In the PSV predicted XI article I initially recalled Arsenal’s draw against Southampton as a loss. Perhaps the feeling at the final whistle outweighing the actual fact that Arsenal still picked up a point. But Thursday against PSV was most certainly a loss on the pitch and in feeling. In the last two matches Arsenal has suffered a lack of goals, defensive mistakes, and less energy. It’s a hard push toward that the World Cup break, but a solution is needed to avoid letting the great start to the season slip away.
With over 20 years out of the Premier League, the arrival of Nottingham Forest has been a welcome sight. While it hasn’t been the return they were hoping for, 20th in a three-way tie on nine points, they are coming off a standout result. Last weekend they took a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in front of their home crowd. So despite being bottom of the table, they come in with added confidence.
Playing Nottingham Forest in the Premier League was a regular occurrence for Arsenal in the 90s. But the two sides have actually met in Cup competitions four times during Forest’s time away from the top flight. It will be fresh in everyone’s mind, especially Mikel Arteta’s, that Arsenal was knocked out of the FA Cup 1-0 by Nottingham Forest last season.
- Eddie Nketiah
- Fabio Vieira
- Reiss Nelson
- Albert Sambi Lokonga
- Rob Holding
- Kieran Tierney
- Matt Turner
- Left Out: Oleksandr Zinchenko (injury) Emile Smith Rowe (injury), & Mohamed Elneny (injury)
- The match preview mentioned that Zinchenko’s status for Sunday remains unknown. The team, and the attack, surely miss him, but until we see him back on the pitch or confirmation from Arteta it is hard to select him. It would be great for Zinchenko to get back on the pitch, even for 20-30 minutes, either Sunday or in the Europa League match against Zurich on Thursday to get him in contention for the Chelsea clash.
- Arsenal was without Marquinhos and Matt Turner for the trip to PSV. Turner was left out of the injury concerns list in the match preview so it's safe to expect he will be back on the bench this weekend. And as Marquinhos was due to sickness, not injury, and so opting out of traveling with the squad was the safe option. I expect him to be back for Sunday, but if not, there are several in-form U21 attackers that can be called in late.
- For the first time this season Arsenal have suffered back-to-back disappointing matches. And that is with a significant number of first-choice players starting both matches. While the past week stands out and raises some doubts, they are still Arteta’s best (available) XI. This is the squad (minus Zinchenko) that got Arsenal to the top of the Premier League and top of their Europa League group. They just need a reset.
How to watch
Sunday (10/30) at 10:00 am ET / 7:00 am PT on the USA Network.
Arsenal - 3
Nottingham Forest - 0
Seriously? Three goals, zero given, after the last two matches? Back at the Emirates, I’m expecting strong crowd support from the start. Mikel Arteta will be looking for a quick start and an overall response from his squad. A big match from Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka to get Arsenal back on the right track.