With a tempestuous Second City derby behind them, Aston Villa head to play-off-chasing rivals Nottingham Forest on Wednesday with both sides knowing they could deal the other's hopes a potentially fatal blow.
Dean Smith's side overcame the high emotions of an incident where a Birmingham City fan pushed over winger Jack Grealish to prevail 1-0 at St Andrew's, courtesy of the 23-year-old's strike just past the hour mark.
They travel to the City Ground to tangle with another opponent riding high from the weekend, with Martin O'Neill having guided his side to a 3-0 hammering of Hull City.
With only four and two points respectively separating them from the top six, both Villa and Forest know a win is essential to their promotion dreams - and that defeat could spell the end of the line for this season.
|Game||Nottingham Forest vs Aston Villa|
|Date||Wednesday, March 13|
|Time||7:45pm GMT / 3:45pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game will not be broadcast, but can be streamed via the iFollow service.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
In the UK, the game will be shown on Sky Sports Action and can be streamed through the Sky Go app.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports Action||Sky Go|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Nottingham Forest squad|
|Goalkeepers||Pantilimon, Henderson, Steele|
|Defenders||Darikwa, Milosevic, Benalouane, Osborn, Pele, Figueiredo, Wague, Hefele, Fuentes, Byram, Janko|
|Midfielders||Yates, Colback, Lolley, Yacob, Bridcutt, Watson, Guedioura, Joao Carvalho|
|Forwards||Bonatini, Murphy, Goncalves, Ward, Appiah, Grabban, Ansarifard|
Martin O'Neill is still missing Jack Robinson through suspension and El Arbi Hillel Soudani due to a leg injury but otherwise should have a full contingent of players to call upon.
He will likely keep faith with the similar line-up who saw off Hull at the weekend.
Potential Nottingham Forest starting XI: Pantilimon; Darikwa, Milosevic, Benalouane, Osborn; Pele; Yates, Colback, Lolley; Bonatini, Murphy.
|Position||Aston Villa squad|
|Goalkeepers||Steer, Kalinic, Bunn|
|Defenders||Taylor, Chester, Hutton, Elphick, Hause, Revan, Mings|
|Midfielders||Whelan, McGinn, Lansbury, Grealish, Carroll, Hourihane, Jedinak, Davis, Bjarnason, El Mohamady, Adomah, Ramsey, Lyden|
|Forwards||Abraham, Green, Kodjia, El Ghazi|
Dean Smith is still without Axel Tuanzebe and Orjan Nyland through injury but otherwise has a fit squad too.
Jack Grealish, following his eventful game last time out, will likely remain as captain.
Potential Aston Villa starting XI: Steer; Taylor, Mings, Hause, El Mohamady; Hourihane, Whelan, Grealish; Adomah, El Ghazi, Abraham.
Betting & Match Odds
Forest are the slight favourites to take the win with odds of 8/5 at bet365 . Villa are marginally longer at 9/5 while a draw is available at 5/2.
With local bragging rights secured in a fiery Birmingham derby that saw Jack Grealish attacked by a fan and then net the winning goal, Aston Villa will be hoping that a trip to prospective play-off rivals Nottingham Forest presents a more sedate challenge.
Dean Smith will know that there is no such thing as an easy game, however, with both teams needing a win to keep their dreams of promotion to the Premier League alive.
Both sides will be looking to bolster their chances of securing a play-off spot, with Forest currently in eighth and Villa in 10th.
Villa will once again turn to Grealish for inspiration after he proved the match-winner against Birmingham.
The 23-year-old has matured during the 2018-19 campaign and has been handed the captaincy as a result, amid strong speculation that he would leave for Tottenham in the summer transfer window.
Forest, meanwhile, will be looking to pick up where they left off last time out following a 3-0 win over Hull City.
They will have memories of the bonkers 10-goal extravaganza they played out in the reverse fixture earlier this season, in a game that finished in a 5-5 draw.
It was one of the final results of Aitor Karanka’s reign, with O’Neill now looking to push for the play-off spots where a win could see them leapfrog rivals Derby County.