How boring have these past two weeks been? The international break gives Simon Grayson's players time to rest and recuperate, but unfortunately it also means the country has to watch the English national side. Tomorrow's game live on the BBC, will no doubt get people talking about Brian Clough's tenure at Elland Road, a past time that Leeds fans would love to erase.
August 15th was the last time these two sides met, a game Leeds United could and should have won. The Whites were still settling into the division, and an away draw to Forest was a good result. This time round the circumstances are different, very different in fact. United find themselves in a promotion battle sitting 5th in the table, along with Forest who are one point behind Leeds in sixth. A win for United would see them bridge a gap between themselves and Forest, and close the gap on Norwich in second place. A defeat wouldn't be the end of the world, although Forest would climb above us, there is still seven games remaining after tomorrow so anything can happen.
Leeds' last fixture was two weeks ago when they were beaten by Sheffield United, a two week break will hopefully have recharged the batteries of the players, ready for the final eight games. Forest are without a win in seven matches, and have yet to beat a Yorkshire team this season, we all know though that counts for nothing come tomorrow.
Captain Jonny Howson is struggling with a hamstring injury and is a doubt for tomorrow's lunch time kick-off. Howson is the only player within the squad to have started every game this campaign, however rushing him back for the game could make the injury worse. Billy Paynter will not feature, he will serve the first of his three match ban, after being dismissed for violent conduct against Sheffield United. Some good news for Leeds fans is that Jake Livermore will be in the squad after completing his loan move from Tottenham.
Nottingham Forest will have Marcus Tudgay (illness) and Joel Lynch (injury) available for selection but will be without, captain Paul Mckenna who suffered a groin injury in training on Thursday. Striker Rob Earnshaw is a major doubt with a torn hamstring.
My guess at tomorrow's line-up is:
Ross McCormack would be the perfect replacement for Howson, that's if his injury is a serious one. McCormack hasn't made the impact many expected and hopefully if he gets the chance to play tomorrow he will take it. Livermore is a good addition to the squad, but I think Grayson will slowly introduce him to first team action. In a dream world Johnson would replace McCartney at left-back, with Livermore coming into the centre of midfield.
Forest will be looking to bounce back from a poor run of form, even with a couple of injuries they are a dangerous outfit. I can't separate the two sides and my prediction for the game is 2-2.
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