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Match pack: Leeds (H)

19 December 2014

Nottingham Forest are aiming to provide some festive cheer when they host Leeds United in the Sky Bet Championship tomorrow (kick-off 5.15pm).

Nottingham Forest v Leeds United    
Sky Bet Championship
Saturday 20 December (kick-off 5.15pm)
The City Ground

Pre-match brief

The clash of old rivals Nottingham Forest and Leeds United usually provides plenty of festive entertainment at The City Ground and tomorrow's contest should be no different as the two sides go head-to-head once more.

Forest will need to put together a consistent run of positive results if they are to break into the Sky Bet Championship's top six but will face a tough test in the shape of Neil Redfearn's side.

The two teams have shared 33 goals in their last seven meetings so an early Christmas cracker could be in store on Trentside tomorrow as Forest look to start their run of festive fixtures with a bang.

Team news

Nottingham Forest manager Stuart Pearce has no new injury concerns ahead of tomorrow's visit of Leeds with only Andy Reid, Jack Hobbs and Chris Cohen still recovering from long-term injuries.

The Reds boss has shown that he is not afraid to make changes to his side and will have a number of selection headaches tomorrow as he goes in search of an important victory over the Whites.

Leeds defender Stephen Warnock is expected to be fit in time to play but Giuseppe Bellusci and Rodolph Austin are doubtful as they recover rom their respective injury problems.

Young midfielder Alex Mowatt is one to watch in the Leeds line-up while manager Neil Redfearn is again expected to start Mirko Antenucci in attack alongside Souleymane Doukara.

View from the Red corner

Stuart Pearce: “It’s a case of galvanising that little bit of confidence in the team and trusting the players.

“They scrapped really well at Rotherham to get a foothold in the game. We competed fantastically well.

“Once you’ve done that and turned the ball over it’s time to get it down and enjoy passing and possession.

“There are two elements of the game – out of possession and in possession. We work on both in every drill we do.”  

Click here to read more of the manager's thoughts ahead of the visit of old rivals Leeds.

What's the form guide?

Nottingham Forest recorded a second successive stalemate last weekend with a 0-0 draw at Rotherham United but a point at the New York Stadium was enough to see them move up to ninth in the Sky Bet Championship table.

The Reds have now gone three games without victory but will be confident of returning to winning ways on home soil tomorrow against a Leeds side struggling for form themselves.

Leeds head into tomorrow's clash on a disappointing run of form which has seen them win just two of their last ten Sky Bet Championship matches, 3-1 over Blackpool and 2-0 against Derby at Elland Road.

Neil Redfearn's men have been beaten in their previous two games as a crushing 4-1 defeat at Ipswich was followed by last weekend's 1-0 home reverse against Fulham as the Whites fell to Hugo Rodallega's strike.

That result saw Leeds slip to 19th in the Sky Bet Championship and just five points above the relegation zone but their recent win over Derby shows they can be dangerous opponents on their day.

Haven't we met before?

Nottingham Forest were able to complete a league double over Leeds United last season as a 2-1 win for The Reds at The City Ground was followed up by a 2-0 victory at Elland Road in April.

Ross McCormack's late goal cancelled out Greg Halford's opener in the Trentside contest last December but Matt Derbyshire stepped up six minutes from time to blast Forest to victory with a stunning strike.

Derbyshire was again a thorn in the Leeds side at Elland Road later on in the campaign as his early brace guided Forest to a comfortable success in Yorkshire and kept The Reds' thin play-off hopes alive.

Are tickets available?

Tickets are still available for tomorrow's clash against Leeds United. Click here for more details and for a list of prices.

Are there any offers on?

Azure Support Services, official catering partner of Nottingham Forest Football Club, are also offering cheaper food and drink at tomorrow's game.

Between 3.45pm and 4.15pm tomorrow afternoon, all bottles of Carlsberg and IPA are down from £3.80 per bottle to £2 while between 3.45pm and 4.45pm any pie and hot drink meal is down from £5.10 to just £4.

The above offer is open to both Nottingham Forest and Leeds United supporters.

What else is happening?

Nottingham Forest's official charity partner, BLESMA, will be holding a bucket collection from 3.15pm onwards around The City Ground tomorrow.

Please give generously to a wonderful cause, more information on which can be found here.

Junior Reds can pick up a free copy of a special programme and Robin Hood will be giving out a number of Christmas gifts at Saturday’s match against Leeds.

500 copies of the junior programme, the second of three this season, will be available in the Champions Centre to anyone with a valid Junior Reds membership card. The collection point will be open two hours prior to kick-off.

What if I can't make the game?

Live audio commentary will be available on Forest Player, as well as free live text commentary on and via @Official_NFFC on Twitter.

Forest Player will also have extended match highlights from 12pm on Sunday, as well as all the reaction from the Forest camp.

Is there a programme?

The official matchday programme is available to buy and download for tomorrow's meeting with Leeds.

In this edition, priced £3, Fawaz Al Hasawi and Stuart Pearce give their thoughts on recent matches while club captain Chris Cohen also pens his latest column as he continues his rehabilitation.

There's an in-depth look at the visitors Leeds United, a feature interview with Danny Fox, a review of Forest's exhilarating FA Youth Cup victory plus much, much more.

Forest fans are reminded that they can download the official matchday magazine to their iPad or iPhone. Perfect for supporters unable to attend the game, the download can be accessed via this app from tomorrow morning.

Hard copies will be available from all the usual outlets around The City Ground.

What are the odds?

Nottingham Forest are the 4/6 favourites to take all three points against Leeds United with the draw priced at 14/5 and an away win out at 4/1.

A repeat of The Reds' 2-1 win in the corresponding fixture last season has odds of 7/1 or for supporters who fancy Forest to taste a more comfortable victory then a 3-0 win is priced at 12/1.

Britt Assombalonga is the favourite to score the opening goal of the game at 7/2 while after making his return to the side last weekend, Dexter Blackstock is priced at 6/4 to score at any time.

For all the latest odds on tomorrow's game, please visit and make a prediction for Forest v Leeds.

Who is in charge?

Referee: Kevin Friend
Assistant Referees: Constantine Hatzidakis and Jake Collin 
Fourth official: Eddie Ilderton

Who else is playing?

Millwall v Bolton (Friday, kick-off 7.45pm)
Derby v Norwich (Saturday, kick-off 12.15pm)
Blackburn v Charlton
Blackpool v Bournemouth
Cardiff v Brentford
Fulham v Sheffield Wednesday
Huddersfield v Birmingham
Ipswich v Middlesbrough
Reading v Watford
Wigan v Rotherham
Wolves v Brighton

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