New signings to shine but Gunners must be wary of Forest
Match Preview: Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal – EFL Cup – 20.09.16
After a deflating start to the season, Arsenal have now gone five matches without defeat and Wenger’s side will be hoping to extend that when they play Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup tomorrow evening.
The Gunners face Chelsea at the weekend and they’ll want to be on a confidence high. A hard-fought draw in Paris was swiftly followed by a comprehensive win in Hull and whilst Wenger is likely to play a youthful side mixed with some fringe players the result will still affect the mood around the training ground.
Arsenal were dropped out of the Capital One Cup last season by Sheffield Wednesday and with Forest scoring freely at the moment it will require an extra degree of concentration. There is sometimes a hubris that surrounds Arsenal in such games and no-matter how many banana skins we slip on it never seems to bruise our pride enough to be wary the next. I sincerely hope that exiting the competition to lower league opposition last season – again – was the final straw and we buck up for this one.
It’s another away game and Arsenal have shown good form on the road picking up two vital draws against tough opposition and sweeping Watford and Hull aside with seven goals. If Arsenal can maintain their defensive concentration and treat Forest with the respect they deserve then eventually their quality will shine through and it could be a cake walk.
I fancy Xhaka and Lucas to make an impact and expect Holding to feature again but in the place of Mustafi so we won’t see all four summer signings on the pitch together this week.
Ospina; Debuchy, Holding, Koscielny, Gibbs; Xhaka, Elneny; Oxlade-Chamberlain; Lucas, Akpom, Reine-Adelaide
I expect to see substitute appearances from Walcott, Sanogo and Cazorla.
“The positivity comes from us and from our attitude. We have to think that we get the supporters behind us when the performances are convincing and not the other way around.” – Arsène Wenger
Last 3 Meetings
- Forest 0-1 Arsenal (16.01.1999)
- Arsenal 2-1 Forest (17.08.1998)
- Arsenal 2-0 Forest (08.03.1997)
Forest have scored 12 goals in four home fixtures in the Championship so far and Philippe Montanier’s are more than capable of troubling what is certain to be a changed Arsenal back-line.
However, as electric as they have been in front of goal the home side have shown a soft underbelly with only Rotherham United having conceded more goals than in the Championship than the lads from the City Ground.
- Arsenal has not lost a cup game to Nottingham Forest in 5 previous meetings.
- Forest has scored two or more goals in five of their previous six fixtures.
- This is the first meeting between these sides this century. They last played in January 1999; a 1-0 win for Arsene Wenger’s side.
- The Gunners have won four penalties in 2016-17, double what they won in the whole of last season.
- There have been four or more goals scored inside 90 minutes in all but one of Forest’s last six home ties in the league cup.
3-0 to Arsenal. Akpom, Lucas and Xhaka to score.
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