HomeFeatured ArticlesArsenal vs Forest Preview | Predictions, Stats and Key Players

Arsenal vs Forest Preview | Predictions, Stats and Key Players

Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest: Premier League Season Opener

Arsenal start the new Premier League season at home to Nottingham Forest, as they attempt to go one better and win the Premier League. There is no shortage of ambition from the board at the Emirates Stadium, as they have made three major first team additions during the summer. Declan Rice is the biggest of the three and it will be hoped that his drive from midfield can get them closer to Manchester City. For the visitors, there has been less change than there was last summer and the main ambition will be to stay up for a third season at this level.

Arteta’s Transfer Strategy

Mikel Arteta is ambitious and that is shown by the transfer business Arsenal have done. They have signed Jurrien Timber, Rice and Kai Havertz, while David Raya is expected to join in the coming weeks. These are signings that strengthen the first eleven and add competition to the squad. It will be hoped that existing players in the squad step up their games to ensure another season of progression in North London. There was no pressure on the Gunners last season, as they weren’t expected to compete for the title. Now, they will be looked at as challengers and it is another test of their mentality.

Nottingham Forest’s Stability

Nottingham Forest became the butt of many jokes last season, due to the number of new signings that they made. This season, they will be hoping for a more stable campaign. Steve Cooper came under pressure for periods of last season, but he has an excellent relationship with the supporters. It would be silly for the board to replace him, as he is doing a good job amongst the squad churn. With fewer new arrivals, he should have time to implement a more coherent style this season. If he manages that, they should have an easier 12 months in the top flight.

Interesting stats

Arsenal haven’t lost a home fixture against Nottingham Forest since 1998-99.

Last season, no team took fewer points away from home than Nottingham Forest. They only managed to pick up eight points on their travels.

Key men


This is going to be a big season for Bukayo Saka, as he looks to establish himself as one of the best players in the division. Last season, the England international contributed 14 goals and 11 assists. It was an excellent campaign and his consistency on the right wing was a big reason why Arsenal challenged for the title. He carries a dual threat in the final third, as he can be direct or create chances for others. For the first few weeks of the season, Gabriel Jesus will be missing. That does leave a hole in the Arsenal attack, but Arteta will hope that his homegrown player on the right can carry the responsibility. Nottingham Forest are one of the weaker defences in the league. It is a great chance for Saka to start the season off well and get on the score-sheet.


There were eyebrows raised when Nottingham Forest committed a big spend on Morgan Gibbs-White. At that point, he hadn’t done much in the Premier League and it was a big risk for a promoted club to make. In hindsight, it looks like one of the best transfers made last summer, as he became the talisman in the Nottingham Forest team. A lot of the good attacking play was due to Gibbs-White’s quality in the central areas. He became the most influential player during Forest’s run to safety. A return of five goals and eight assists is excellent, considering Forest were battling against relegation. If he manages to improve on those numbers, he will be attracting much bigger clubs in 12 months time. Arsenal will be confident of starting their season with the win. If they are to do that, Gibbs-White is the player they need to keep quiet.

Team News and Updates

Oleksandr Zinchenko is unlikely to be able to feature until September. Gabriel Jesus will be missing until the middle of next month. Jorginho, Reiss Nelson and Jorginho are all doubts for this weekend. Eddie Nketiah is pushing for a start after Kai Havertz missed a couple of big chances last weekend.

Taiwo Awoniyi is a doubt for this weekend, as he recovers from an ankle injury. Felipe and Moussa Niakhate are not expected to feature, which leaves Forest short at the back. Matt Turner should make his debut against the club he left earlier this week.

Match Prediction

Arsenal ended the season with a whimper, but they will take more positives than negatives from their 2022/23 title challenge. The summer signings have injected enthusiasm and there will now be expectation that they can challenge once more. They should have more than enough quality to win this weekend. Nottingham Forest will be better this season, as they have had time to gel as a squad, but they will still struggle against the very best teams in the division.

Arsenal 3-0 Nottingham Forest

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