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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Forest value to stick the boot into Villa

Home form hurting Bruce

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce
1 of 1

Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports Football and Main Event, 5.30pm Saturday

Nottingham Forest are two points above Aston Villa in the Sky Bet Championship and there is unlikely to be much between them when they lock horns in front of the Sky cameras at Villa Park.

Villa are undoubtedly more effective with Ivorian striker Jonathan Kodjia (who has recovered from a long-term ankle injury) leading the line, but their price looks too short.

Kodjia has played just twice since a four-and-a-half-month spell on the sidelines and needs time to get back to the form he produced last season, when he netted 19 goals in 40 league matches.

Football tipsters

Mark Langdon

Dan Childs

Kevin Pullein

Villa manager Steve Bruce handed Kodjia his first start of the campaign at Barnsley last Saturday and looked on with satisfaction as his team romped to a 3-0 victory.

However, Villa have been having their problems in home games, failing to win or score in their last three.

After eight games they are 13th – exactly where they finished last season – and still have a lot to prove if they are to mount a serious promotion push.

Nottingham Forest have lost three of their last four league games but those included losses at home to Leeds (2-0) and Wolves (2-1), who occupy first and second place.

They were humbled 5-1 at Chelsea in the League Cup on Wednesday but the result was no great surprise after Forest manager Mark Warburton made eight changes to his starting line-up.

Warburton decided that the trip to Villa Park was the main priority as he goes in search of the victory which would keep Forest in touch with the playoff picture.

Forest have won at some big clubs this season – defeating Newcastle 3-2 in the League Cup (after extra-time) and Sunderland 1-0 in the league. They look overpriced to take a least a point against Villa.

Nottingham Forest or draw double chance
1pt 23-20 Coral

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Team news
Aston Villa
Tommy Elphick serves a one-match ban after his red card on Tuesday and Jack Grealish (kidney) is out. Henri Lansbury (knee), Scott Hogan (ankle) and Gabby Agbonlahor (groin) are doubts.

Nottingham Forest
Liam Bridcutt is available after being cup-tied in midweek but David Vaughan (groin), Matty Cash (ankle) and Jamie Ward (calf) are out.

Key stat
Nottingham Forest have scored in each of their last six away games.

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Villa have been having problems in home games, failing to win or score in their last three
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