Happy Sunday, and happy FA Cup day! Arsenal trundle the two hours up the M1 to Nottingham this morning to take on Nottingham Forest. Not the actual forest, I guess, but the football team named after it, which is currently 14th in the Championship and on the very edges of a playoff place hunt - they’re 11 points off sixth place, so it’s a distant hope, but not out of the realm of possibility.
Arsenal go into this game managerless - well, temporarily, anyway, as Arsene Wenger sits out the first of his three game ban for abusing the officials a couple weeks ago. Steve Bould will probably be calling the shots, but I don’t expect that Arsenal will be too negatively affected by le absence of le boss.
As always when playing an English team with which I am basically unfamiliar, I looked over their roster, and there’s a few names that jumped out at me - their captain from last season Eric Lichaj being one. The US team regular and Forest’s player of the year last year moved to Nottingham after a stint at Aston Villa, and he’s both productive and well-loved in Nottingham.
There’s also Armand Traore, but the most familiar name to those with a sense of Forest’s history is Zack Clough. But! Even though he shares a surname with Forest and England legend Nigel, they are apparently not related. Other than that, I’m not familiar with any of the Forest players. But I will be after the match, at least until I forget about them again.
Arsenal vs. Nottingham Forest
FA Cup Third Round
City Ground, Nottingham
Sunday, January 7, 2018
8AM PT/11AM ET/4PM BT
US TV: Fox Sports 1
Outside the US: check livesoccer.tv for all your streaming wants and needs
check back an hour before kickoff.