Thursday, 31 March 2011

Leeds v Nott'm Forest Match Preview

On-loan midfielder Jake Livermore is poised for his Leeds debut against Nottingham Forest, which will be shown live on BBC One.Captain Jonny Howson should recover from a hamstring strain but Billy Paynter begins a three-match ban.Nottingham Forest could have up to four players back from injury, with Marcus Tudgay fit again, and Guy Moussi and Joel Lynch close to a return.But Rob Earnshaw is a major doubt with a torn hamstring.
It is said that Brian Clough reserved a special place in his heart - albeit not a compassionate one - for this fixture. The man reviled in Leeds but revered in Nottingham inextricably links these two clubs and continues to fuel the antipathy between them.
The fact that United and Forest are also promotion rivals ensures that this match should be played amid a derby atmosphere, despite the 74 miles that separate them.
Leeds fans still sing anti-Clough songs, embittered by his notorious 44-day reign in 1974 before he turned Forest into domestic and European champions. There is no love lost on the pitch or in the dugout, either. The two clubs were charged by the FA with failing to control their players following a mass brawl during this season's reverse fixture in August. After the game, Forest manager Billy Davies and his Leeds counterpart Simon Grayson accused each other's players of deliberately stamping on opponents.
Both sides are clinging on to a play-off spot after struggling for form of late. Leeds were blamed by Grayson for lacking desire following the defeat at Sheffield United, while Forest are winless in seven matches and have dropped out of the automatic promotion places. It is also 15 years since Forest beat Leeds, and they have not defeated Yorkshire opposition this season.

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