Forest has shown fighting spirit on their return to the top flight and will be fired up to take the game to Villa in front of a packed crowd. Having already taken Liverpool's scalp on home soil this season, Steve Cooper's side will be confident of causing another upset.

But Villa is starting to purr under new boss Unai Emery, with attacking talents like Ollie Watkins and Philippe Coutinho giving them an X factor in the final third. If Villa clicks going forward, Forest could be in for a tough afternoon.

This shapes up as a keenly contested derby clash between two ambitious clubs. Forest can make a statement by taking points off their East Midlands rivals.

Nottingham Forest vs Aston Villa

The match will take place on Sunday, 5th November 2023, at The City Ground

Purring Villa Makes Light Work of Plucky Luton

Aston Villa continued their sensational home form by swatting aside Luton Town 3-1 with minimum fuss. The free-scoring Villains have now won all 12 Premier League games at Villa Park under Unai Emery, plundering 34 goals in the process. Against limited opponents, Villa turned on the style to stretch their unbeaten run. For confidence-filled Villa, this was a walk in the park.

McGinn Magic Opens Floodgates for Flying Villains

Midfield dynamo John McGinn set Villa on their way with a crisp strike from the edge of the box. After a slick set-piece routine, McGinn tweed himself up before cracking a shot into the bottom corner. It was his 4th goal of the season and underlined his growing importance to Villa in advanced areas. The Scot's eye for goal is giving Villa an extra attacking dimension this term.

Forest Flounder as Negative Tactics Backfire

Boss Steve Cooper tried to park the bus against Liverpool by using 5 defenders! But his mega dull tactics were ripped apart quicker than wrapping paper on Christmas morning.

Liverpool's tricky attackers were too hot for Forest to handle. They sliced through the crowded defense like a knife through butter to score twice early on. Boring tactics backfire badly for Forest!

Worrall's Hospital Pass Sparks Forest Horror Show

Defender Joe Worrall made a big blunder that led to Liverpool's first goal. His long pass put his teammate in a pickle and sold him down the river!

It allowed Liverpool dangerman Mohamed Salah to wriggle free in the box and set up the opener. Worrall's crazy pass opened the floodgates for Forest's nightmare. Oopsie!

Lightning Fast Reds Tear Forest Apart

Liverpool were frighteningly good on counterattacks with their Formula One pace. They zoomed from one end to the other before Forest could blink!

The speed of their breaks was like watching a cheetah chase down a gazelle. Forest's slowpoke defenders were left choking on dust as Liverpool raced clear. Vroom vroom!

Hopeless Forest Draw a Blank in Attack

With star striker Chris Wood injured, Forest had no one who looked threatening up front. It was like trying to fight with one hand tied behind your back!

They barely created anything, while Liverpool's forwards ran riot. The gulf between the teams' attacks was wider than the ocean. No sparks or magic from Forest's toothless frontmen.

Gnarly Gibbs-White Gives Glimpses of Potential

Morgan Gibbs-White showed flashes of the talent that convinced Forest to splash out £25m on the Wolves academy graduate. Gibbs-White grafted tirelessly and showed neat touches dropping deep to link play. 

He tried in vain to make things happen against overpowering opponents. But with no striker to hit, Gibbs-White was fighting a losing battle. There glimmers of promise but little end product from Forest's record signing.

Forest Midfield Overrun by Liverpool's Pass Masters

Forest's engine room trio of O'Brien, Yates and Mangala were swamped in midfield by Liverpool's pass masters. The Reds zipped passes around at speed and gave Forest's midfielders twisted blood. 

Constantly stretched by Liverpool's movement and interchanges, Forest couldn't get close to disrupting the Reds' rhythm. A sobering experience for Mangala and co as they were schooled by superior opponents in the midfield battle.

Turner Turmoil as American Endures Anfield Nightmare

USA international Dean Henderson endured an Anfield nightmare on his Forest debut since joining on loan from Manchester United. Two bad errors led to Liverpool goals as Henderson's confidence looked short. 

He flopped at the opener before later sprinting recklessly out of his area, allowing Salah to roll into an empty net. A torrid return to Premier League action for Henderson, whose howlers cost his new team dearly.

Cooper Gets Tactics All Wrong as Forest Sunk

Steve Cooper has worked wonders at Forest but got his tactics badly wrong here. A 5-4-1 system was far too negative and Forest paid the price as they went 2-0 down in 20 minutes. 

Yes options were limited without striker Chris Wood, but Forest effectively surrendered by sitting so deep. Cooper's damage limitation plan was totally ineffective as Liverpool sliced through Forest's low block. Back to the drawing board for the Forest boss.

Predicted Lineups

Nottingham Forest: Matt Turner, Ola Aina, M. Niakhate, Willy Boly, Murillo, Serge Aurier, N. Dominguez, I. Sangare, Orel Mangala, M. Gibbs-White, T. Awoniyi

Aston Villa: E. Martinez, Lucas Digne, Pau Torres, Ezri Konsa, Matty Cash, N. Zaniolo, Douglas Luiz, B. Kamara, John McGinn, O. Watkins, Moussa Diaby

Key Battles

Yates vs Luiz

The midfield tussle between Forest enforcer Ryan Yates and Villa string-puller Douglas Luiz could be pivotal.

Yates will look to disrupt the Brazilian playmaker's rhythm with his tenacious pressing and tackling. If Yates can stop Luiz from dictating play from deep, Villa may struggle to feed their forward talents.

But if Luiz is afforded time and space to spray passes around, his incisive delivery could slice Forest open. Yates vs Luiz could determine who wins the engine room battle.


This has all the ingredients for a cracking derby encounter with local bragging rights up for grabs.

Forest's energetic pressing could trouble Villa, whose defense remains vulnerable. But Emery's attack-minded side carried a serious threat, especially on the counter.

With both teams likely to go on the front foot, an open, entertaining contest could ensue. Chances at both ends seem likely in what promises to be a keenly-fought derby tussle.