Two old rivals go head to head at the City Ground where there is sure to be a brilliant atmosphere. Forest are unbeaten in four straight Premier League matches whilst Leeds have failed to win and EPL game since the World Cup break. Both teams have made some interesting and decent looking moves in the January transfer window. The objective is simple at each club for the remainder of the season: survive.
Using the stats below, you can compile a bet builder with backing for xG, goals, shots, corners, cards, fouls and passing data. I supply them for most televised games, and also provide a Stats Pack Guide to help you make the best use of them.
Forest have a lot of injury problems with Morgan Gibbs-White, Taiwo Awoniyi and Cheikhou Kouyate ruled out. They also have doubts surrounding Ryan Yates and Chris Wood. New signings Jonjo Shelvey, Andre Ayew and Felipe could be candidates to start, whilst goalkeeper Keylor Navas will highly likely come into the side following the continued absence of Dean Henderson. Manager Steve Cooper has been operating between a variation of 4-3-1-2 or 4-3-3 recently and that is set to continue.
Leeds striker Rodrigo has been ruled out for 2 months after ankle surgery so Patrick Bamford or Georginio Rutter could come into the side upfront. Centre back Robin Koch is suspended so either Liam Cooper or Pascal Struijk should fill in alongside Max Wober at the back. There is a case for Junior Firpo to potentially come into the side on the left hand side of defence. New midfield signing Weston McKennie might also be pushing for a place in the side. There are plenty of uncertainties surrounding the makeup of both XIs here at the City Ground.
Nottingham Forest average 0.80 goals for and 1.75 goals against. This correlates closely to their xG and xGA numbers. They have struggled throughout a lot of this campaign but their form over the last ten games has been much improved, so they are trending upwards. Forest only average 10.60 shots per game with 13.90 against.
The East Midlands outfit have ranked really low for corners at just 3.30 in each match. At the other end Forest have conceded 6.40 per game so this is something to watch out for. Cards have certainly been on the high side in their fixtures, averaging 2.20 themselves and 1.85 against. The atmosphere inside the stadium and rivalry matchup will likely contribute towards cards in this particular game.
Leeds have scored an average of 1.37 goals per game but have a leaky defence, shipping in 1.74 in each fixture. Leeds matches can often be quite frantic, fast paced with lots of action at both ends of the field. They fire in 12.42 shots in each fixture but average a large 13.21 shots against. Their opponents average 4.63 SOT in each game which is one of the main reasons why they concede so many goals.
Corners are something to watch out for in Leeds games. They obtain an average of 5.42 themselves, but also concede 4.74. Leeds are one of the most ill-disciplined teams around, amassing 2.43 cards per game. They can get involved in several dirty contests and their opponents also average a high number of cards in each fixture (1.89).
Player shots and shots on target
Of the players expected to start on this list then Gustavo Scarpa is one to consider. In rather limited data he averages 4.29 shots per 90 mins although has a poor 0.86 SOT ratio.
Brennan Johnson averages 1.67 shots per 90 mins with a better accuracy and half of his attempts going on target. Whoever else starts upfront in place of the injured Awoniyi could be worth considering for shots, perhaps Emmanuel Dennis or Sam Surridge.
Top scorer Rodrigo fires in 3.61 shots per 90, but is ruled out injured for 2 months. It is to be fully expected whoever replaces him upfront will have similar numbers though. Patrick Bamford scored three goals off the bench in recent weeks and could be in line to start here. He averages 3.74 shots per 90 at a strong 50% accuracy rate.
Summer signing Willy Gnonto has been catching the eye recently, most notably with a spectacular goal vs Cardiff and averages 1.84 shots. Georginio Rutter has only featured in an FA Cup match but if he starts then is another to watch in this category. It is worth noting that Leeds have a lot of different attacking options and it is hard to predict who will last the full 90 mins.
Player goals and assists
Brennan Johnson and Awoniyi are joint top scorers for Forest, each registering four goals. The latter is injured though and so is their top assist provider Morgan Gibbs-White. Nobody else really sticks out on this list and Forest will be hoping that several new players step up and be counted soon, especially with key players absent.
