Sunday, March 3, 2024

Prediction: Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest

Verdict: Arsenal win & Under 4.5 goals

Best Odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: Luckster

Looking to open the 2023/24 Premier League campaign with an early statement in north London, Arsenal will welcome Nottingham Forest to the Emirates on Saturday lunchtime.

Arsenal

Starting with the hosts, missing out on what was billed as a golden chance to get their hands on a first Premier League crown since 2004 last season, Arsenal will be desperate to mount another genuine title charge this time around. While the Gunners might have eventually fallen short in their bid to dethrone Manchester City, Mikel Arteta’s young squad should taken a string of positives away from their domestic romp. Cruising their way to a lucrative Champions League return and really breaking the bank this summer, Arsenal will be confident of making an early statement this weekend. Although Saturday’s hosts might have ended last season with just a trio of wins from any of their final nine Premier League appearances, Arteta’s squad certainly gained a reputation for their free-scoring performances in the final third. With their sights firmly set on going one step further this season, the Gunners are rightfully tipped as a standout contender here.

Team News

Missing last weekend’s Community Shield victory against Manchester City, Arsenal have confirmed that Brazil international Gabriel Jesus will not feature here after sustaining a recent knee injury.

All arriving at the Emirates this summer, the likes of Declan Rice, Jurrien Timber and Kai Havertz will all be hoping to keep their spot in Arteta’s starting XI here. Former Brighton defender Ben White will once again start at right-back on Saturday lunchtime.

Nottingham Forest

As for the visitors, enjoying what was a stellar end to last season as they skyrocketed themselves away from an immediate Championship return, Nottingham Forest will simply be hoping to carry on from where they left off back in May. Signing off the 2022/23 campaign by losing just one of their final six Premier League appearances, Steve Cooper’s men certainly gained a string of plaudits on their top-flight return. However, knowing that they face a huge challenge when the get things underway at the Emirates on Saturday lunchtime, the former Swansea boss will be calling on his side to make some rather drastic improvements on the road. In fact, Forest remarkably notched just a single Premier League victory away from the City Ground in any of their 19 top-flight showdowns last season. Hit with a 5-0 drumming when they travelled to north London back on October 30th, Cooper’s men will be desperate to avoid a repeat performance.

Team News

Making the move from Manchester United in a deal worth €17.5million this summer, Sweden international Anthony Elanga will make his full Nottingham Forest debut at the Emirates. Likewise, snapped up on a free transfer after leaving Torino, Ola Aina could start at right-back on Saturday lunchtime.

Arriving from Arsenal this week, USA international shot-stopper Matt Turner looks set to immediately start between the sticks against his former club here.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides last met back on May 20th, Nottingham Forest picked up a shock 1-0 victory at the City Ground.
    • However, when making the trip to north London for their reverse meeting back on October 30th, Cooper’s side were hit with a 5-0 drumming.
    • Nottingham Forest remarkably recorded just a single Premier League away victory from their 19 attempts last season.
    • Notching 88 Premier League strikes last season, only Manchester City could boast a greater attacking return than Arsenal last season.
    • The Gunners lost just a pair of their 19 Premier League appearances at the Emirates last season.

    Conclusion

    Desperate to dethrone Manchester City at the second attempt this season, Arsenal will know the importance of laying down an early domestic marker on Saturday lunchtime. Really gaining a reputation for their success at the Emirates last year, the Gunners should be relishing Forest’s arrival in the capital this weekend. With Cooper’s side remarkably mustering just a single Premier League win away from the City Ground last season, they will also be concerned by their most recent trip to north London. Blown away thanks to a 5-0 drumming back on October 30th, we are expecting a similar home victory for the title hopefuls here.

    Verdict: Arsenal win & Under 4.5 goals

    Best Odds: 8/11

    Bookmaker: Luckster

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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