Nottingham Forest vs Aston Villa
Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa are set to square off at the City Ground in an exciting Premier League fixture.
Nottingham Forest could be staring down the barrel of another season-long fight against relegation after a 3-0 defeat at Liverpool last weekend left them winless in six consecutive Premier League games (D4, L2) and, more importantly, only five points clear of the drop zone. Despite hitting a ten-goal landmark after the opening ten rounds, scoring remains a problem for the ‘Tricky Trees,’ as they’ve drawn a blank in three of their last five league outings. They’ve at least made the City Ground their safe haven, going unbeaten in all four Premier League fixtures here this season (W1, D3) despite failing to keep a clean sheet on each occasion. Steve Cooper would be silly to expect his side to end that streak against a Villa side they last shut out in a home H2H in 1997.
Indeed, visiting Aston Villa might be the most unpleasant opposition next to Liverpool and Manchester City at this point, with Unai Emery’s side netting 3+ goals in their last three competitive matches (W3), including a 3-1 home triumph over Luton in the previous round. Speaking of Villa’s scoring prowess, they commenced this round as the division’s joint-best attack with 26 goals from ten games, though it’s worth noting that just 23% of them came away from home. Far more comfortable on home soil, the ‘Lions’ have only netted six times on five Premier League travels this season (W2, D1, L2). That hasn’t stopped them from entering this matchday on the periphery of the top four, only one point adrift of Liverpool.