Free tips Championship: Nottingham Forest v Aston Villa predictions (5.30pm, Saturday)
Saturday sees a clash between two Midlands giants who are struggling in the second tier of English football as Nottingham Forest host Aston Villa at the City Ground.
We take you through our predictions and betting tips for one of the more high-profile derby matches in the Championship.
Nottingham Forest v Aston Villa Match Predictions
Draw 23/10 – Betfair
Nottingham Forest v Aston Villa Best Bet
Over 3.5 Goals 10/3 – bet365
Nottingham Forest v Aston Villa Past Meetings
Nottingham Forest have failed to win any of their last eight competitive clashes with Villa, although the 2-2 draw earlier in the season (a Henri Lansbury goal three minutes from time salvaged a point for the visitors at Villa Park) was the first time the pair had clashed in 18 seasons due to Forest’s absence from the top flight.
Their last win over Villa came in October 1994, although they defeated them in a friendly match back in 2012.
Nottingham Forest v Aston Villa Stats
The Nottingham side are on a terrible run of form – they’ve won only five of their last 25 outings in all competitions, while in their last ten fixtures they’ve won only once and suffered seven defeats.
After a strong end to the 2016 calendar year, Villa are without a win in five as they have slipped back into the bottom half of the table. They have drawn more fixtures than any other side in the Championship (12) so far this campaign.
Nottingham Forest v Aston Villa Team News
Matty Fryatt and Dani Pinillos are the only two unavailable players for Forest, with Danny Fox and Pajtim Kasami both just bookings away from a suspension.
Steve Bruce is without long-term absentees Richie De Laet and Jed Steer, while Jordan Ayew and Jonathan Kodija are both absent due to African Cup of Nations duty.
Reason for Nottingham Forest v Aston Villa Betting Tips
Villa have only won twice in 15 matches across all competitions away from Villa Park this campaign and are the draw specialists in the league, with just under half their games (12 from 27) seeing a share of the spoils, while games are predictably tight.
Both sides are on a rotten run of form and neither looks to have any sort of confidence or momentum to come away with three important points.
Forest’s need is much greater than the visitors as they lie six points and six places behind them in the standings and only five points above the relegation zone, despite having played a game more.
A draw is a safe bet between two sides out of form and low on quality, with odds of 23/10 particularly generous.
Only three teams (Rotherham, Barnsley, Norwich) have had more goals going in at both ends than Gary Brazil’s men this season (85) and the same fixture earlier in the season was an enthralling 2-2.
It’s likely that this fixture will be high-scoring too – Forest have racked up 22 home goals but conceded 19 while they will be eager to push on and play at a high tempo in front of their home fans, potentially leading to more goals – 10/3 is a tempting offer.