February 25, 2024

Paul Merson has warned Nottingham Forest that they will come up against the most underrated midfielder in the Premier League when they take on Aston Villa this weekend.

Forest welcome Unai Emery’s side to the City Ground on Sunday afternoon as they look to end a winless run in the Premier League. A 3-0 defeat against Liverpool last time out means that they have gone six games without picking up maximum points.

Villa, meanwhile, come into the game full of confidence, having gone unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions, winning five of those matches. The Villans are currently in fifth place in the league as they push to challenge for a Champions League place at the end of the campaign.

Ahead of the game, pundit Paul Merson has given his prediction. He has also warned Forest about the quality they will be coming up against during the match.

“Aston Villa have been absolutely outstanding this season, no two ways about it. They are playing free-flowing football and all their players are prepared to run without the ball, which is a clear sign they have bought into Unai Emery’s philosophy,” he told SportsKeeda.

“As I said last week, Douglas Luiz is the most underrated midfielder in the Premier League currently. The lad can do it all and shows up every week; it’s not hard to see why Arsenal wanted him earlier this year.

“Emery was bang unlucky at Arsenal and fell behind the eight ball quickly, but he’s come into this Villa side and transformed them in a year. Villa have a good run of games coming up, so I expect them to be close to the top four for a while.”

Paul Merson’s prediction: Nottingham Forest 1-3 Aston Villa

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