Nottm Forest v Arsenal Preview, Line-up and Score Prediction

So after the manic fixture congestion leading up to the New Year, we begin Arsenal’s traditional January defence of our FA Cup crown, and Wenger can give a few of our first-teamers a breather before the January pile-up continues with our League Cup semi-final against Chelsea on Wednesday.

Our Championship opponents Nottingham Forest have recently sacked Mark Warburton after dropping out of the promotion race and as they are now firmly ensconced in mid-table they have little else to play for except a glorious FA Cup run, and with the new-manager boost they are capable of causing a major upset today against the holders. As the Forest goalkeeper Jordan Smith said: “It is a game that you can’t not look forward to. It is a welcome distraction from the league with it not going how we would want it to, and the FA Cup is something that you really look forward to.

“Growing up, it was all about the magic of the cup and it is almost a free hit for us on Sunday. It is the draw you want; you either want someone who you can go out and beat or you draw one of the big hitters and they don’t come much bigger than Arsenal.”

Arsene Wenger, having won this competition more than any other manager in history, is also well aware that League form means nothing in the early rounds. He said: “From my personal experience in the FA Cup, and I think I have a lot, this is maybe the most difficult round,” he said.

“It’s always difficult to start well in the competition and when you play away against a Championship team – it’s always very intense and the Championship teams are ready to face you.

“For them, it’s a big challenge and you have to maintain your concentration coming out of a very loaded and congested period over Christmas. That’s never easy.”

But, on bare form, Arsenal have the right to be hot hot favourites, as they should be against a team 28 places below us in the rankings. First of all let us look at Forest’s recent home record..

Three wins and 3 losses is about right, as in the first half of the season Forest have notched 7 home wins and 6 defeats. Not a draw in sight! So don’t expect any replays from this game. But Arsenal’s away form is a bit less clearcut….

Despite the Gunners excellent home record, they have won just 3 of their 11 away League games this season, but adversely Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 10 away games in the FA Cup, and even more if you include our Wembley semis and Finals! So that is why Wenger is an FA Cup legend…

One other little statistic is that Arsenal have lost only once in our last 12 meetings with Forest, and that was back in 1996….

So what team do we think Wenger will pick today. We have numerous injuries to contend with and Wenger will want to rest as many as possible without risking defeat. “Some players who played against Chelsea will play on Sunday.” the Boss said. “We have five or six players injured and I take this game very seriously and it is a difficult game. Overall we have Sunday, Wednesday and Sunday against Bournemouth. So we have four days between Chelsea and Forest so that is [not] quite ideal and after it will be shorter between Sunday and Wednesday but after we have four days again so I can rotate in a little bit in a soft way.”

I personally think he won’t play any of the players that faced Chelsea except AMI! So here is my team prediction….

Debuchy – Mertesacker – Holding
Nelson – Elneny – Coquelin – Maitland
Walcott – Iwobi

That lot should be good enough to win this, but I am certainly not expecting an easy game.

My Prediction? 2-1 to the Arsenal….

What do you think?


  1. Waal2waal says:

    as soon as i see iwobi in the side its a sure sign the entire team will struggle to score goals – with that in mind we’ll draw 0-0 and likely need to settle things at Emirates. i rather see the youngster nketiah in the line up then we have a prospect with the spirit and endeavour worthy of the shirt. I cannot look beyond a draw in this away fixture based on the fact we struggle to find consistency.

    1. pires says:

      Iwobi will come good pal,he’s still young.You think that De Bruyne was that goog at 21.Stop your tiresome critics

      1. pires says:

        That good

      2. jon fox says:

        So , using your logic, anyone who is not any good at 21 , will become a great player when they get older? De Bruyne being a TYPICAL example of all 21 years olds who came through, eh? Remind me how old Sanogo is now!

      3. gotanidea says:

        I agree with you. Many fans here are easily incited by media, like their hatred towards Xhaka and Iwobi.

        You are correct about De Bruyne as a good example. De Bruyne and Salah were banished from Chelsea, because their manager did not trust their capabilities and did not give them good guidance.

        Iwobi’s development could stop like Walcott, if he does not get better guidance soon, and I don’t think Wenger is the right person to guide him. The next victims could be the talented Maitland-Niles, Adelaide, Macey, Dasilva and Nelson.

      4. Waal2waal says:

        ..i’m old enough to recall a 17 year old Anelka joined arsenal and when he did he hit the ground running, speed, touch and end product – afc is not the place for players who are [*almost talented], its a club renowned for higher skilled and talented players that are known to be a threat, ones with end product – @Pires, for you mediocrity dressed in an arsenal shirt may well be acceptable? But for others with ambition we prefer NOT to make excuses.

  2. Nayr says:

    iwobi is useless.

    better welbeck

    1. Break-on-through says:

      I don’t know bout that, reckon he can boil an egg.

    2. gotanidea says:

      No, Iwobi has very good close control and tall as well. But he should work harder and be braver in the field.

  3. Sandeep says:

    Hoping for good game from gunners.

  4. Sandeep says:

    Do we have a good midfielder in our youth academy.If we have than we should give chance to them.As elneny and coq looks too defensive.

  5. kev says:

    JUST IN:I’ve had it confirmed that Juventus have offered Alexis Sanchez a 4 year contract worth £280,000 a week.I’ve been told Sanchez’s preferred destination is Man City as he knows they’ll offer him £300,000 a week.
    I’ve also had it confirmed that Arsenal are really interested in Cristian Pavon of Boca Juniors and have made an enquiry and have been quoted £25m as his price.They are willing to agree a deal this month so he can move in the summer but not now.Moreover, he’ll be participating in a tournament so he can’t play for us till then.It’s likely we’ll sign him from my own point of view.
    West Brom have also rejected a bid of £15m for Johnny Evans.They want £23m.Liverpool are also now in talks for Malcom who is another player we want.It will cost them £55m if it happens.

    1. gotanidea says:

      If Juventus gets Sanchez in this January, then you didn’t tell bullshits. But Wenger has promised to get new players before selling.

      Having said that, I think Wenger would not keep his promise on going back for Lemar in this month…

      1. kev says:

        But his preferred destination is City.The media will soon catch up with this Juve Sanchez interest thing layer though.The Johnny Evans ”close to signing thing” is a lie.We’ve under bidded.

        1. GoonerP says:

          keV. This thread is for the Forest game. If you nsist on giving us some more of your bullshit rumours then put them under a thread about transfers.

        2. Alkali says:

          So Jonny Evans is worth more than 15m? Yeah right!!

  6. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    Would Le Boss prefers starting Willock for Notts Forest to rest Maitland for Chelsea in the Carabao on Wednesday night? Because of the importance for the Arsenal Team i to beat Chelsea team I on their home soil, save the Arsenal team I sub’s, I can’t see Le Boss committing any of his 1st team starting XI for this Botts For match. Besides, the Arsenal team Ii who is the club’s Europa League Cup, Carabao Cup and FA Cup team but only if Arsenal is not playing against a Premier League or top European club side opposition teams is more than capable to put any Forest team down in this FA Cup 3rd match today. So, in this regard, I don’t have any doubt whatsoever in my mind the Arsenal team II who should play this match will not put down the Botts Forest team I today in the game at their City ground. Arsenal team II will but Botts Forest team I down by 0-4 away win in the match as they put them down in the League Cup last season. Right?

  7. georgie b says:

    I might have missed current news, but I don’t see Francis Coqulain’s name anywhere.

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