My Prediction of the Arsenal team to face Nottm Forest – What’s your choice?

Predicted lineup of Arsenal ahead of FA Cup tie against Nottingham

Arsenal will travel to East Midlands to face Championship side Nottingham Forest in the third round of FA Cup this weekend.

The Gunners, who last laid their hands on the illustrious trophy in 2020, went out in the fourth-round last season.

With no European football, Mikel Arteta would be looking to add another FA Cup glory to his CV.

The tie against Steve Cooper’s men will not be a straightforward one. In the end, it’s a team which is fighting for a play-off position in the Championship.

With footballing action about to liven up as we head into the second week of January, Arteta needs to get a good balance of first team and squad players.

Here’s the lineup I would go with:

In goal, it will be Bernd Leno. The German hasn’t put a foot wrong in the EFL matches and thus his inclusion will make total sense.

Many Arsenal fans forget that the major problem of the 29-year-old isn’t his saving ability but his distribution. But we can obviously field him in FA Cup matches.

We also can’t let his market value drop to almost nothing by picking Aaron Ramsdale in every game.

Moving on, I would like to see a back four of Cedric, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Nuno Tavares. I think they have enough quality to shut out the strikers of Nottingham.

Midfield is where it gets interesting. Will Arteta take a gamble by starting both of Granit Xhaka and Albert Sambi Lokonga? Especially when Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny have left for AFCON, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles has moved to Rome?

Picking up a naïve 18-year-old in Charlie Patino can also backfire.

It will be a tricky one for the manager. He can also go with a midfield three of Xhaka, Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe. Five subs being legal also helps Arteta’s cause to a great extent.

But for the time being, I think he’ll stick with Xhaka and Lokonga.

The three players that I want to see in front of them is Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli.

Smith Rowe has not seen much football action in the past month. Thus, this is a great opportunity to sharpen his skills.

Although you’ll argue that the Englishman has continued to look superb, giving him minutes from the get-go instead of Odegaard, who has played plenty of football in December, seems rational.

With Pepe out to AFCON too (you might have forgot about this), Arteta will have a thin choice of wingers. Starting Saka and then bringing in a young gun would seem a clever decision.

On the other side of the pitch, Martinelli has continued to impress since his regular inclusion in the first team. He has been one of the better performers since captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was displaced from the team.

The front man should definitely be Eddie Nketiah. Folarin Balogun is on the verge of joining Middleborough, whereas Alexander Lacazette is better rested for next week’s tie against Liverpool.

This will be my starting lineup for the upcoming FA Cup tie. I want the team to go into the latter stages of the tournament, especially after we didn’t qualify for Europe.

Having hands around either of EFL Cup or FA Cup would be an amazing achievement. It can become exceptional if the Gunners qualify for the Champions League, on top of that.

Yash Bisht

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Tags Nottingham Forest


  1. I would start Gabriel instead of Chambers, so that he will be free to face the vermin from N17. Other than that I’d pretty much go with what you picked.

    1. HERR DRIER, you do not understand how that ban works. He is NOT eligible to play against Forest anyway and that match thus becomes his one game ban, enabling him to play at Liverpool.

  2. My prediction:

    ……………………………………. Leno
    Soares ……… Holding ……. Mari ……… Tavares
    ……………… Chambers ……….. Lokonga
    Hutchinson …. Smith-Rowe … Salah-Eddine
    ………………………………. Nketiah

    1. I agree with your lineup, and with the 5 eligible substitutions Arteta can always go to the bench; 20 or 30 minutes won’t be too much to ask of the starters.

      Soares, Mari, Chambers, Tavares need some game time, and it’s a great chance to look at some of the youngsters mixed with some experienced players.

      That back line should defend well enough, and Chambers and Sambi in midfield would be enough as well. Let’s good a good look at some young attackers for us.

      1. Yeah, I can’t wait to watch Hutchinson play with the senior players. I think he is currently the most skillful player at Arsenal, but his stature makes him more suited to the CAM role

  3. Arteta has started barely 14 players all season so many need a rest while with out European football those who have not played will not be match ready. Tomi White Saka Lacazette Odegaard and Saka need a rest but with Gabriel Partey Elneny Pepe and Auba out we have few options. I would keep Saka for the Carabao as we are in the semis but Arteta has showed little faith in the reserves except against the likes of WBA kids, Wimbledon, Leeds kids and Sunderland and 3 of those games were at home. 9th placed Championship side Forest is probably our hardest cup tie yet. So I think Arteta with 4 days rest between this game and Liverpool Arteta can go with near his strongest line up .
    Adding Jack Wilshere would set tongues wagging 🙂
    Cedric White Holding Tavares
    Xhaka Lokonga
    ESR Odegaard Martinelli
    Subs. Okonkwo Mari Chambers Kolasinac Patino Akinsola Wilshere Lacazette Balogun.

    1. Adding Jack Wilshere would set serious doubts about MA’s sanity. ,there is absolutely zero chance of it happening. He is not on our books anyway and not available to play, unless I HAVE MISSED SOMETHING. Which I have NOT!!

  4. I hope Arteta goes with a 4-3-3 line up, a variation would suit certain players and could be used in the long run. My line up:
    Soares Holding Chambers Tavares
    Xhaka Odegard Patino
    ESR Nketiah Maartinelli
    Saka needs some well deserved rest and let him be fresh for the more difficult games ahead. Would love to see Hutchinson brought on at some point in the match.

  5. OT: does anyone know if the all white kit the team will wear on Sunday for the “no more red”campaign is on sale somewhere??

    1. Our white shirt is not for sale, not for profit. No More Red.

      “The kits will not be commercially available and will be awarded only to individuals who are making a positive difference in the community.”

      1. Chill Pat,I was just asking,would it be that wrong if they were available and the money going towards this very good cause/campaign?I agree”NO MORE RED”👍

        1. LOL mate, I am chilled.

          I was only quoting exactly what Arsenal wrote on their site.

          Article coming up any minute now….

      2. Thanks Pat,now I understand why it is not for sale!that’s actually a very good thing,rewarding people who are making a difference in their communities,I suppose the fact that it is not for sale will mean more to those people.

  6. The line up should be dominated by hale enders, who knows they might impress and save the club millions in transfer market when they get promoted.

  7. Leno


    Soares ……Lokonga…….Xhaka……… Tavares

    Smith-Rowe … Martinelli


    Nottingham 0-4 Arsenal

  8. ………………………….Leno………………
    Cedric….. Holding…..Mari…..kolasinac

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