Preview: Arsenal v Nottingham Forest

Arsenal v Nottingham Forest
We start our 2023/24 Premier League campaign at home for the first time in five years when Nottingham Forest head to north London for a lunchtime kick-off. 

 Having clinched the Community Shield last Sunday at Wembley, Mikel Arteta will be hoping that we can pick up where we left off at Wembley and embark on a similar start to last season, which provided the springboard to our title challenge. 
We welcome a Forest side who picked up the fewest away points in the division last term, and Steve Cooper will be well aware they must improve their away day displays if they’re to avoid being sucked into another basement battle.
A quieter summer on Trentside

Just 84 days will have passed since Cooper’s team beat us 1-0 to clinch their Premier League status, as he attempts to become the first Forest boss to record consecutive victories at our expense since Brian Clough in 1978.
After signing 29 first-team players last season, Forest’s summer transfer dealings have been relatively tame in comparison. Manchester United’s Anthony Elanga was joined at the club by Matt Turner earlier this week, who is expected to line up against his former side on Saturday having lifted the Community Shield with us just six days earlier.
On the pitch, results have been disappointing. They won just two of their seven friendlies, which came against Notts County and Levante. As well as defeats to Valencia and PSV Eindhoven, alarmingly they were beaten 2-0 by relegated Leeds United and 5-0 by Rennes, and netted just three times all summer.
Arteta: “I’m super excited, I think it’s a new challenge and a new opportunity. We’re very fresh to start again and we’re excited to play our first game at home as it’s been a while.
“[Forest beat us last season] in a really clever way and they deserved on the day to get the points. Tomorrow we’re going to have to play better to deserve more.”

Cooper: “We are pleased with the players who have come in. Would we have liked to do more business by now? Absolutely. Me, for sure.
“But at the same time, as I always do, I will commit to the guys who are here and make sure they get everything we can give them, to help them prepare for a game. If we can strengthen and add to the squad in the next few weeks then that is going to be really beneficial to help us progress.”
Mikel Arteta has given the majority of his squad a clean bill of health, with the exception of Mohamed Elneny who continues to rehab the knee injury he suffered back in January, and Gabriel Jesus who underwent a procedure on his knee and is expected to be out for a couple more weeks.
That means that Jorginho could return after missing the Wembley win last week with a knock, as well as Oleksandr Zincheko who didn’t play during pre-season as he managed a calf problem.

Taiwo Awoniyi, who was in red-hot form at the end of last season and netted the winner against us in May, is set to miss out having not recovered from an ankle issue in time. This game also comes too soon for centre-back Moussa Niakhate whose dislocated shoulder hasn’t fully healed.
The pair are back in training, as is Brennan Johnson who is expected to play after picking up an ankle injury on Wales duty earlier in the summer. Defender Felipe is out though with a
knee problem.
Talking tactics
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ARSENAL V NOTTINGHAM FOREST
PRE-MATCH REPORT
Preview: Arsenal v Nottingham Forest
Jonathon Rogers
12 Aug 2023
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Arsenal v Nottingham Forest
We start our 2023/24 Premier League campaign at home for the first time in five years when Nottingham Forest head to north London for a lunchtime kick-off.
Having clinched the Community Shield last Sunday at Wembley, Mikel Arteta will be hoping that we can pick up where we left off at Wembley and embark on a similar start to last season, which provided the springboard to our title challenge. 
We welcome a Forest side who picked up the fewest away points in the division last term, and Steve Cooper will be well aware they must improve their away day displays if they’re to avoid being sucked into another basement battle.
A quieter summer on Trentside
Ola Aina playing for Nottingham Forest during pre-season
Just 84 days will have passed since Cooper’s team beat us 1-0 to clinch their Premier League status, as he attempts to become the first Forest boss to record consecutive victories at our expense since Brian Clough in 1978.
After signing 29 first-team players last season, Forest’s summer transfer dealings have been relatively tame in comparison. Manchester United’s Anthony Elanga was joined at the club by Matt Turner earlier this week, who is expected to line up against his former side on Saturday having lifted the Community Shield with us just six days earlier.
Former Chelsea defender Ola Aina [above] is the other major new face, while Chris Wood’s loan move from Newcastle United has been made permanent. Jesse Lingard, Jack Colback, Andre Ayew, Sam Surridge, Cafu and Steve Cook are the biggest-name departures.
On the pitch, results have been disappointing. They won just two of their seven friendlies, which came against Notts County and Levante. As well as defeats to Valencia and PSV Eindhoven, alarmingly they were beaten 2-0 by relegated Leeds United and 5-0 by Rennes, and netted just three times all summer.
What the managers say
Mikel Arteta’s pre-Nottingham Forest press conference
10:47
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Arteta: “I’m super excited, I think it’s a new challenge and a new opportunity. We’re very fresh to start again and we’re excited to play our first game at home as it’s been a while.
“[Forest beat us last season] in a really clever way and they deserved on the day to get the points. Tomorrow we’re going to have to play better to deserve more.”
Steve Cooper
Cooper: “We are pleased with the players who have come in. Would we have liked to do more business by now? Absolutely. Me, for sure.
“But at the same time, as I always do, I will commit to the guys who are here and make sure they get everything we can give them, to help them prepare for a game. If we can strengthen and add to the squad in the next few weeks then that is going to be really beneficial to help us progress.”
Team news
Gabriel Jesus celebrates scoring against Wolves
Mikel Arteta has given the majority of his squad a clean bill of health, with the exception of Mohamed Elneny who continues to rehab the knee injury he suffered back in January, and Gabriel Jesus who underwent a procedure on his knee and is expected to be out for a couple more weeks.
That means that Jorginho could return after missing the Wembley win last week with a knock, as well as Oleksandr Zincheko who didn’t play during pre-season as he managed a calf problem.
Taiwo Awoniyi, who was in red-hot form at the end of last season and netted the winner against us in May, is set to miss out having not recovered from an ankle issue in time. This game also comes too soon for centre-back Moussa Niakhate whose dislocated shoulder hasn’t fully healed.
The pair are back in training, as is Brennan Johnson who is expected to play after picking up an ankle injury on Wales duty earlier in the summer. Defender Felipe is out though with a knee problem.
Talking tactics
Morgan Gibbs-White playing for Nottingham Forest
Adrian Clarke, writing in the official matchday programme: Cooper likes to keep opposition managers guessing when it comes to formations, but towards the end of last season a robust 3-4-2-1 built to counter-attack proved to be Forest’s most reliable tactical ploy. 
They are usually content to sacrifice possession, drop into their own half in a well-organised shape and try to force turnovers that spring breakaways. No top-flight side averaged less possession than the East Midlanders last term (37.9 per cent) or made fewer successful passes inside the opposition half (46.3 per 90 minutes).
As soon as possession changes hands they go from back to front quickly, releasing dangermen Johnson or Morgan Gibbs-White as early as possible.
However, Forest shipped a league-high average of 2.3 goals a game on their travels, causing them to win just one league away game last season. That, plus 16 set-piece concessions across the campaign, hurt them badly.

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