It has been a dramatic week at the City Ground which started with a shock 4-2 win over Arsenal in the FA Cup and ends with a new manager at the helm in the shape of former Boro boss Aitor Karanka. The Spaniard knows what it takes to get a side out of this league but this Forest team is very different to the Middlesbrough side that he guided to promotion in 2016.
Forest have some talented young players as was showcased last weekend but they do need to improve defensively and the new boss will almost certainly adopt a more cautious mentality than his predecessor Mark Warburton. This will be a really tough opening game for the new man against a Villa side that’s impressed on their last two league outings.
Victories away at Middlesbrough and at home to Bristol City, the latter by a huge 5-0 margin, have got Villa back on track after a real slump in form. They now have a slightly kinder run of fixtures and Steve Bruce’s side will be determined to take full advantage and once again firmly establish themselves in the top six and ideally move closer to the battle for 2nd place.
Although they lost surprisingly in the FA Cup last weekend, there is finally some good news in terms of injuries with the likes of John Terry, Andre Green and Keinan Davis all returning to action in that game following lay-offs. It gives Villa a few more options here although the likes of Scott Hogan and Tommy Elphick did put in good performances last time out in the league.
One man who has been in good form too is Robert Snodgrass, on loan from West Ham. He bagged the winner at the Riverside before netting a brace against Bristol City to move onto five goals for the season. He is a proven performer at this level and backing Snodgrass to score anytime could be worth a punt given his current form.
Forest have been a bit hit and miss this term, winning 54% of their home games but losing the rest. Therefore just because they beat Arsenal last weekend, you can’t really rely on them to back that up here. They’ve won just 1 of their last 8 Championship matches and that was a somewhat fortunate win over struggling Bolton so against a Villa side that put in their most convincing showing under Steve Bruce last time out, they may well come out second best.
Therefore going for Aston Villa Draw No Bet could be the smart bet here.
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