Leeds United’s pre-season preparations continue with a friendly match against Nottingham Forest at the Pirelli Stadium on Thursday evening.

A few months ago these two sides were relegation rivals in the Premier League fighting to preserve their top-flight statuses. Forest, who had looked a goner for most of the campaign, made good their escape on the back of a dramatic late turnaround in fortunes.

For Leeds United, the road back to English football’s top table starts with preparations for a season back in the EFL Championship, including this friendly clash against erstwhile top-flight rivals.

Date and time

Thursday, 27 July, 19:45

Match venue

The match will be played at the Pirelli Stadium, a venue with a capacity of nearly 7,000, with just over 2,000 seated in the South Stand, the stadium’s main stand.

The Pirelli Stadium is home to League One side Burton Albion. It is located on Princess Way in Burton upon Trent.

Broadcasting/streaming services

Subscribers can watch the match on Leeds United TV for £4.99 Match Pass for this game is a one-off, non-recurring payment.

Recent form

Leeds United’s two pre-season friendlies to date have both ended in 2-0 defeats, to Manchester United and AS Monaco. Manager Daniel Farke will be desperate to snap that run in this penultimate friendly of their pre-season schedule.

Forest have two wins and one defeat so far this pre-season, the 1-0 defeat by Valencia sandwiched by wins over Notts County (1-0) and Levante (2-1) last time out.

A year on after returning to the Premier League, Steve Cooper’s men will be hoping for a more assured showing now that the players have had time to acclimatise and bed in after a complete squad overhaul last summer during which Forest brought in no fewer than a dozen new recruits. The gamble paid off and now the focus will be on readying themselves for a season of consolidation in the top-flight.

Head-to-head and score prediction

Nottingham Forest have beaten Leeds United three times in the last five meetings between the two sides. The last two meetings, both in the Premier League last season, saw the teams trade home victories.

I’m going for a 1-1 draw for this one.

Team news/predicted line-ups

Leeds United Under-21’s play West Brom in a Premier League 2 Division 2 tie on Friday. A point will see Leeds seal the title and promotion.

It is therefore unlikely that the likes of Darko Gyabi, Kris Moore, Mateo Joseph and Archie Gray will feature against Forest on Thursday and then play against West Brom 24 hours later. So, this makes it difficult to predict the line-up for the match.

Once again fans will be looking for evidence of an emerging selection pattern. Will Luis Sinisterra, Georginio Rutter, Liam Cooper and Leo Hjelde start for a third successive match? What new selection hints about his preferred starting line-up for the season will Farke drop?

Question marks also remain over the future of goalkeeper Illan Meslier following reports that Leeds United have tabled a £7m bid for Newcastle United goalkeeper Karl Darlow. Darlow’s arrival would signal the departure of Meslier, either on loan or a permanent move, leaving the new recruit and Kristoffer Klaesson to battle it out for the number one spot.

Meanwhile, after their incredible splurge last season, Forest have continued to bolster their squad this term with the additions of Ola Aina and Anthony Elanga, last week and this week respectively. Forward Elanga is in line for his debut after arriving from Manchester United in a £15m deal.

One player who definitely won’t be involved for Forest is Sam Surridge. The striker left the City Ground this week to join MLS side Nashville.

Players to watch

With just one more friendly to follow before the season opener against Cardiff City, the manager will be keen to have some kind of selection continuity so that players start to forge partnerships and am understanding of each other’s game.  It will be interesting to see who from the team that started against AS Monaco also starts against Forest.

I’m especially interested to see the make-up of the central midfield. I think the question at this stage is who will partner Ethan Ampadu in the engine room. In the absence of new signings, and with Tyler Adams sidelined by injury and his future still uncertain, Archie Gray, Darko Gyabi and Lewis Bate will all be hoping to stake their claims.


I'm Barrie Jarrett, born in Leeds, lived over a decade in South Africa, CEO And Co Founder of Planet Sport Limited and Planet Bet Limited.

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