Leeds United will travel to Nottingham Forest as underdogs on Saturday, sitting ten places behind the hosts in 19th place. But the statistics reveal that the two sides could be much closer matched than the league table suggests.
Leeds have scored five less goals than Forest this season while both sides have the same chance conversion rate, with the two teams putting away seven per cent of opportunities which come their way. At the other end of the pitch, Leeds have conceded 31 goals to Forest’s 26 and have made nine defensive errors to Forest’s seven - both sides have conceded four goals directly from those instances.
While the game is expected to be tight, a clash of differing styles is predicted and the statistics back that up.
Leeds have completed over a thousand more passes than Forest this season, 6,708 to 5,683, with the Whites completing over 500 more forward passes than the two-time European champions. Despite completing far more passes, Leeds’ passing success is a strong 79 per cent while Forest sit on 74 per cent. But both sides have enjoyed an average of 50 per cent possession in their games this year.
Forest’s more direct style has produced 10 headed goals while Leeds remain without a single headed goal in the league this campaign. Meanwhile, the Reds have scored 28 goals from inside the area - an average of just over one a game. So Neil Redfearn’s charges, who have 18 so far this season, will have to be wary from close range.
But Forest will have to be on their guard when it comes to long range efforts with Leeds scoring six goals from outside the box, the joint sixth-best in the league this year, to the home side’s three.
United appear to be slightly more tenacious in defence, winning an average of 16 tackles per game in comparison to the 14 average of Forest, while the visitors produced an average of 17 interceptions per game to the hosts’ 13, with Forest committing just one more foul than United this term.
Finally, United have won 47 per cent of total duels on the pitch, with this weekend’s opposition winning 49 per cent. With that in mind, we could be set for a classic clash if both sides play to their strengths as the men from West Yorkshire look to breathe new life into their season on Saturday evening.