These two clubs may both be former European Champions but it has been a pretty bleak season so far for fans of Villa and Forest, who both languish in the bottom half as we head towards the business end of the campaign. With the visitors having made numerous changes to their playing personnel in the final week of January and Forest still without a manager, it’s a bit hard to know what to expect here. However, judging by recent performances and results, there aren’t likely to be many goals in it.
Villa’s away form certainly points to that. They average a dire 0.47 goals per game on their travels and have failed to score in 60% of their Championship away fixtures. One of those came on Wednesday when they named a midfield trio made up entirely of January additions but were Second best at Brentford and went home on the end of a 3-0 defeat in a game where they barely threatened the Bees’ goal.
The addition of Scott Hogan should help ease their goal-scoring problems but on the evidence of Tuesday night’s game, Villa may be trying to change too much too quickly and he won’t be provided with much service if they play like that again. The Birmingham club didn’t defend well in that game either but defensively they’ve been relatively solid this term overall, conceding only 1.07 goals per game on average, which is the best defensive record outside the top seven. Holding midfielder Mile Jedinak may also be fit for this game and his presence would be a boost so the visitors should be capable of coping with much of Forest’s attacking threat.
The East Midlands side have been much more cautious since Gary Brazil took caretaker charge. They’ve looked more assured at the back and have kept clean sheets in 3 of their last 4 games, which suggests they could shut out a Villa side that has been so poor in front of goal on their travels. There was a stage in this season where both teams scored in almost every Forest match but that has happened in none of their last six games in all competitions.
Indeed those games have produced only 8 goals in total and Forest only scored 3 of them. Given 2 of those were against bottom club Rotherham last time out, they clearly aren’t quite at their best in an attacking sense right now and the departure of Henri Lansbury, who will line up against his former club here, was clearly a blow.
All things considered, the stats suggest at least one of these sides will fail to score and therefore backing Both Teams to Score – No at 4/5 looks to offer value.
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