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Steven Gerrard will be watching Preston v Nottingham Forest very, very closely tonight

Preston North End take on Nottingham Forest in the Championship tonight and Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard will be one very interested viewer.

North End were beaten 3-2 by Reading on Saturday afternoon, with the Royals claiming their first win since November.

Preston just can’t seem to win at home at the moment and are now approaching three months without a home victory.

Tonight’s game against Nottingham Forest doesn’t exactly smack of a great chance to end that run, with Steve Cooper’s men chasing promotion to the Premier League.

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This game should attract plenty of interest from Championship fans but also one Premier League manager.

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard should be watching this game with real interest given that two of his loan players are set to feature.

Leading the Preston attack will be Cameron Archer, who just continues to show exceptional quality in the North End side.

Saturday’s close-range finish against Reading means Archer has now scored four goals in just seven games for Preston, thriving since his January loan move.

It looked like Villa wouldn’t let Preston sign Archer at one point having already sent a striker out on loan earlier in January.

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Villa allowed Keinan Davis to join Nottingham Forest until the end of the season. The physical hitman had long been linked with Preston but is now impressing for Forest.

With two goals in six games for Forest, Davis has made a positive impact at the City Ground and will be a major threat to the North End backline tonight.

Villa have two misfiring strikers right now in Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings, with Archer and Davis no doubt looking to impress in the Championship.

Gerrard will have the chance to watch both players in action tonight, and there is a real chance that the outcome is settled by one of these Villa strikers.

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