Forest vs Arsenal preview, how to watch, team news and predictions

By on January 29, 2024

thomas partey arsenal

Arsenal will look to close the gap on the Premier League leaders with a win over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Tuesday night.

After a difficult period over the New Year that saw us lose to West Ham and Fulham in the league and crash out of the FA Cup to Liverpool, Arsenal enjoyed a mini winter break in Dubai. It appears to have done them the world of good as they returned to action with a bang last weekend. The Gunners got back to winning ways after thrashing Crystal Palace 5-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

Gabriel Magalhaes scored twice to put Arsenal in control before Leandro Trossard sealed the three points with a third shortly after half-time. Gabriel Martinelli then came off the bench to end his goalscoring drought with a superb late double to add some gloss to the scoreline and improve Arsenal’s goal difference.

It was a morale boosting win for the Gunners but it was also vital that we put Palace to the sword by scoring five times. The attackers have come under scrutiny in recent weeks after wasting numerous chances during the defeats to West Ham, Fulham and Liverpool, so it was good to see Trossard and Martinelli finding the back of the net. Hopefully, Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka can rediscover their goal-scoring touch tomorrow night and Arsenal should be back in business.

The win over Palace lifted Arsenal up to third as we have a better goal difference compared to Aston Villa. We’re also level on points with Man City but they have a game in hand so it’s vital we beat Forest ahead of City’s clash with Burnley at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night. Victory tomorrow would also see us move to within two points of Liverpool – who host Chelsea at Anfield on Wednesday – so we need to put some pressure on the Merseysiders, too.

Mikel Arteta should be out for revenge tomorrow as it was a 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest that put the final nail in out title dreams last season. We produced a woeful performance in that game so hopefully the boys will want to put things right on Tuesday.

However, it won’t be an easy game as Forest have the potential to cause us plenty of problems at home. While they narrowly lost away to Brentford last time out in the Premier League, they beat both Newcastle and Man Utd over the festive period, so they are certainly capable of getting results against the big guns.

Forest are also desperately fighting for their lives towards the bottom end of the table. They sit 16th – just four points ahead of 18th-placed Luton having played an extra game – so Nuno Espirito Santo will be hoping to boost their survival hopes with a positive result against Arsenal.

How to watch

Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal will be broadcast live on TNT Sport, kicking off at 7.30pm at the City Ground. Subscribers can watch the action on their TV’s or via the TNT Sport app on mobile or tablet.

Match going fans can also buy Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal tickets via official club channels or through trusted reseller sites.

Team news

Arsenal could be handed a major injury boost with Thomas Partey edging closer to full fitness. The Ghanaian international has been out with a thigh injury for over 10 weeks but has recently returned to full training. Partey is unlikely to be risked from the start but he could make an appearance off the bench and put himself in contention to start the vital clash with Liverpool at the weekend.

Declan Rice limped off during the win over Palace after picking up a hamstring knock. Arteta insists it’s nothing serious but Rice hasn’t been spotted in training recently so it remains to be seen whether he’s fully fit to start against Forest. Arteta won’t want to take any risks with the Liverpool game on the horizon.

Gabriel Magalhaes also picked up an ankle knock last week but he should be available tomorrow. However, Takehiro Tomiyasu remains out as he’s away at the Asian Cup with Japan. Mo Elneny is also on international duty while Jurrien Timber is still working his way back to full fitness from a serious ACL injury.

Reports suggest that Fabio Vieira has suffered a setback in his recovery from groin surgery so he could be facing another spell on the sidelines.

As for Forest, they’ll continue to be without Ola Aina, Cheikhou Kouyate, Willy Boly, Serge Aurier, Ibrahim Sangare and Moussa Niakhate as they’re all away at the AFCON.

The on-loan Arsenal defender Nuno Tavares isn’t eligible to play against his parent club while Taiwo Awoniyi, Anthony Elanga and Divock Origi are all major injury doubts for the game.

Likely line-up

Arteta is unlikley to tinker with his back five so David Raya will retain the gloves while Ben White, William Saliba and Gabriel should all keep their places in defence. Oleksandr Zinchenko made a successful return to action last week following a calf injury so he should also start tomorrow.

If Rice isn’t risked, then Jorginho should come in after impressing off the bench last week. Kai Havertz and Martin Odegaard should also keep their places in midfield for Arsenal.

Martinelli should have played his way back into Arteta’s starting eleven following his excellent brace against Palace. He could join Jesus and Saka in the front three with Eddie Nketiah and Trossard among the substitutes.

Likely Arsenal XI: Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Jorginho, Havertz; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli

Likely Forest XI: Turner; Montiel, Omobamidele, Murillo, Toffolo; Mangala, Yates; Gibbs-White, Danilo, Hudson-Odoi; Wood

Predicted score

It would be a big blow if Rice isn’t fully fit to start this game but Arsenal should still have enough strength in depth to cope without the influential midfielder. Jorginho was excellent against Palace when he came on so hopefully he’s ready to step-in if needed.

The players should be prepared for a tough game following last seasons costly defeat – which handed the title to City. It will be important to start well and hopefully get an early goal to ease the nerves.

Forest are weakened by the number of players unavailable and Arsenal should be too strong for them. If our attackers can convert their chances, then the Gunners will be confident of going home with all three points from the City Ground.

Arsenal rarely make life easy for themselves, so I’m still expecting a nervy game, but hopefully we do enough to edge it. Forest 1-2 Arsenal