Football News

Aston Villa vs Nottingham Forest predicted XIs: Confirmed team news and probable lineups

By Squawka News

Published: 9:19, 23 February 2024

Aston Villa are still in the hunt for a Champions League place and can boost their claims with a victory over Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Unai Emery’s side were previously rock solid at home but have lost their last three outings at Villa Park, going down to Newcastle and Manchester United in the league, either side of a defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup.

They bounced back with last Saturday’s 2-1 win at Fulham and will look to carry that form into their game against a Forest side who were the latest team to take advantage of a lacklustre West Ham, beating the Londoners 2-0.

After taking time to assess his cosmopolitan squad, Nuno Espirito Santo seems to be finding a formula and his team were head and shoulders above the Hammers last time out.

The trip to injury-plagued Villa offers an opportunity to boost their survival hopes but the hosts have won nine of 12 home league outings this season and could strike again.

Unai Emery remaining patient with Moussa Diaby 

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Following his electric start to life at Aston Villa, it’s safe to say fans were incredibly excited about the club’s record signing Moussa Diaby. The Frenchman had reached four goals and three assists across all competitions by late October after joining from Bayer Leverkusen, jumpstarted by notching two goals and two assists in his first five Premier League appearances.

Things have slowed down since, however, with Diaby managing just two goals since the start of November. More recently, the speedy winger has had to be content with a place on the bench in Villa’s last four games, though he did come on to score in their 3-1 FA Cup defeat to Chelsea at the start of February.

But Emery isn’t worried about Diaby’s long-term prospects at Villa Park, maintaining that the Frenchman is still finding his feet in England and that the 24-year-old requires patience.

“The adaptation of Moussa Diaby, there is still work to do. The most important for me is how he is progressing, how he is working and how he is feeling,” said Emery.

“I am speaking a lot with him and always in a calm way, trying to be consistent and even when we are not playing like we want, keep going. His mentality is this way. I am not in a hurry with him to get it.”

Aston Villa vs Nottingham Forest team news

Aston Villa boss Emery may name an unchanged side after the win at Fulham, especially with little respite on the fitness front.

Boubacar Kamara, Emiliano Buendia, Tyrone Mings, Jhon Duran, Diego Carlos and Ezri Konsa are all expected to miss this game through injury.

Nuno could also stick with the same starting XI that beat West Ham.

Chris Wood and Gonzalo Montiel remain sidelined, but Forest’s options could be boosted by the returns of Willy Boly, Olaoluwa Aina and Ibrahim Sangare following the Africa Cup of Nations.

Aston Villa (4-4-2): Martinez; Cash, Lenglet, Torres, Moreno; Luiz, McGinn; Ramsey, Tielemans, Bailey; Watkins.

Nottingham Forest (4-2-3-1): Sels; Williams, Felipe, Murillo, Nuno Tavares; Dominguez, Danilo; Elanga, Gibbs-White, Hudson-Odoi; Awoniyi.