Aaron Ramsdale has signed a new deal with the club. But the good news stops there. Martinelli is the latest to be added to the season-ending injury list and Arsenal are coming off a deflating defeat to Brighton last weekend. With just two matches left in what otherwise has been a remarkable and entertaining season, can Mikel Arteta rally the squad to finish the year with back-to-back wins?
From early 1999 through this past fall, these two sides had met just four times - twice in the FA and League Cups. Arsenal won both League Cup matches, with Forest knocking Arsenal out of the FA Cup in 2018 and 2022. However, when the two faced off in the Premier League this past October the Gunners had an easy 5-0 at the Emirates with goals coming from Martinelli, a brace by Reiss Nelson, Thomas Partey & Martin Odegaard. But Forest’s form is quite different home and away. On the road, they sit bottom of the table with just seven points from 18 matches, while at the City Ground, they are 12th in the league with 27 points from 18 games. Expect a tough afternoon with the hosts looking to secure their safety.
Q&A with the Opposition: 5 questions with 1865 - The Nottingham Forest Podcast
- Gabriel Jesus
- Reiss Nelson
- Fabio Vieira
- Emile Smith Rowe
- Amario Cozier-Duberry
- Rob Holding
- Reuell Walters
- Matt Turner
- Left Out: Oleksandr Zinchenko (injury), Gabriel Martinelli (injury), William Saliba (injury), Takehiro Tomiyasu (injury), & Mohamed Elneny (injury)
- Arteta can’t change the backline (not really). Midfield has one option (more on that soon). It’s highly doubtful he takes Saka or Odegaard out, and Trossard is easily above the other three options on the bench. That just leaves the #9 spot to make a difference. Jesus has started the last five matches and only has one goal (zero assists). Nketiah has been playing minimal late-substitute minutes since returning from injury. Letting him start on Saturday might be the right decision for both players.
- With Martinelli sidelined for the remainder of the season, Leandro Trossard easily takes up that role on the left side of the attack. Both he and Martinelli have had brilliant matches and games where they’ve felt missing. It’s hard to develop a great rhythm for either, but next season with the Champions League and Premier League double-match weeks, they should hopefully settle into a more consistent groove and place within the respective competition starting XIs.
- After a great match in the win over Newcastle, Jorginho (and Granit Xhaka) had an off day against Brighton. As Arteta looks for a response and limited options to rotate, Thomas Partey could return to the starting lineup instead of Jorginho. Arsenal’s midfield will be an area of focus this summer as the club looks to bring in Declan Rice, decide how to proceed with Albert Sambi Lokonga, and map out the future with the three core central midfielders all being 30+ heading into next season.
How to watch
Saturday (5/20) at 12:30 pm ET / 9:30 am PT on NBC.
Arsenal - 2
Nottingham Forest - 1