It is quite amazing what a couple of results can do to a football club. The incidents that took place on Sunday against Birmingham also feels like the club has been united in more ways than one. Nottingham Forest is the next side standing in Aston Villa’s way of three more Championship points.
I doubt there are many who would have forgotten the 5-5 result when the two sides met at Villa Park earlier this season. Usually, when a side scores 5 goals, they are going to take all three points.
Dean Smith will be hoping that his free-scoring Villa side can score a similar amount. However, I am sure the former Brentford manager will be hoping for us to build on the two clean sheets we have had in the past week.
Villa currently sits 2 places and 2 points behind tonight’s hosts, Nottingham Forest. Forest have a decent home form, with only 4 sides better on home turf than them this season. It won’t be easy for Smith’s men.
Former Villa boss Martin O’Neill became the Forest boss on January 15th, replacing the sacked Aitor Karanka. Many Villa supporters hold mixed emotions about the 67-year-old. Some will say he took us on a great adventure during his 4-year spell as Villa manager. Others will say he started the predicament we currently find ourselves in.
Enough about our former manager and let’s focus on the opposition. Forest want promotion and their owners won’t settle for anything less. They have spent just under £25million this season to ensure they gain promotion.
The one thing that has let Forest down this season has been their discipline. They have a league-high of 85 yellow and 5 red cards this season. O’Neill’s side is not scared to shoot from distance and will put their foot in. A weakness has been defending set pieces, something Villa are good at. Let’s hope we can exploit this tonight.
Villa has no fresh injury problems. John McGinn may replace Glenn Whelan after impressing when he came on against Birmingham.
Axel Tuanzebe and Henri Lansbury are back in training but it is thought that this game will come too early for either of them.
Forest have doubts over Lewis Grabban and Matty Cash. Both have Achilles problems and may not be risked. Defender Jack Robinson is not available through suspension.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Predicted XI: Steer; Elmohammady, Hause, Mings, Taylor; McGinn, Hourihane; Adomah, Grealish, El-Ghazi; Abraham.
Kick Off: 19.45
TV: Sky Sports Action
Venue: The City Ground, Nottingham
Tickets: 2,000 (sold out)
Odds: Nottingham Forest 8/5 Aston Villa 17/10 Draw 23/10 (Sky Bet)