier League clash between Nottingham Forest and Leeds United, including our pre-match prediction for this game at the City Ground.
- This will be the first Premier League meeting between these two clubs in 24 years.
- Injury-hit Nottingham Forest unlikely to win all three points on Sunday according to the Opta supercomputer.
- Leeds recent record against promoted teams away from home points to success this weekend.
Both Nottingham Forest and Leeds United find themselves above the dreaded relegation zone ahead of this matchday, but by the time they play on Sunday at the City Ground, there’s a chance that Leeds could have dropped into the bottom three.
Leeds currently have a one-point cushion over 18th-place Bournemouth in the league standings, but three over both Everton and Southampton in the bottom two. For Forest, things are looking slightly rosier, with Steve Cooper’s side on 21 points and a three-point advantage over Leicester City in 14th position behind them. However, even with a win on Sunday, it’s unlikely that Forest can move up a place in the Premier League table with a three-point gap between themselves and 12th-place Crystal Palace, who also hold a 10-goal advantage in goal difference.
Leeds haven’t won any of their last 12 top-flight league meetings away at the City Ground, but the last of these games came in October 1998, so there’s not too much form to read into. If Forest win this encounter, they’ll secure three successive home league wins over Leeds for the first time since May 1991.
Jesse Marsch’s side have been excellent against promoted teams since their return to the Premier League in 2020, winning all five of their away matches against such opponents with an aggregate score of 14-3. In fact, across the last three seasons, these have accounted for 31% of their Premier League away wins (five of 16).
Leeds could bring USA international Weston McKennie into the side following his loan move from Serie A giants Juventus, and should he play some part in the match then he’d become the third United States international to make an appearance for the club this season after Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams.
There’s a mini-injury crisis in attack for Nottingham Forest though, with joint-top scorer Taiwo Awoniyi and leading chance creator and assister Morgan Gibbs-White both injured, while new signing Chris Wood could be missing from the line-up with illness. They are also expected to be missing first choice goalkeeper Dean Henderson through injury.
Nottingham Forest 2-0 Leeds United: 8 February 2020 (Championship)
These two sides haven’t met in the Premier League since April 1999. Their last competitive meeting came back in 2019-20, when Nottingham Forest beat Leeds United 2-0 at the City Ground in February 2020.
This was only one of the nine defeats that Leeds suffered in their title-winning campaign of 2019-20 under Marcelo Bielsa, while Forest ended up missing out on the play-offs by goal difference.
Of Forest’s starting XI on that day, only Joe Worrall is still at the club.
Nottingham Forest come into this fixture on a four-game unbeaten run following two wins against Leicester City and Southampton and two draws versus Chelsea and Bournemouth. The last time that they went on a longer top-flight unbeaten run was in between February and November 1995 (25 games).
Brennan Johnson has been a big factor in Forest’s recent form, with four goal involvements (two goals, two assists) in his last three Premier League appearances. He will look to improve Forest’s tally of 64 shots on target in the competition this season, which is a league-low total. Overall, only West Ham United (-9.8) and Wolverhampton Wanderers (-7.7) have underperformed their xG total by more than Nottingham Forest in 2022-23 (-7.4: 16 goals from 23.4 xG).
Steve Cooper’s side did lose in midweek against Manchester United in the League Cup, with a 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford. Their semi-final tie ended 5-0 on aggregate, with Man Utd winning 3-0 at the City Ground just a week earlier – these are Forest’s last two competitive matches.
Leeds United also played their last competitive match outside of the Premier League, with a 3-1 away win at EFL side Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup last weekend – six days after they kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 Premier League draw with Brentford at Elland Road.
Leeds have been the poorest away side in the Premier League this season; winning just five points from nine games on the road. They have won just one EPL away match in 2022-23 (D2 L6), which came against Liverpool at Anfield on 29 October, winning 2-1 thanks to goals from Rodrigo and Crysencio Summerville.
Nottingham Forest vs Leeds Prediction
The Opta supercomputer thinks that Leeds United are likely to be the victors at full-time in this game on Sunday, giving them a 39.8% chance of picking up all three points away from home.
If they do win this game, it’ll end a three-match streak on the road without a win the Premier League for the Whites after a draw at Newcastle United sandwiched between defeats at Tottenham and Aston Villa.
Nottingham Forest are being given a 31.4% chance of a home win to help them in their quest to avoid relegation, with a draw rated at 28.8%.
You’ve seen how the Opta supercomputer thinks the match will play out this weekend, but what do you think will happen? Let us know…
Check out our other predictive match previews from this weekend’s Premier League action: