The obvious, time for a nap and Forest tonight

Win tonight and we go into the top half of the table within touching distance of a European place. And Nottingham Forest are bottom. If ever there was an opportunity for Steven Gerrard to feel positive about his work, it is today, if we win.

It's a big if because every game is difficult in this League. I know it's a cliché but every game is tough and that is why tonight isn't a foregone conclusion.

And we have reason to feel cautious optimism about tonight. We've not lost in three matches and a win tonight would have seen us pick up eight points from a possible 12. That said, we also have to be cautious. For Forest to survive this season, they've got to get all of their players to gel very quickly. I think they might.

I know some of you will think me mad writing that, but I quite like Steve Cooper and I think he's done a great job. When he took over at Forest they were bottom of the Championship. What they did when getting promoted is fairly radical and rarely works. But nobody thought he would have got them promoted last season and I suspect not many think he'll keep them up.

That is something that he will use and they have brought in some decent players. Tonight will be tough and that is why there are no easy games in this League.

I'll be back with team news later. Think I need a little nap now.

Match facts from the BBC


  • This is the first league meeting between Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa since the latter's 3-1 away win in 2019 in the Championship. The other game that season was a 5-5 draw at Villa Park.
  • Nottingham Forest have won just one of the 10 Premier League meetings. The referee for that victory, away in 1994, was Keith Cooper - father of current Forest manager Steve.
  • Forest won only one of their past 14 matches against Villa in all competitions, a 2-1 home victory in the Championship in February 2017.

Nottingham Forest

  • Nottingham Forest have suffered five league defeats in a row in a season for the first time since January 2004.
  • They could lose more than six of their opening nine league fixtures of a league campaign for the first time since 1913 in the second tier.
  • Forest can equal the club Premier League record of six consecutive defeats, set from August to September 1992.
  • They could also emulate the Premier League record of conceding at least three goals in five successive matches, done by Sunderland in 2005 and Leeds United last season.
  • Forest have faced the most shots (136) and most shots on target (56) in the Premier League this season prior to the latest round of matches.
  • Forest's tally of 21 goals conceded after eight league matches this season is a top-flight club record.
  • They have let in a league-high nine goals from outside the penalty area in this campaign.
  • Forest have conceded at least once from outside the box in each of their last six matches, the longest such run by any team in Premier League history.

Aston Villa

  • Aston Villa have earned five points from their past three league games, as they did in their previous nine.
  • Villa have kept clean sheets in successive Premier League fixtures after a run of 11 without one.
  • Their draw at Leeds United on Sunday ended a run of four away defeats.
  • However, Villa have lost three of their last four Premier League games against newly promoted clubs, including against Bournemouth this season.
  • Villa's last eight Premier League goals were scored by eight different players.
  • Philippe Coutinho has scored one goal and made no assists in his last 19 Premier League appearances.