Nottingham Forest take on Aston Villa this weekend as the Championship’s only two previous champions of Europe go head-to-head.

Forest go into this tie in 14th place in the Sky Bet Championship as they are comfortably sat in mid table.

Villa however are sat in 5th place and occupy a play-off spot. They are three points clear of Middlesbrough in 8th but are a massive 17 points behind runaway leaders Wolves.

Forest caught the eye of the nation in their last fixture as they were able to knock out current FA Cup holders Arsenal in the third round on Sunday.

A brace from USA international Eric Lichaj, including a spectacular second set Forest on their way to a memorable upset.

World Cup winner Per Mertersacker got one back for the Gunners before Forest would pull away from their Premier League opponents.

Rob Holding’s clumsy tackle on Matty Cash saw Forest earn a penalty that England youth international Ben Brereton dispatched of, sending David Ospina the wrong way.

Danny Welbeck once again reduced the deficit when he tucked home but Forest would again pull away.

Forest became the only the second team in 22 years to knock Arsenal out in the third round when Everton loanee Kieran Dowell dispatched another penalty.

However, in the Championship Forest are enduring a much trickier time. The Reds have lost back to back home games with a 3-0 battering by Sheffield Wednesday which was followed by a 1-0 defeat at the hands of bottom club Sunderland.

Forest started 2018 in much better fashion when they were able to claim a point away at Leeds United in a scrappy 0-0 draw.

Villa are hitting some serious form as they have won their last two games in the Sky Bet Championship.

A very respectable 1-0 victory away at Middlesbrough was followed by a 5-0 thumping of fellow play-off chasers Bristol City.

Robert Snodgrass added a brace to his season’s tally, there were also goals for Scott Hogan, Conor Hourihane and Birki Bjarnason.

Although they are in good form in the Championship, Villa were on the wrong end of a cup upset last weekend when they were beaten 3-1 by Sky Bet League One side Peterborough United.

The Football League’s top scorer Jack Mariott scored either side of a Ryan Tafazolli header to condemn Villa to another disappointing cup run.

Villa will be looking to complete the double over their opponents as they were able to defeat the Reds 2-1 at Villa Park back in September.

Albert Adomah started the scoring in the first half before Daryl Murphy leveled it up with a fine finish after a defensive error from Glenn Whelan.

Conor Hourihane ended the scoring with a stunning free kick on the hour mark to ensure the points for Steve Bruce’s side.

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