Nottingham Forest v Leeds United: YEP jury predictions

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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s Championship clash at Nottingham Forest.

JAMES HARRISON

Liam Bridcutt.

Liam Bridcutt.

Nottingham Forest is a fixture I always look forward to. It is a really intense atmosphere, and a great football stadium.

Both sides are in great form heading into the busy schedule so it is going to be a really tough game with not many goals scored. We always seem to travel to Nottingham at this time of year; they seem to have got the better of us recently.

We didn’t play great against Preston and everybody seemed a little disappointed after the game, but at the end of the season we will look back and realise what an important three points it was.

It is not always about performances, it is about getting results and pushing ourself up the table into a competitive position heading into the new year.

I think Evans will start with the same side as he did against Preston, we look really comfortable with five in midfield recently, with Liam Bridcutt controlling everything.

He has been a great signing and seems to make us solid at the back and harder to break down, but the most important task now is to keep him until the end of the season. If he goes, we won’t make the play-offs.

Dougie Freedman has turned things round at Forest over the last month or so; they were in a rut of form like we were and both sides seemed to be heading for the relegation zone.

They have some real quality in their ranks with Portuguese international Nelson Oliveira leading their line. They will be looking at this game as a winnable one and will come out with all guns blazing hoping to blow us away in the first half.

Lewis Cook’s final ball has been very poor over the last few games; sometimes instead of trying to make the difficult pass, he needs to play simple or have a shot himself.

He needs more confidence in front of goal because he gets himself in good positions.

We are taking another sold-out following down to Nottingham.

And I think a draw would be a great result.

Prediction: Nottingham Forest 1 Leeds United 1.

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KEITH INGHAM

A positive start to the festive season, 10 points from four games previously is promising and the gap between sixth place doesn’t seem unachievable.

It’s quite remarkable considering the situation behind the scenes since the leaving of Adam Pearson that the team aren’t in the bottom three, but that’s how ‘funny’ football can be. On form Leeds sit at the heady height of fourth in the Championship.

No Boxing Day game due the constant interference by television, Sky Sports Leeds moves to the east Midlands and a visit to the City Ground in Nottingham. Dougie Freedman’s team sit 15th in the Championship but were, pre-season, rated one of the teams that could challenge for at least a top-six place. So far they have failed to justify that but still have a squad on paper that could cause Leeds problems.

Evans admitted he made a mistake during the Preston game when Luke Murphy was withdrawn. I cannot see many changes on Sunday. For me, it’s either Tom Adeyemi or Murphy in the midfield as Jordan Botaka and Lee Erwin seem out of the picture at the moment and have been told to improve their fitness before being considered again. This will challenge the recent good run. I’d be happy with a point, delighted with a win.

Happy MOT Christmas.

Prediction: Nottingham Forest 1 Leeds United 1.

STEPHEN CLARK

The festive season is one that doesn’t bring much joy to Leeds United fans. The packed programme of fixtures usually sees results which are as unpalatable as the leftover Brussels sprouts.

With a decent run of results behind us, we should head into the Nottingham Forest game with a bit of optimism, but the paucity of the performance against Preston left us all aware of how fragile that confidence really is.

Forest are as inconsistent as we are, so any result is possible. If Leeds are to seriously threaten the play-off positions then it is a game we need to pick up a result from.

The indigestion will not be helped by an end to the unbeaten run.

Prediction: Nottingham Forest 3 Leeds United 1.

GARY NEWBOULD

Despite a victory over Preston the Whites looked very ‘leggy’ but held on against 10 men.

It would be no great surprise to see the squad used to its full capacity over the crazy festive schedule. A draw at the City Ground would be a great result.

Prediction: Nottingham Forest 2 Leeds United 2.

DAVID WATKINS

Another crucial test awaits as to whether Leeds really have turned a corner or are experiencing yet another false dawn.

Leeds currently sit fourth in the ‘form league’ for the last eight games but Forest are only one place behind with their four wins and two draws from eight games. One point from our last three visits to the City Ground doesn’t inspire confidence but we well remember that famous night in 2011 when, just days after the death of Gary Speed, we paid tribute to him with a 4-0 victory. Something along those lines would announce Leeds as contenders this season.

A draw would be okay as Derby after that at Elland Road looks the tougher proposition.

Prediction: Nottingham Forest 1 Leeds United 1.

MATTHEW EVANS

I know we’ve not been great over the festive period for many a year but even I was shocked when I heard it was at Stockport in 2009 when we last registered a win. It would be a good habit for Steve Evans to stamp out of Leeds United, let’s just hope he does a better job than he did with our sluggish performances following international breaks.

We go into this game above Forest in the league, which seemed unlikely a month ago. Evans has got United on a good run and this is where we will see whether we can turn that form into something meaningful.

We can win at Forest but I think a draw is more likely.

Prediction: Nottingham Forest 1 Leeds United 1

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