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Jan 9, 2022 at 5.10pm UK
Nott'm ForestNottingham Forest
1-0
ArsenalArsenal
Grabban (83')
Zinckernagel (35'), Spence (78')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Martinelli (74')

Preview: Nottingham Forest vs. Arsenal - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Nottingham Forest vs. Arsenal - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's FA Cup clash between Nottingham Forest and Arsenal, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Seeking a record-extending 15th triumph in the FA Cup, Arsenal begin their path to glory with a trip to Nottingham Forest in the third round on Sunday evening.

The Gunners kicked off 2022 with a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City at the Emirates, while Forest's proposed encounter with Barnsley was called off.


Match preview

What a difference a few months can make for Nottingham Forest, as Steve Cooper's arrival has sparked a surge up the table since their dreadful start to proceedings in the Championship, and challenging for the playoffs is a real possibility.

Forest did lose their final games of 2021 without scoring, though - going down 2-0 to Middlesbrough before being beaten at home 1-0 by Huddersfield Town - but they had embarked on a nine-game unbeaten run before falling short over the festive period.

Cooper's men were due to take on Barnsley in their opening game of 2022, but after the Forest manager claimed that his side had been "riddled" with COVID-19 cases, the clash was one of a plethora of fixtures to be postponed amid the surge in Omicron cases.

The two-time FA Cup winners are not exactly renowned for any lengthy runs in this competition, failing to make it beyond the fifth round since the 1995-96 season and bowing out to Swansea City in round four of the 2020-21 edition.

Forest can take confidence in the fact that they have lost just one of their six home games in the Championship since the start of November - conceding a mere three goals in that run - but the tournament's most successful side will have something to say about that.

It was truly fitting to see the first Premier League game of 2022 overshadowed by refereeing and VAR controversies - normal service resumed some might say - but unfortunately for Arsenal, they were often on the wrong side of said decisions against Man City.

After Bukayo Saka had given the Gunners a deserved lead in the opening period, Martin Odegaard was denied a penalty after Ederson's challenge, Granit Xhaka gave Riyad Mahrez the opportunity to equalise from the spot, Gabriel Magalhaes saw red and Rodri scored a last-gasp winner in an incident-packed contest.

Mikel Arteta's Champions League hopefuls were able to leave the field with their heads held high after demonstrating clear signs of progress from their Etihad humbling earlier in the season, and the Gunners were due to take on Liverpool in the EFL Cup semi-final first leg before the Emirates encounter was postponed.

Arsenal had won five in a row across all competitions before going down to the champions, and Arteta is certainly no stranger to success in the FA Cup, but the 14-time winners saw the defence of their crown end in the fourth round last year at Southampton.

The most recent meeting between Forest and Arsenal in the FA Cup saw the Championship side secure a famous 4-2 win on home soil in 2018, but the Gunners responded with a 5-0 thumping in the 2019-20 EFL Cup at the Emirates.

Nottingham Forest form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Arsenal form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Team News

At this stage, it is currently unclear which Forest players have tested positive for COVID-19 and if they will be ready to return at the weekend, but the fixture is set to go ahead as scheduled regardless.

The hosts have one Africa Cup of Nations representative in the form of Tunisia's Mohamed Drager, while Jordi Osei-Tutu has returned to parent club Arsenal following the termination of his loan spell.

Alex Mighten, Max Lowe, Loic Mbe Soh, Joe Lolley and Richie Laryea make up a quintet of injury concerns for the hosts, who may elect to introduce new signings Keinan Davis and Steve Cook into the first XI.

As for Arsenal, Nicolas Pepe, Mohamed Elneny, Thomas Partey and exiled former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are all away on AFCON duty, but the latter has now tested positive for coronavirus again.

Sead Kolasinac has been pictured back in training as he steps up his recovery from an ankle injury, but Gabriel will serve his suspension here, and the duo of Calum Chambers and Eddie Nketiah are both doubts due to COVID-19.

Changes will certainly be in the offing for Arteta, who has a big call to make over whether to start Charlie Patino after the 18-year-old marked his debut with a goal against Sunderland last month.

Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Horvath; Spence, Cook, Worrall, Bong; Garner, Cafu; Zinckernagel, Carvalho, Johnson; Davis

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Cedric, White, Holding, Tavares; Xhaka, Lokonga; Saka, Patino, Smith Rowe; Martinelli


We say: Nottingham Forest 1-4 Arsenal

It remains to be seen what sort of XI Nottingham Forest will put out amid their COVID-19 cluster, but Arsenal's young guns should have no problem stamping their authority on the City Ground.

Cooper's men have proven a tough nut to crack on their own turf, but Arsenal just seem to go up a gear in the FA Cup, and we expect them to return to winning ways in comfortable fashion.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data



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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23183255144157
2Liverpool22146258193948
3Chelsea24138348183047
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd2211563630638
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham23114841311037
6Arsenal2111373325836
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs2011362624236
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2110471916334
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2261242323030
10Leicester CityLeicester207583437-326
11Aston Villa2182112832-426
12Southampton2251072634-825
13Crystal Palace225983134-324
14Brentford2365122638-1223
15Leeds UnitedLeeds215792440-1622
16Everton2054112435-1119
17Norwich CityNorwich2244141345-3216
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2129102143-2215
19Watford2042142340-1714
20Burnley181981627-1112
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23183255144157
2Liverpool22146258193948
3Chelsea24138348183047
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd2211563630638
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham23114841311037
6Arsenal2111373325836
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs2011362624236
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2110471916334
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2261242323030
10Leicester CityLeicester207583437-326
11Aston Villa2182112832-426
12Southampton2251072634-825
13Crystal Palace225983134-324
14Brentford2365122638-1223
15Leeds UnitedLeeds215792440-1622
16Everton2054112435-1119
17Norwich CityNorwich2244141345-3216
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2129102143-2215
19Watford2042142340-1714
20Burnley181981627-1112
Scroll for more - Tap for full version

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