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Leeds can get back on track against travel-sick Forest

Away side have sacked manager Mark Warburton

Leeds winger Ezgjan Alioski wheels away in celebebration
1 of 1

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Playoff-chasing Leeds suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat at basement boys Birmingham on Saturday but have a great chance to bounce back against Nottingham Forest, who sacked manager Mark Warburton on New Year's Eve.

Clubs often wait for a quiet spell in the fixture calendar to make a managerial change, but Forest have acted at the busiest time, replacing Warburton with caretaker-manager Gary Brazil in the middle of a spell of two games in three days. Their snap decision indicates how badly things were going.

Poor away results have dogged Forest for a while with seven defeats sustained in their last nine road trips.

It was putting a lot of pressure on Forest to pile up the points at home and the cracks appeared this week with back-to-back City Ground defeats to Sheffield Wednesday (3-0) and Sunderland (1-0).

The defeat by Sunderland looked a harsh one on the statistics with Forest dominating the shot count 22 to one.

But Warburton admitted his team had played in a nervous fashion in the second half and conceded that the home supporters' discontent was justified.

New managers often get an initial bounce but Brazil has had just one training session to get his ideas across and to try to address the physical and mental tiredness apparent in the loss to the Black Cats.

During tough times it helps to work from a solid defensive base but Forest's back-line has been stretched with four injured defenders - Matt Mills, Danny Fox, Tendayi Darikwa, and Jack Hobbs - missing the entire festive period.

Leeds are having to cope with a similarly busy schedule but have their first-choice defence available and manager Thomas Christiansen can recall influential attacking midfielder Samuel Saiz, who is fully fit after a calf injury and set to make his first start in 16 days.

Christiansen's side remain in the top six despite their weekend defeat and they look value to register a third successive home victory.

Recommendation
Leeds
1pt 20-21 BoyleSports

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Sky Bet Championship standings

Team news
Leeds
Samuel Saiz (calf) came off the bench on Saturday and could return to the starting line-up. Ronaldo Vieira (knock) was absent at the weekend and is a doubt.

Nottingham Forest
Liam Bridcutt could return to the Forest midfield after being rested on Saturday. Matt Mills, Danny Fox (knee), Tendayi Darikwa (ankle) and Jack Hobbs (back) have been absent during the festive period.

Key stat
Nottingham Forest have lost seven of their last nine away games.


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Poor away results have dogged Forest for a while with seven defeats sustained in their last nine road trips
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