By Sam Stone

5th Feb, 2023 | 10:36am

Patrick Bamford tipped to start in Leeds United clash v Nottingham Forest - Phil Hay

The Athletic’s Phil Hay has tipped Patrick Bamford to start for Leeds United against Nottingham Forest on Sunday afternoon.

Bamford was impressive in the Whites’ FA Cup win over Accrington Stanley but does face competition from new signing Georginio Rutter.

Hay has also confirmed that Weston McKennie is available to make his debut after completing his January move from Juventus.

“Rodrigo is out today, missing for the next two months with a fractured leg/ankle, but Weston McKennie is available to make his debut and I wonder if Patrick Bamford will start after his performance against Accrington last weekend,” wrote Hay (Athletic Q and A, 5 February).

“He looked in good fettle there and he’s a natural pick at nine. It must be a toss-up for Marsch between him and Rutter.”

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The January window has now closed and now is the time for Jesse Marsch to get his team performing on a consistent basis. McKennie will bring a new dimension to Leeds’ midfield and it would not be a surprise to see the American thrown straight into the starting lineup.

After the significant backing in the transfer window, the pressure is now firmly on Marsch’s shoulders to get this team on a good run of form. The board have been extremely supportive of the American and now they will be expecting some sort of return on their investment.

Forest have shown that a good run of form can quickly take you away from trouble and it’s exactly what Leeds need to produce. It promises to be a huge week for Marsch’s team with a doubleheader against Manchester United in the pipeline, followed by two huge games against Southampton and Everton.

The next couple of weeks could be telling in whether Leeds are involved in a relegation battle come the end of the season.

In other Leeds United news, visit our live transfer blog for around-the-clock updates straight from Elland Road.