Nottingham Forest vs Aston Villa – Pre-game Assessment

Sunday, Nov 5, 14:00 – City Ground

Referee: Jarred Gillett

While leaving the pleasing confines of Villa Park after two comfortable home wins might make some Villa fans nervous, the proximity of Nottingham should give some comfort.  At 50 miles, or an hour drive, Nottingham Forest’s City Ground could be a tempting distance for our Villa faithful.

With a capacity of about 30,000, a Villa contingent of over 5,000 is a distinct possibility and might help to extend the team’s success.  Not that the odds need much help (odds-makers show us 51% probability to win).

We Villa fans can also be encouraged by our opponents having even more injured first team players than our Villans with Chris Wood, Divock Origi, and Callum Hudson-Odoi sidelined for the game on Sunday.  These injuries have contributed to them failing to win in their last five games.  Still, they remain a difficult team to beat at home. 

Some of our fans expressed disappointment at us not running-up the score against Luton and for conceding an own goal.  Still, that may help our players to focus on this relatively easy fixture to boost our point totals ahead of the international break. 

It should also be noted that we are a different team from the one that played against Forest a year ago.  There are four new signings: Torres, Zaniolo, Kamara, and Diaby, a new manager (Unai Emery), and a new attitude.  It shows in the results.  After ten games last year, our Villans had 8 points.  Now we have 22 points.  Last year we had two shots on goal and tied with Forest 1-1.  Last Sunday, we had six shots on Luton’s goal and won 3-1.

Forest will probably employ a similar defensive posture to Luton, concentrating bodies in the middle of the field to limit channels for us to create chances.  Forest are only marginally better than Luton (they tied 2-2 with the Hatters two weeks ago) and are likely to perform similarly.

Regarding team selection, Emery may be inclined to start Bailey over Zaniolo.  However, it appears that Emery believes that the Italian has goal potential that is best realised by giving him more opportunities.  The manager is also dealing with the challenge of Duran’s immature temper tantrums.

One solution for Emery could be the acquisition of Nico Williams from Atletico Bilbao in the January transfer window.  Meanwhile, a bulky forward with skill who can score goals is a role that Zaniolo can temporarily fill with Bailey available for cameos off the bench.

Result Prediction:

I think our Villans will continue their winning streak.  Prediction:  Nottingham Forest 0, Aston Villa 2.

Predicted Villa Line-Up:

Aston Villa: Martínez, Cash, Konsa, Torres, Digne, Luiz, McGinn, Zaniolo, Kamara, Diaby, Watkins

Subs: Olsen, Traore, Duran, Dendoncker, Chambers, Bailey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *