Following their EFL Cup semi-final disappointment, Nottingham Forest get back down to Premier League business on Sunday (2pm). They host Leeds at City Ground, where they will look to avoid defeat for the seventh straight league game. Can the hosts do it? Or will the visitors extend their own unbeaten run? Read on for our NFFC vs LUFC preview with EPL game betting tips.
Reaching the EFL Cup final proved to be beyond the capabilities of this Nottingham Forest team, and they are now on a two-game losing run. The fact that they got to the last four of that competition as a newly-promoted Premier League team is relatively impressive. Moreover, if we forget about that cup exit, then Steve Cooper’s men are in fine form.
Sunday’s hosts are unbeaten in four in the league, two of which they have won, while they have lost only one of their last seven. Again, far from disappointing from a newly-promoted team. After recent wins against the likes of Southampton and Bournemouth, the Tricky Trees will probably fancy themselves to, at the very least, hold their own against a Leeds side that can always be got at.
The visitors have steadied themselves over the last few weeks, that is for sure. Far from prolific winners, Jesse Marsch’s men are finally looking harder to beat. They have lost just one of their last seven in all competitions, while they come into this fixture off the back of a confidence-boosting win against Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup.
Last time out in the Premier League, the Whites failed to score as they drew 0-0 at home to Brentford, a result that is a little bit disappointing on the face of it. There was plenty of promise in the way they performed on that occasion, as was the case when they last ventured away from home in the EPL, despite the fact that they left Villa Park empty handed.
It took a while for Steve Cooper’s men to adjust to life in the Premier League and gel as a team, which is normal given the number of incomings and outgoings. We are now seeing a Nottingham Forest side that looks very settled, one that defends as a unit and makes life tough for opponents.
On home soil in particular, Forest really can make life tough for anyone in this division, as many teams have found out in recent weeks. They are uneaten in six at home, winning three of those six. Not only are they unbeaten but they have picked up some excellent results against strong opposition: Drawing with Chelsea and Brentford and beating Liverpool. Each of those opponents sits inside the top half.
What is particularly impressive about the way this side does business at home is the fact that they concede few goals. They have given up just one in their last three at City Ground, conceding only four in their last six, picking up three clean sheets during that time. Such numbers are impressive.
Visitors need to score more goals
Leeds have shown us exactly what everyone expected of them this term. They have been cavalier in their approach. They have played some attractive, attacking football, but have struggled to contain teams, as has been the case since they re-entered the top division back in 2020.
Away from home, they have been far too open. Sunday’s visitors have conceded no fewer than 19 travelling goals, which is far too many considering that they have only played nine times away from the comforts of Elland Road. You could argue that they need to tighten up, but given their approach, it is very unlikely that is going to happen, so they need to find a way to be more prolific in terms of goals.
In terms of creating chances, Marsch’s men are not a poor side, far from it, even away from home. In fact, they rank in the top eight when it comes to xG for on the road. They only rank 11th for goals scored, though.
Part of the problem is that they have been heavily reliant on Spaniard Rodrigo to score the goals, and score he has, notching 10 times in the league, but they need other players to step up. Patrick Bamford has just one Premier League goal to his name this term. Summer signing Crysencio Summerville, who has four goals, is the only player with more than two goals besides Rodrigo. Jesse Marsch will be hoping that January signing Georginio Rutter adds firepower, though the 20-year-old is far from the finished article and arrives having averaged just 0.18 goals in the Bundesliga during the current campaign.
Home win appeals at the prices
There is lots to like about the way Leeds play, but it often goes against them in terms of results, and it is easy to see that happening here.
The visitors also lack regular goals, at least in relation to what they give away, which is a problem, especially against a home team that does not give much away. It is in fact Forest’s defensive quality that could see them through here.
Cooper’s men aren’t the most prolific team in front of goal, but they know how to score vital goals at home, netting in each of their last eight at City Ground. The fact that they have conceded just three in their last five at home, keeping three clean sheets, is massive. In contrast, the visitors have shipped 12 in their last five on the road, failing to keep any clean sheets. Therein lies the difference.
After all, Leeds have struggled in similar games this season, losing narrowly away to Crystal Palace, Wolves, Brighton, Leicester and Aston Villa. It could be a close game, but only one team has the defensive nous to get the desired result. So for the betting tips for this NFFC vs LUFC preview, we have just the one recommendation for this EPL match:
- Nottingham Forest to win @ 13/8 with Bet365.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.