The last time Nottingham Forest played Leeds United, both clubs were in the Championship. The last time Nottingham Forest beat Leeds United was the 1995/96 Premier League season, a time that saw Leeds still fielding one Thomas Brolin. Now the clubs meet for the very first time in the 3rd tier of English football.
It has become quite clear that this season for Leeds United is one for pulling up the drawbridge, sounding the battle cries and fighting hard in every minute of every League One fixture.
In Dennis Wise I believe we have found the right man for the job and is clearly someone who doesn’t think much of history given his opinions on the two top clubs in the league.
‘We’re both big clubs – although I think Leeds United are a lot bigger – things have gone wrong and we’re both in this league’ Wise said speaking to the official Leeds United website.
‘They need to get out as quick as possible. They were favourites last year and didn’t make it so this year there is even more pressure.’
Speaking of the clubs attempts to cut the 15 point defect as quickly as possible, Wise was equally as bullish:
‘I think we’ve made a few look. Before the whole situation they were probably looking and thinking ‘minus 15 could be handy because they might cause a problem’.’
‘The biggest enjoyment will be when we catch that first team. We’ll take it on from there.’
Nottingham Forest manager Colin Calderwood, who has seen his side go without a goal in the opening fixtures feels their start to the season can be classed as a good one with victory on Saturday:
‘Within your first four games you want a victory. We haven’t won in our first three but there have been positives – namely the fact that we haven’t been beaten.
‘But we know that you have to win games in this business and hopefully we’ll start against Leeds. If we do that I think we will have made a half decent start.
‘People will no doubt reminisce about what both clubs have achieved in the past and what divisions they used to play in but we are where we are. It’s still an attractive game and an important fixture.’
Nottingham Forest Team News:
Nathan Tyson may return to the Nottingham Forest bench having played for Forest reserves last week.
Chris Cohen Arron Davies , Ian Breckin , Matt Lockwood and Lewis McGugan will all miss the match.
Player to watch: Neil Lennon
Matching Vital Notts Forest’s ‘one to watch,’ Vital Leeds United’s choice is indeed also ex-Northern Ireland international Neil Lennon.
It will be interesting to see how the controversial midfielder fairs in the battles between himself and ex-Celtic team-mate Alan Thompson.
Leeds United Team News:
On-loan defender Jamie Clapham may be handed his Leeds United debut straight away as Dennis Wise looks to cover for the departure of Eddie Lewis, and a groin injury to ‘Mr Versatile’ Andy Hughes.
Ian Westlake also misses out, alongside Leon Constantine and duo Shaun Derry and Gylfi Einarsson, who aren’t quite ready despite returning to full training.
Player to watch: David Prutton
I seem to be copying Vital Forest again ;-).
It is always interesting to watch how players do against their old clubs. I dare say that Prutton will be out with a point to prove, with Forest not following up on the loan deal that saw the ex-Southampton midfielder return for his second spell at the City Ground in January 2007.
Match Facts & Stats
The referee for the game is Mr K.D.Hill who comes from Hertfordshire.
Hot on the heels of getting the England V Germany score absolutely spot on (I said 2-1) Vital Leeds United will be going for the same scoreline, with Leeds coming out on top 2-1.
After Notts Forest, Leeds stay on the road for a mid-week trip to Premier League side Portsmouth, fun!