Leeds United v Nottingham Forest: YEP jury predictions

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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s home clash with Nottingham Forest.

JAMES HARRISON

Giuseppe Bellusci.

Giuseppe Bellusci.

Time’s flown by since the draw at the City Ground in late December. Our form has dipped slightly, but we are coming into the game on the back of a great performance and result at Bolton last weekend.

We looked like we were going to score every time we went forward, but we are still one good striker away from being able to push for the play-offs. It seemed a certainty that we were going to land one on deadline day but it wasn’t to be, so we will have to wait until the emergency loan window opens next week.

Toumani Diagouraga looked very impressive last week alongside Liam Bridcutt. With another specialised holding midfielder in our ranks, it gives the likes of Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt the chance to push forward and be more involved with the strikers. As I mentioned in the Bolton review, Cook looked outstanding in the free role that Evans gave him at the Macron.

He linked with all our attacking players and made clever runs behind their defence. It won’t be long until he starts contributing on the goal scoring front because he gets in good positions.

Liam Cooper should come back into the side for Sol Bamba, who looked extremely shaky against Bolton.

He made several mistakes and when he plays alongside Giuseppe Bellusci everyone seems nervous when the ball comes into our half. The turnaround of Bellusci has been unbelievable. I am not his biggest fan at all but when it seemed his career at Elland Road had ended, especially after the Middlesbrough game, he has come back into the side and become our first-choice centre-half.

He is not the answer if we aspire to get back into the Premier League but it is great seeing a defender so comfortable on the ball, and most importantly, looking so solid.

Mirco Antenucci played well in the FA Cup but with Chris Wood unavailable, he has got to start. We don’t play the same football at home as we do away; we play more direct at Elland Road and without Wood, we won’t keep hold of the ball.

Forest are on a good run but if we play like we did last week in spells, we will score goals against any team.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Nottingham Forest 1.

KEITH INGHAM

Transfer deadline day, or Monday as it’s called in Leeds 11, disappointed and frustrated.

We seem to have a head coach who, on the field, is getting reasonable results, but, in my opinion, needed to be stronger when it came to recruitment. If the money was there – and he said it was enough times – he should have used it wisely. You cannot tell me that there weren’t players available in this window – I just don’t believe it.

Sheffield Wednesday and others have shown ambition and in May the results will be there for all to see.

The lack of ambition at this club distresses and alarms me.

We’ve a game against another ‘fallen giant’ tomorrow when Nottingham Forest visit Elland Road. The 1979 and 1980 European Champions are, like ourselves, in the no man’s land of mid-table. They still have a side that can beat anybody on their day, however, and were unlucky to lose to Watford, our next cup opponents last Saturday.

Sol Bamba should be fit and it’s hoped Souleymane Doukara can continue in his rich vein of goal-scoring form. I’m hoping Lewis Cook is used in the same position as last week as he was exceptional alongside Liam Bridcutt and Toumani Diagouraga. There are no easy games in this division but Leeds can edge it.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Nottingham Forest 1.

STEPHEN CLARK

Leeds did no business as the transfer window closed and with neither relegation nor promotion on the horizon, the league season has, to all intents and purposes, ended.

This then should be the time to bed in a style of play for the future and to take a look at those on the fringes of the squad to see if they can cut the mustard.

But I would totally understand if Steve Evans decided to stick with the team that performed so well at Bolton last week. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. Forest are as marooned in mid-table as we are, and, as they are the draw specialists of the division, it seems likely that these two fallen giants will be sharing the spoils tomorrow.

Prediction: Leeds United 1 Nottingham Forest 1.

GARY NEWBOULD

After progressing in the FA Cup it’s back to league action for United as they entertain Nottingham Forest at Elland Road. The craziness of the football fixtures means it’s only just six weeks since the two sides shared the spoils at the City Ground.

The recent transfer window clearly demonstrated our owner’s ambitions, for this season at least, so it’s all about quickly gleaning those 14 points to secure Championship status, starting tomorrow.

Prediction: Leeds United 1 Nottingham Forest 1.

DAVID WATKINS

The game against Forest is another chance for Leeds to show how much progress has been made under Steve Evans.

It will be another tough game as Forest come into it unbeaten in the league in their last 12, having won five and drawn seven. Indeed Forest, along with QPR, are the current draw specialists of the division in the last 10 games’ form table with seven draws each. Who’s next?

You guessed it, Leeds with five draws in the last 10. So, with one in every three games played in the Championship having ended all square so far this season, it would be daft to suggest anything else for this game. Either side could nick it by the odd goal in my opinion – if luck is on their side or they can come up with a moment of brilliance.

Prediction: Leeds United 1 Nottingham Forest 1.

MATTHEW EVANS

United should really be winning this game if a strong finish to the season is a genuine aspiration. Attitude is all important when we are so many points adrift from the play-offs and on the back of an uninspiring transfer window. This should be a Leeds win.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Nottingham Forest 0.

SEE YOU SOON: Japan's Yosuke Ideguchi in action against North Korea on Saturday night. Picture: Masashi Hara/Getty Images.

Patience required before Leeds United fans get to see what Yosuke Ideguchi is all about