Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 7/10
Knowing that they are now in need of a real Premier League miracle, Arsenal will travel to the City Ground on Saturday evening when they meet Nottingham Forest.
Starting with the hosts, while Nottingham Forest might still find themselves firmly at the heart of a relegation scrap this month, it appears that Steve Cooper’s side have turned a recent corner. Last seen putting in a gritty display as they secured an action-packed 2-2 draw away at a struggling Chelsea, the one-time Swansea boss has seen his side lose just one of their last four Premier League appearances. With their upturn in form highlighted by a stellar 3-1 victory against European dreamers Brighton, the Reds have also found a recent clinical edge in the final third. In fact, along with hitting Southampton for four on May 8th, it is worth noting that Forest have racked up 13 top-flight strikes in their last five outings. Opening Saturday’s showdown at the City Ground holding a three-point buffer from slipping back into the drop zone, some in Cooper’s camp could be smelling the chance to spring an upset here.
Still dealing with a long injury list, Nottingham Forest will once again be without the likes of Dean Henderson, Jonjo Shelvey, Omar Richards, Chris Wood, Gustavo Scarpa and Scott McKenna when they return to the City Ground here.
Bagging a brace away at Stamford Bridge last weekend and notching four goals in back-to-back Premier League appearances, Taiwo Awoniyi will lead Cooper’s attack on Saturday evening. Wales international Brennan Johnson should also be handed a full recall here.
As for the visitors, putting in a nightmare display on home soil last week, Arsenal appear to have accepted that their title ambitions have gone up in smoke. Eventually getting hit with a shock 3-0 drumming at the hands of Brighton, Mikel Arteta’s camp are seeking what would be a famous Premier League miracle. Knowing that Manchester City can officially defend their domestic crown this weekend, the Gunners are simply hoping to claim a crucial boost on Saturday evening. Showing a string of issues since returning from March’s international break, Arsenal have recorded just a pair of wins from any of their last seven top-flight appearances – a run that stems all the way back to April 1st. Gaining a reputation for their extended defensive struggles, Arteta’s side could face a tough challenge when they travel to the City Ground here. However, it is worth highlighting, Arteta’s downbeat squad cruised their way to a 5-0 romp when they welcomed Forest to north London on October 30th.
Suffering an ankle injury against Brighton last weekend, Arsenal have confirmed that attacking talisman Gabriel Martinelli will miss the remainder of the season. Belgium international Leoandro Trossard should be handed a full recall at the City Ground.
Still dealing with an extended back issue, Jakub Kiwior should once again partner Gabriel at the heart of Arteta’s defence. Despite bagging just a single goal in his last five Premier League appearances, Gabriel Jesus will spearhead Arsenal’s attack here.
Key Factors to Consider
- When Nottingham Forest and Arsenal met for their reverse Premier League meeting on October 30th, the Gunners claimed a 5-0 romp on home soil.
- However, Arteta’s side have managed to clinch just a pair of wins from any of their last seven straight top-flight appearances.
- Including a 2-2 draw away at Chelsea last weekend, Nottingham Forest have lost just one of their previous four Premier League appearances.
- The Gunners have recorded just a single clean sheet from any of their last 10 contests across all competitions.
- Saturday’s hosts have bagged 13 strikes in just their previous five Premier League appearances.
Suffering real heartbreak at the hands of Brighton last weekend, Arsenal will travel to the City Ground on Saturday evening in need of a real miracle. Mustering just a pair of wins from any of their last seven Premier League appearances, Arteta’s inconsistent squad have also gained a reputation for some rather glaring defensive issues. Claiming just one clean sheet since returning from March’s international break, Nottingham Forest could be smelling the chance to spring an upset here. Claiming an action-packed 2-2 draw away at Chelsea last time out, Saturday’s hosts have also shown some recent improvements in the final third. In a contest that could prove to be another action-packed affair, we are backing both teams to find the net here.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 7/10
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