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Aston Villa logo
Premier League | Gameweek 26
Feb 24, 2024 at 3pm UK
Villa Park
Nottingham Forest logo

Aston Villa
4 - 2
Nott'm Forest

Watkins (4'), Luiz (29', 39'), Bailey (61')
Moreno (57')
FT(HT: 3-1)
Niakhate (45+5'), Gibbs-White (48')
Murillo (15'), Felipe (45')

Preview: Aston Villa vs. Nottingham Forest - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Seeking to snap a three-game losing run at home across all competitions, Aston Villa lock horns with Nottingham Forest at Villa Park in Saturday afternoon's Premier League encounter.

Unai Emery's men triumphed 2-1 over Fulham in their latest top-flight affair, while the Tricky Trees were on the correct end of a 2-0 scoreline against West Ham United.

Match preview

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery reacts on December 30, 2023© Reuters

Hitherto an unstoppable force in front of the Villa Park faithful, Aston Villa have managed to counteract their recent home woes with a spate of laudable away displays, making it five games on the road without defeat at Fulham's Craven Cottage base last weekend.

Two smart finishes from Ollie Watkins - his 12th and 13th efforts of the top-flight season - propelled the Lions into a two-goal advantage by the hour mark, and while Fulham's in-form forward Rodrigo Muniz managed to cut the arrears in half, it was too little too late for the Cottagers to salvage anything from the tie.

Thanks to Wolverhampton Wanderers' triumph at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in gameweek 25, Villa's win at Craven Cottage lifted Emery's troops above their capital counterparts into fourth place in the standings, albeit with just a two-point lead over Spurs in the frenzied fight for Champions League qualification.

However, the slender success over Fulham marked just a second win from seven games in all competitions for Emery's faltering Lions, who have lost their bite and then some at Villa Park, losing each of their last three at home to Newcastle United, Chelsea and Manchester United in league and FA Cup action.

Not since the days of Dean Smith in 2020 have Aston Villa been slain in three straight Premier League home matches, but their phenomenal scoring streak at Villa Park now reads 33 consecutive games in all tournaments since Chelsea shut them out in October 2022.

Nottingham Forest's Taiwo Awoniyi celebrates scoring against West Ham United on February 17, 2024© Reuters

In total, only three of Aston Villa's 25 Premier League games this term have seen Emery's team fail to make the net bulge, although one of those blanks was at Nottingham Forest's City Ground, where Nuno Espirito Santo's troops subjected West Ham United fans to another miserable weekend on February 17.

Helped by another nightmarish outing for Hammers new boy Kalvin Phillips - sent off in the 71st minute of the match - Forest struck through Taiwo Awoniyi and the rejuvenated Callum Hudson-Odoi either side of the Englishman's transgression, earning their first Premier League win of 2024 at the fifth time of asking.

Santo's charges had only collected one point from their opening four top-flight battles of the calendar year before last Saturday's victory, which leaves the 16th-placed Reds four points better off than Luton Town in the relegation zone, but Santo's men are not home and dry by any stretch.

Forest make the trek to Villa Park with just two Premier League away wins to their name all season long, but an eight-match scoring sequence in the top flight offers comfort to the travelling party, as does their last 90-minute battle with Emery's Champions League hopefuls.

Indeed, Nottingham Forest sprung a surprise with a 2-0 beating of Aston Villa at the City Ground three months ago, but the Lions prevailed by the same scoreline at Villa Park in 2022-23 and have not been beaten on their own turf by their fellow former European Cup winners since 1994.

Aston Villa Premier League form:

Aston Villa form (all competitions):

Nottingham Forest Premier League form:

Nottingham Forest form (all competitions):

Team News

Aston Villa defender Diego Carlos receiving treatment during the Premier League game with Everton on August 13, 2022.© Reuters

Prior to the beating of Fulham, Aston Villa lost a third player to a season-ending knee injury in Boubacar Kamara, who damaged his anterior cruciate ligament in the loss to Man United the previous weekend and joins Emiliano Buendia and Tyrone Mings in the ACL club.

Ezri Konsa is also down with a knee issue - although his should heal in a matter of weeks - while Diego Carlos and Jhon Duran are nursing hamstring concerns, but no new worries arose for the hosts at Craven Cottage, where Lucas Digne continued to build up his fitness as a substitute.

The left-back had started 18 of Villa's first 19 games of the new Premier League season before picking up his thigh problem, but Emery has no reason to demote Alex Moreno, who saw a strike of his own disallowed in the beating of Fulham.

Regarding Nottingham Forest, Santo's trio of Africa Cup of Nations representatives - Ibrahim Sangare, Willy Boly and Ola Aina - all returned from Ivory Coast with knocks, and none of them will be at their manager's disposal for the trip to Villa Park.

Chris Wood and Gonzalo Montiel are also nursing thigh concerns - although the latter has been seen on the training fields - and goalscorer Awoniyi was forced off midway through the second half of the triumph over West Ham, his fourth Premier League appearance since recovering from a groin operation.

Santo was none the wiser about the severity of Awoniyi's issue, but he admitted after the game that his leading marksman was "struggling", so Divock Origi is primed and ready to spearhead the attack if need be.

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Torres, Lenglet, Moreno; Bailey, Luiz, McGinn, Ramsey; Tielemans; Watkins

Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Sels; Williams, Felipe, Murillo, Tavares; Danilo, Dominguez; Elanga, Gibbs-White, Hudson-Odoi; Origi

SM words green background

We say: Aston Villa 3-1 Nottingham Forest

While Nottingham Forest may be in a good moment and relishing the return to form of Hudson-Odoi, who has goals in each of his last three Premier League games, fresh concerns over Awoniyi's fitness are extremely untimely before a visit to a ground where Aston Villa just cannot stop scoring.

Some of the walls of the Villa Park castle may be crumbling, and defensive absentees should rule out the prospect of a rare clean sheet for the Lions, but their offensive firepower should prove too strong for Forest as Emery's men snap their home hoodoo.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
3Manchester CityMan City31217371314070
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs31186765452060
5Aston Villa32186866491760
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd31154124546-149
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham32139105256-448
8Newcastle UnitedNewcastle311451265521347
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton311110105149243
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves31126134449-542
14Crystal Palace3179153654-1830
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3278174056-1625
18Luton TownLuton3267194565-2025
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd3137213082-5216

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