Match Preview: Aston Villa (v) Nottingham Forest – Champions of Europe do battle.

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Now this is a proper football fixture.

With the greatest of respect to Rotherham and Huddersfield, seeing Nottingham Forest on the fixture list draws a sentimental smile.

Forest are a side who have been out of the top flight, unbelievably since 1999.  It’s the stuff of nightmares that our great football club should pay close attention to.

To say Forest have been in the wilderness is certainly an oversimplified way of, the most sobering fact is perhaps that they are the only European Cup winners to ever fall to the third tier of domestic football.

Their problems aren’t all consigned to history either.  Just this summer Forest had no safety certificate for their ground a week before the season opener.  Equally, public spats with Peterborough and Derby over unpaid cash for players and tickets respectively.

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It’s unsurprising given the level of turmoil and contrasting fortunes to historic successes, that the City Ground, capacity 30,000, boasts just 10,000 season ticket holders.  An average attendance last season of 19,000 tells a similar story to that of declining fan interest at Villa in the final years of Randy Lerner.

Still, the visitors do have an illustrious heritage and great memories to offset the current malaise.   

Winning promotion to the old First Division, thereafter followed two European Cups, a League Cup, not to mention reaching an FA Cup final and UEFA Cup semi-final.  Life isn’t always so cruel, as many Villa fan can attest.

Villa come into the game after having a vital international break to re-group.

Early season form has been mixed, with an alarming defeat away at Bristol City the catalyst for significant investment in the squad.

Forest surprised everyone, signing former Arsenal, Sunderland & Wolfsburg striker Nicklas Bendtner on a two year deal.

Whilst The Villa Underground deosn’t care to recall much about our hideous neighbours Birmingham City on these pages, the Danish international was key to firing them to promotion.  However, that was ten years ago.

It’ not yet confirmed whether he will feature at Villa Park this Sunday.

Villa go into the game with the opportunity to build some much needed momentum ahead of a further home game against Brentford on Tuesday.  Our season hasn’t really come to life just yet, but with the addition of new signings and some time on the training field at Bodymoor, this is a great opportunity.

Predictions:

2-0 to Villa.

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