AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW Mon: Nottingham Forest v Aston Villa

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper was given a vote of confidence from the board last week in the shape of a new – and rather unexpected – three-year contract, but he still needs to turn around Forest’s worrying form.

They face Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa on Monday night whilst sitting bottom of the Premier League table, but just a point would see them leapfrog Leicester City again into 19th position. A win – as long as it was emphatic enough – could see them rise out of the bottom-three so it is still all to play for.

It must have felt like it was all over already, though, last week when they were taken to the cleaners by local rivals Leicester in the East Midlands Derby with Forest losing 4-0 to Brendan Rodger’s side in a crucial game at the bottom of the Premier League.

It looked as if that might be Cooper’s final game in charge as rumours began to circulate that he was on the brink of the sack with Rafa Benitez reportedly set to take charge, but he has been backed to turn Forest’s fortunes around and that needs to start on Monday night.

Creative players such as Brennan Johnson, Jesse Lingard and record signing Morgan Gibbs-White need to start showing what they are capable of in the final-third and Cooper needs to find a way of tigheting up one of the Premier League’s leakiest defences.

Cooper might contemplate switching back to a back-three with Joe Worrall possibly returning to the Forest defence.

Nottingham Forest v Aston Villa
Premier League
20:00 Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Ultra HDR

(Maximum 10 matches)
MAR 2019 CHAMPIONSHIP Forest 1-3 Villa
NOV 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP Villa 5-5 Forest
JAN 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP Forest 0-1 Villa
SEP 2017 CHAMPIONSHIP Villa 2-1 Forest
FEB 2017 CHAMPIONSHIP Forest 2-1 Villa
SEP 2016 CHAMPIONSHIP Villa 2-2 Forest
APR 1999 PREMIER LEAGUE Villa 2-0 Forest
NOV 1998 PREMIER LEAGUE Forest 2-2 Villa
FEB 1997 PREMIER LEAGUE Forest 0-0 Villa
NOV 1996 PREMIER LEAGUE Villa 2-0 Forest

Aston Villa haven’t got off to the best of starts to their Premier League season either with Steven Gerrard also finding himself under pressure.

Villa have taken five points from their last three matches – which included a very decent point against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City – but the Villa fanbase are still unsure on Gerrard to say the least.

They sit in 14th-position in the Premier League but find themselves only four points adrift of Manchester United in 7th which shows that just a couple of good results could change so much. Gerrard will be hoping that one of those can come on Monday night.

He is likely to be boosted by the return of flying full-back Matty Cash who is expected to be passed fit to face his former club.

I am not expecting a cagey affair here with both needs needing to go for the win and both sides possessing plenty of talent in the attacking areas; although they may not have shown it regularly so far this season. I think there will be goals here and backing over 2.5 goals for that reason.

Star Sports also have a number of popular build-a-bet specials on offer for this Monday night clash and the special of over 2.5 goals, over 10.5 corners and over 3.5 cards looks the most appealing bet from the selection.



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BACK Over 2.5 goals, over 10.5 corners and over 3.5 cards 1pt at 5/1 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

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