Rodrigo is the leading scorer for the White Rose outfit with 10 goals but is now injured. Both Jack Harrison and Brendan Aaronson top the assist charts for Leeds with four and two respectively. Gnonto is a rising star and definitely a player to watch out for. Patrick Bamford and Georginio Rutter must be worth looking at if they are in the XI at the City Ground.
Forest are a counter-attacking team under Steve Cooper and don’t average much of the ball. They rank lowest for possession in the entire Premier League with just 40% Only two of their players average more than 40 passes per 90 mins, Joe Worrall and Scott McKenna. It doesn’t really make any sense to focus on any Forest players in the passing markets.
Leeds are a very mixed possession team and their numbers can vary from game to game. They only had 46% vs Villa, surprisingly only 52% vs Championship side Cardiff in the FA Cup replay, but then had nearly 60% of the ball vs Brentford in their most recent Premier League match. No player of significant minutes averages more than 60 passes per 90 mins but the two probably worth considering in this market are midfielder Tyler Adams (54.2) in addition to Marc Roca (49.6). Leeds should have at least 55% possession here.
Nottingham Forest cards
This is a team with a fairly poor disciplinary record. Joe Worrall is always an obvious candidate to give away fouls and obtain cards. He could match up with Patrick Bamford or Georginio Rutter here. Brennan Johnson is a pressing forward type of player who will happily give away a few cheap fouls and he is another no stranger to cards. Leeds have tricky wingers who operate as inside forwards so both Serge Aurier and Renan Lodi could have their hands full.
Jesse Marsch’s men have a lot of pacey and technical players who press a lot. There are also some significant dribblers in the team such as Willy Gnonto and Jack Harrison. Whoever plays out wide for Leeds will give Forest a lot of issues. In midfield Brendan Aaronson regularly gets stuck in but can also be a potential foul magnet with his style of play. He has an average of 3.74 dribbles per 90 mins and is fouled on 2.30 occasions. Right back Luke Ayling is fouled 2.41 times and will get forward in this system on several occasions.
Matchups to watch
Serge Aurier vs Willy Gnonto
Joe Worrall vs Bamford or Rutter
Brennan Johnson vs Wober or Struijk
Leeds are a strong pressing and high energy team which can lead to a lot of fouls. Midfielder Tyler Adams tops them in this category with 1.82 fouls per 90 mins. He also has five cards and will harass the opponent on a regular basis. Right back Rasmus Kristensen is another who won’t shy away from a tackle, in addition to Marc Roca. This whole team is capable of fouling regularly. Pascal Struijk averages 1.30 fouls per 90 mins.
From limited data, Gustavo Scarpa looks like a handful. He is fouled on average 5.83 times per 90 mins and playing in the #10 role could see him cause plenty of problems to the Leeds defence, most notable Tyler Adams in the holding DM position. Lewis O’Brian is high on this list for drawing fouls but has controversially been left out of the Forest EPL squad for the rest of the season! Orel Mangala is regularly fouled in midfield and his clash with Marc Roca looks inevitable. Both fullbacks Aurier and Lodi will venture forwards and are fouled around 1.50 times per 90 mins.
Matchups to watch
Tyler Adams vs Gustavo Scarpa
Rasmus Kristensen vs Renan Lodi
Marc Roca vs Orel Mangala
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
I was taking a look through the pack and was sure there was value in this game. There’s a few bet builder selections I liked the look of here.
Nottingham Forest vs Leeds United
Leeds average 5.42 corners taken.
Nottingham Forest average 6.40 corners conceded.
Nottingham Forest average 2.20 cards for and 4.05 in total.
Leeds United average 2.43 cards for and 4.32 in total.
This is a relegation battle and something of a Midlands Derby.
The referee averages 3.34 cards per game.
Leeds average 50% of the ball compared to Forest’s 40%.
Tyler Adams is Leeds’ top passer averaging 54.2 passes p/90.
He is also almost guaranteed to play the full 90, averaging 90 minutes across his 17 appearances.
Serge Aurier may average 0.38 fouls p/90, but today’s opponent is a different kettle of fish.
Willy Gnonto draws 2.83 fouls p/90 and attempts 4.50 dribbles.