Nottingham Forest vs Aston Villa recommended bets
Nottingham Forest vs Aston Villa match preview
Between 1979 and 1982, these two clubs picked up three European Cups between them and, while a repeat of that isn’t ever likely, both Midlands rivals are enjoying upward trajectories.
Few clubs have enjoyed the last 12 months quite like Aston Villa, starting the weekend fifth, which could be enough to see them get into the Champions League for the first time since 1982/83, when they were holders.
Last weekend, Unai Emery’s team won again, this time swatting aside Luton 3-1, with John McGinn and Moussa Diaby both on target.
That made it 12 successive home wins for the Villans, dating back to February, while they’re unbeaten in six league matches anywhere, winning five of them.
Nottingham Forest meantime aren’t quite scaling the same heights just yet, desperately hoping to end their current winless streak.
A week ago, the Reds were swatted aside 3-0 by Liverpool at Anfield, meaning Steve Cooper’s team are now without a victory in six, albeit four of these matches have been drawn.
Forest therefore are down in 16th, exactly where they finished last season, but won’t be feeling too anxious just yet, given that the quartet below them don’t look like pulling up many trees.
Villa have lost only two of their last 13 visits to the City Ground, winning five of the last ten, so we expect the visiting supporters to be the contingent celebrating come full time.
Nottingham Forest team news
Matt Turner had an afternoon to forget at Anfield, so could Greek international goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos come in for his long-awaited debut?
At the other end of the field, Taiwo Awoniyi came off the bench against Liverpool, his first appearance since 1 October, so the fit again Nigerian will lead the line from the start this time.
Starting midfield duo Orel Mangala and Ibrahim Sangaré are both one booking away from suspension.
Predicted XI (4-3-3): Vlachodimos; Aurier, Murillo, Niakhaté, Aina; Sangaré, Mangala, Domínguez; Gibbs-White, Elanga, Awoniyi.
Aston Villa team news
Given Villa’s European commitments, Unai Emery’s team have just enjoyed a rare week off, meaning he could name an unchanged line-up to that which swatted aside Luton last Sunday.
Emi Martínez, who actually scored a very unfortunate own goal in that one, has since been presented with the Yashin Trophy, crowned the world’s best goalkeeper for 2023.
Lucas Digne and Douglas Luiz have to tread carefully, because a caution here would see them sit out next Sunday’s clash with Fulham.
Predicted XI (4-4-2): Martínez; Cash, Konsa, Torres, Digne; Kamara, Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Zaniolo; Diaby, Watkins.