Nottingham Forest welcome Aston Villa to the City Ground this evening for another big game in the Championship.

The Reds are looking for their fifth home win in succession against a Villa side who will hope to ride the crest of a wave following their derby-day exploits at the weekend.

Boss Martin O’Neill will be fully aware that the Reds could finish the night inside the top-six if a win is secured.

The game won’t be easy though against one of the best squads in the division.

Ahead of tonight’s game, we look at three keys towards a Forest victory.

Positive changes

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With the games coming thick and fast the prospect of the same eleven taking to the pitch tonight looks slim.

The changes that do take place within the team need to be positive ones and make Forest better than they were against Hull.

Things started to click against Hull when Joao Carvalho was introduced and his inclusion looks probable tonight.

Karim Ansarifard was another positive at the weekend and he will be pushing hard too.

 

Stifle strong squad

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Whoever gets the nod to play for Aston Villa will pose a fierce threat to Forest’s rearguard.

Costel Pantilimon has looked in good form since O’Neill took over and he will be hoping to add to his 13 clean sheets this season.

The most likely threats to Forest’s goal will come in the shape of John McGinn, Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham. The latter netted four of Villa’s goals during the 5-5 draw between the two sides earlier in the season.

Forest’s defence will need to hold firm once again this evening.

Control the game

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Villa have shown on occasions this season that they look vulnerable at the back and Forest need to exploit that.

If the Reds sit back and hope to soak up pressure then it could be a long night for O’Neill’s men.

That hasn’t been a tactic of the Forest boss during the home games, however, and there has been a willingness to score the first goal during his short tenure.

Forest’s best chance of winning is by keeping Villa quiet and if they can do that they have the players who can put the ball in the net at the other end.