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Match Previews

Match preview: Aston Villa (H)

3 February 2017

Nottingham Forest welcome Aston Villa to The City Ground in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday 4 February (kick-off 5.30pm).

With two home wins and two clean sheets from the last two matches at The City Ground, Nottingham Forest go into the match against Aston Villa in good form. Interim manager Gary Brazil has overseen three good performances since taking over the reins and he will be hoping for an equally committed performance from The Reds on Saturday.

Aston Villa have had a difficult time of late which was added to by Tuesday night's 3-0 defeat at the hands of Brentford. It added to a run which hasn't seen them win since Boxing Day and Steve Bruce will be targeting a return to form if they are going to mount a play-off challenge.

Matt Mills is unlikely to be involved again as he continues his recovery from injury and Gary Brazil will have new signings Joao Teixeira, Gboly Ariyibi and Zach Clough available for the first time after they signed in the January transfer window. Aaron Tshibola and Ross McCormack are unavailable to play against their parent clubs as part of their loan deals.

Aston Villa were also busy in the transfer market, bringing in several new names to boost their squad. Striker Scott Hogan was a last-minute addition from Brentford as was Swansea full back Neil Taylor. James Bree had to make do with a place on the bench in Tuesday's defeat at Brentford so is still awaiting his debut, but midfield trio Henri Lansbury, who signed from Forest, Conor Hourihane and Birkir Bjarnason all featured at Griffin Park and could line-up against The Reds.

Australian international Mile Jedinak continues to be sidelined with injury, as does Gabby Agbonlahor who suffered a hamstring injury before Tuesday's match.

Nottingham Forest

Barnsley (H) - Lost 1-0
Wigan (A - FA Cup) - Lost 2-0
Birmingham (A) - Drew 0-0
Bristol City (H) - Won 1-0
Leeds (A) - Lost 2-0
Rotherham (H) - Won 2-0

Aston Villa

Leeds (H) - Drew 1-1
Cardiff (A) - Lost 1-0
Tottenham (A - FA Cup) - Lost 2-0
Wolves (A) - Lost 1-0
Preston (H) - Drew 2-2
Brentford (A) - Lost 3-0

Jonathan Kodjia

Jonathan Kodjia earned a big-money move to Aston Villa in the summer after impressing at Bristol City last season. The powerful centre forward scored 19 goals in an impressive debut season in English football and has continued to thrive in spearheading Villa's front line, topping their scoring charts with nine goals this season.

He has represented his country, the Ivory Coast, five times including at the African Cup of Nations last month. 

Manager Steve Bruce said: "We can be seen as a bit of a scalp and people want to turn us over and are delighted to play against us; Nottingham Forest are no different. They have had a tough time but it just shows you what the division is. They have had a tough time, won back-to-back home games and everybody feels a bit rosy. 

"We did it a few months ago and need to go back to the basics of what we did then and I am convinced we will. We need to improve away from home. Our home form stacks up but away from home we need to improve as we have been woeful. We have to address that and try and get ourselves on a run like what Forest are doing at the moment."

Tickets are on general sale and are priced (matchday rate in brackets) as follows:

General sale
Adults: £28 (£30)
Seniors: £20 (£22)
Under 18s: £14 (£14)
Under 12s: £7 (£7)
Family Area
Adults: £23 (£25)
Seniors: £18 (£20)
Under 18s: £12 (£12)
Under 12s: £6 (£6)

Tickets can be purchased in-person at the ticket office, online at or by calling 0115 982 4388.

Live audio commentary of the game will be available on Forest Player HD from 5pm while there will also be live text commentary available on the Forest Wall and on the club's Twitter page from 5.15pm. Forest Player HD will also have extended match highlights from 12pm on Sunday, as well as all the reaction from the Forest camp after the game.

To win:

Nottingham Forest - 2/1
Aston Villa - 6/4
Draw - 21/10

To score first:

Britt Assombalonga - 9/2
Zach Clough - 7/1
Jonathan Kodjia - 9/2
Scott Hogan - 9/2

Fixtures to be played at 3pm on Saturday unless otherwise stated.

Wigan v Sheffield Wednesday (kick-off 7.45pm, Friday)
Barnsley v Preston
Birmingham v Fulham
Blackburn v QPR
Bristol City v Rotherham
Burton v Wolves
Cardiff v Norwich
Ipswich v Reading
Newcastle v Derby
Huddersfield v Leeds (kick-off 12pm, Sunday)
Brentford v Brighton (Sunday)

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