Arsenal’s form has been dipping on late. What better way to get back on track than a match at the Emirates against Nottingham Forest, a club that, while they play a fun-to-watch style of energetic, attacking football, have struggled to get results thus far in the Premier League. That doesn’t include Forest’s massive win at home against Liverpool last weekend, then again, given that Jurgen Klopp’s bunch just lost at Anfield to Leeds, how impressive was Forest’s victory, really?
I jest. It was an impressive win, and an important reminder to Arsenal that Nottingham Forest can be a dangerous team. You simply cannot take matches off in the Premier League. If you don’t show up with something at or near your best, you’re going to drop points. That’s concerning for the Gunners because, as I said, they’ve not been playing at the same level the past few weeks that they were earlier in the season. Regardless of what you attribute it to — fatigue, rotation, normal variance — Mikel Arteta’s bunch hasn’t looked as good.
October has been a congested, busy month, and Arsenal have done quite well. They’re 6-1-1 in all competitions. But that “one and one” have come in the last two matches. They drew Southampton and lost in the Europa League to PSV Eindhoven. Hopefully Arsenal do what they did the last time they lost a match this season — rip off eight consecutive wins.
Real in-depth, cutting analysis coming here: Arsenal need to start scoring again. The Gunners haven’t been generating quite as many chances as earlier in the season, and they’ve been profligate with the ones they have. Gabriel Jesus, in particular, could do with seeing the ball hit the back of the net. The Brazilian striker is still getting himself into great positions, which is why I’m not particularly worried about him long-term, but his finishing has been lacking. The same goes for Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka, and even Martin Ødegaard.
Arsenal will be without Emile Smith Rowe, who continues to recover from surgery to fix a groin / hip problem. Gabriel Magalhaes and Alex Zinchenko face late fitness tests to determine their availability. I suspect Magalhaes will play despite being spotted limping off the pitch and to the team bus against PSV Eindhoven. My gut tells me it’s a bit too early for Zinchenko, but he should be back soon. Mohamed Elneny returned to training late this week, but needs to work back to fitness and likely won’t be available for selection.
Nottingham Forest will be without Harry Toffolo, Moussa Niakhaté and Omar Richards. Jack Colback is dealing with a back problem and probably only fit enough to be a substitute. Midfielder Lewis O’Brien returned to training this week and might be in contention. He missed time with an illness.
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