Premier League: Nottingham Forest vs. Arsenal match Preview, Predictions, Team News, Line-ups
Premier League: Nottingham Forest vs. Arsenal – Arsenal and Nottingham Forest square off at the City Ground on Tuesday night, returning to the venue where their hopes of winning the Premier League title were dashed the previous year.
The Gunners defeated Crystal Palace 5-0 last weekend to get back to winning and scoring ways, while Nuno Espirito Santo’s team was forced to settle for a 0-0 draw with Bristol City in Friday’s FA Cup match.
While Taiwo Awoniyi‘s boot put an end to Arsenal’s hopes of becoming Premier League stars last season and guaranteed Nottingham Forest a spot in the big time for the second year running, a third consecutive season of top-flight play is far from a given.
Nuno Espirito Santo took over in the Forest dugout after the man who orchestrated that season-defining victory over the Gunners was replaced.
In his first six games in charge, he has overseen a string of end-to-end, goal-packed matches, with a remarkable 26 goals flying in, including five in their most recent Premier League matchup with Brentford.
However, the Tricky Trees were defeated by the same scoreline against the Ivan Toney-inspired Bees three days after defeating Blackpool 3-2 in the FA Cup.
The striker’s controversial comeback goal, a deft free kick low into the goal, was marred by rumours that he moved the ball while Santo’s wall was getting ready.
After being informed that VAR was unable to intervene, an enraged Forest—who currently hold a four-point lead over Luton Town in 18th place and are ranked 16th in the rankings—lost their golden scoring run at Ashton Gate on Friday night.
Due to that lacklustre goalless draw, an FA Cup fourth-round replay with Bristol City is planned. However, the Reds will now play their first Premier League home game of 2024, precisely one month after they defeated Manchester United 2-1 to snap a four-game losing streak at the City Ground.
After returning from Dubai with a brand-new pair of shooting boots, Arsenal put an end to their earlier attacking problems on January 20 with a five-star display against their London rivals Crystal Palace.
The game’s opening goal rush was started by prolific defender Gabriel Magalhaes.
After initially being given credit for an own goal by Dean Henderson, the Brazilian connected with two Gunners corners to give his team a commanding lead. Gabriel Martinelli (two) and Leandro Trossard also added to the rout in the second half.
In ninety minutes at the Emirates, Arsenal equaled their goal total from their miserable seven-game run between December 9 and January 7, during which only one of their matches resulted in a victory. At the moment, Mikel Arteta’s team is in third place in the table, with Aston Villa trailing only because of a worse goal differential.
Arteta’s team has had the luxury of another long break following a perplexing FA Cup loss to Liverpool.
They will now return to the road, where they have lost their last three Premier League games. This is the longest run of defeats on the road for the team since Arteta took over as manager.
When the Gunners return to Forest’s grounds, it will bring back painful memories of last season’s 1-0 City Ground defeat, which was the Reds’ third straight home victory over Arsenal in all competitions.
However, the North London giants exacted a small amount of revenge with a 2-1 Emirates victory on the first weekend of the current campaign.
Nottingham Forest Premier League form:
D L L W W L
Nottingham Forest form (all competitions):
W W D W L D
Arsenal Premier League form:
L W D L L W
Arsenal form (all competitions):
W D L L L W
The knockout phases of the competition will involve all six of Nottingham Forest’s Africa Cup of Nations participants, therefore Ola Aina, Cheikhou Kouyate, Willy Boly, Serge Aurier, Ibrahim Sangare, and Moussa Niakhate will be absent when Arsenal visits.
Nuno Tavares, a left-back who has started to rekindle his career under Santo, is also unable to play against his parent team, and Divock Origi, Anthony Elanga, and Taiwo Awoniyi were all ruled out of Friday’s FA Cup match due to injuries.
Though their availability for Tuesday’s match is still uncertain, Elanga and Origi should be the first players off the treatment table.
Morgan Gibbs-White, who was only allowed to play an Ashton Gate cameo in the second half, is expected to be called up.
Takehiro Tomiyasu and Mohamed Elneny, Arsenal’s international duo, are still fighting for honours with their nations, and Fabio Vieira (groyne) and Jurrien Timber (ACL) are unlikely to return anytime soon.
Declan Rice, the sight that no Gooner wanted to see during last weekend’s crushing of Palace, trudged off with an apparent thigh concern.
Arteta downplayed his concern, citing “tiredness,” but Rice was not included in Arsenal’s most recent batch of training images, raising doubts about his availability for Tuesday.
After being substituted out of the derby, Gabriel Magalhaes (ankle) was also absent from the London Colney fields last week.
However, Thomas Partey, who was left off of Ghana’s squad for the AFCON because of a serious thigh injury, is back to full training and might be added to the bench.
Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Turner; Montiel, Omobamidele, Murillo, Toffolo; Mangala, Yates; Gibbs-White, Danilo, Hudson-Odoi; Wood
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Rice, Havertz; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli
Our predictions for this match 2-0 or 3-1 won by Arsenal