The YEP jury have their say ahead of Leeds United’s clash with Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
We make the relatively short trip to the East Midlands to face a team we know quite well and a team which is struggling for form and struggling for consistency or balance. Where have I heard that one before?
Lately for Leeds it has been a case of two steps forward, 10 steps back with one dent after another in our hunt for some form of level playing field.
I know Neil Redfearn has stated that the off the field problems aren’t affecting his side.
I feel that it is very difficult for it not to affect them due to human nature.
It’s been one rollercoaster after another and it’s showing no signs of stopping.
We can’t change what has happened. If we have issues with financial fair play and have been punished, then so be it.
If they want to disqualify our owner, they can try but we won’t go down without a fight.
It seems that we are at our most dangerous and togetherness is at its highest when we are wounded and down and out.
Take the -15 deduction season; we thrived on being hated, and had that fire that the current squad needs to get.
Leeds this last month or so have been a bit Jekyll and Hyde, either fantastic and enjoyable or dire and miserable.
And last week was the latter, but Forest are out of form and if we play how we can, we can win, but if we don’t we will be giving them a much needed win, when we are slipping far too close to the relegation zone.
It may be worth changing things in the team selection to suit playing against Forest, who will try to bully our midfield, so maybe a rest for one of our youngsters is the best in the long term.
We don’t want them to face burnout and be more injury prone, which is what happened to Sam Byram in his first full season – overplayed and he suffered injury problems that could have been easily managed.
I think we can get something at Forest and I am confident we will get something to take home for Christmas.
We need to stick together and move forward as a unit, the fans will be there, the clubs spirit will be there, we just need the players to follow suit.
I think they genuinely care, but showing consistency is key to getting a run going in the league. You don’t always have to win pretty but keeping it simple always makes more sense away from home.
Prediction: Nottingham Forest 1 Leeds United 2.
Another week and another blow strikes Leeds United. The Football League under the Financial Fair Play rules have banned the club from making signings on loan or buying them in the January transfer window.
The club will, however, be able to recruit an emergency loan goalkeeper if needed. There is also a possibility Leeds will be able to use ‘loopholes’ in the ruling to add to the squad. Either way it’s not good news.
Leeds travel for a tea-time TV game to Nottingham Forest, another club hit with the same ban along with Blackburn Rovers. Stuart Pearce’s team have had a mixed time, results-wise.
Two draws, a defeat and a win in their last four games, but Forest sit handily placed for the Christmas fixtures in ninth.
Neil Redfearn stated that he may change either personnel or formation – I suggest he should do both with a return to a solid 4-4-2.
It’s a big game for both clubs for differing reasons, but I’m going for a Leeds win.
Merry Christmas to you all.
Prediction: Nottingham Forest 1 Leeds United 2.
Forest and Leeds are out of form with two wins each from their last 10 games. United’s away form has been wretched, so I’m expecting changes with Billy Sharp in for Souleymane Doukara up front and one of the midfield youngsters making way for Michael Tonge.
Prediction: Nottingham Forest 2 Leeds United 2.
The Christmas period starts on Saturday in Nottingham. We desperately need to pick up some points over the next few games or we could find ourselves in the relegation zone come the new year.
Forest are there for the taking but I think that they will be too strong for us. They haven’t been great recently but I think they will beat us comfortably.
Redfearn needs to change things this week. We need more physicality in the middle of the field away from home. I think Giuseppe Bellusci will play in the holding midfield role to give us a much-needed ball winner. A point at the City Ground would be brilliant but it is unlikely.
Prediction: Nottingham Forest 2 Leeds United 0.
Our evening TV date with Forest is yet another tough test.
Two defeats on the bounce has led to restlessness in the stands. It’s hard to call a win on Saturday; it can happen if everyone sticks to their game but I think a score draw is more likely.
Prediction: Nottingham Forest 1 Leeds United 1.
The festive period should offer comfort and joy to long-suffering Leeds United, but the 2014 edition looks like being another miserable one.
A busy couple of weeks gets underway with a now traditional visit to the City Ground in Nottingham. Unfortunately games against Forest have been about as disappointing as the inevitable socks from your auntie are on Christmas morning with comprehensive defeats in the last two matches.
With Neil Redfearn unable to make any significant changes which might add a bit of steel to an undoubtedly talented midfield, I can see another miserable afternoon unfolding in front of the Sky TV cameras.
prediction: Nottingham Forest 3 Leeds United 1.