Robert Earnshaw

Forest danger-man Robert Earnshaw

Leeds United head to the City Ground tomorrow to face Nottingham Forest in what will surely be one of the hardest tests of the season. Forest, like Leeds, lost their opening game of the Championship going down 1-0 to recently relegated Burnley. They will be hoping to make home advantage count against Leeds as they failed to get off the mark in the Carling Cup midweek losing 2-1 to Bradford City after extra time.

Nottingham Forest finished 3rd last season and missed out on promotion losing in the play offs to eventual winners Blackpool. They will be hoping to get a first win under their belt as they push for an automatic promotion place. Despite being underdogs for this game, Leeds should be positive going into it, after a good 4-0 win in midweek against Lincoln, it is arguably the best time to face such a test before Forest have gathered any momentum.

With Robert Snodgrass and Max Gradel still unavailable, Leeds will again be reliant on the abilities of Sanchez Watt and Lloyd Sam in wide positions while hoping lone striker Luciano Becchio can make it three goals in three games. The primary concern for fans will be the ability of the defence to deal with the threat posed by Forest forwards Robert Earnshaw and Dexter Blackstock who between them scored 30 league goals last season. It may be that Simon Grayson sticks with the younger Alex Bruce who came in for Richard Naylor in the heart of defence against Lincoln City.

Leeds will travel to Nottingham without the weight of expectation that became all too familiar over the last few seasons and it may be of some relief to both fans and players that Leeds are back facing bigger sides, who like Leeds, will see themselves as belonging in the Premier League.

Leeds United’s last trip to the City Ground was in August 2007 and ended in a 2-1 victory thanks to a late winner from Jermaine Beckford. This will be the 81st league meeting between the two teams, with both having won 26 a piece. Over 4000 Leeds fans will be making the trip to the East Midlands and will be hoping to see United pick up their first three points of the Championship season.