Arsenal Starting XI Prediction vs Nottingham Forest (FA Cup)

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The Gunners face Nottingham Forest at the City Ground this weekend in FA Cup action. The North Londoners will look to avenge a surprise defeat to the Reds at the same stage of this competition back in the 2017/18 season.

After a fantastic run of form, Manchester City undid Arsenal in their first game of 2022. A Riyad Mahrez penalty and Gabriel red card within two minutes of each other undid any good work the Gunners had done in the first half and handed the momentum to the reigning Premier League champions. Arsenal will look to bounce straight back from that defeat.

fa cup

The North Londoners were due to face a different Reds outfit midweek in the League Cup semi-final. That game against the Reds of Liverpool was postponed because of a COVID outbreak at the Liverpool training ground.

Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal FYIs:

Kick-off time: 5.10 PM GMT, 9th January 2022

Team News: go here

Premier League Podcast: go here

Form Guide (All Competitions): Nottingham Forest (WWWLL) Arsenal (WWWWL)

bernd leno

With all that in mind, let’s have a look at how Arsenal might just lineup against Forest this weekend.

German Bernd Leno will start in goals here. The German is the clear number two and cup ‘keeper at Arsenal these days. An excellent performance here could put him in the shop window considering it is January and the transfer window is open.

Ben White and Rob Holding will play as the center-back duo. Arsenal coach would have preferred to give White a rest here, I am sure. However, the suspension of Gabriel and Callum Chambers COVID positive test result put paid to that idea.

Cedric Soares will probably play at right-back to give tireless Japanese international Takehiro Tomiyasu a rest. Nuno Tavares will line up at left-back.

Granit Xhaka and Albert Sambi Lokonga will line up as the more defensive two in central midfield. Sambi-Lokonga will hope to put in a good shift with opportunities available to him with Thomas Partey at AFCON.

Just ahead of them I am going to pick 18-year-old Charlie Patino. He impressed in his goal-scoring debut in the quarter-finals of the League Cup against Sunderland and did enough to warrant a start here.

In attack, I think Gab Martinelli will get his chance as the focal point. That means there is a spot for Emile Smith Rowe on the left-wing, with Bukayo Saka playing to his right.

Arsenal should record a victory here and progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup at the expense of Nottingham Forest.

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