Nottingham Forest's survival hopes could take a big hit if they don't earn a result at home against Arsenal on Saturday. (Photo credit: Inside Sport)
Nottingham Forest vs. ArsenalThe City Ground17:30hrs
|Nottingham Forest's survival hopes could take a big hit if they don't earn a result at home against Arsenal on Saturday. (Photo credit: Inside Sport)
Nottingham Forest’s bid to survive the drop in the Premier League would face a stern test on Saturday as they host the former league leaders, wounded from the reality of losing the league title to Manchester City and clinging to a faint hope.
Forest has labored hard and earned points on hopeless grounds, and a win could just be enough for them to survive this season, but can they get one against the Gunners? Can Steve Cooper guide his side to a big win that would all but guarantee top-flight football next term?
Arsenal’s season can be called a success or a failure, depending on who is analyzing it. Leading the league for so long and failing to win the title is all shades of pain for Mikel Arteta’s side, and they know how huge the missed opportunity is.
Take it back to last August: would Arsenal have grabbed a second-place finish with both hands? Hell yes! Not many saw them in their top four conversations, and dragging the league title till the penultimate weekend of the season is huge progress for the team that missed the Champions League by a whisker last season.
The Premier League is a very hard league, and both sides in this fixture can testify to that. Arsenal paid the price for their naivety; the squad depth isn’t anything compared to City's, but Forest can’t complain about depth; rather, Steve Cooper’s side lacks the quality to compete.
Forest brought in brand-new players in every position. Over thirty new players in a year (over two windows) spells doom, as it took a while for the manager to enjoy stability, but for the run-in, the team has punched above its weight and could well survive.
Arsenal could tweak things a bit again; no Williams Saliba, Alex Zinchenko, or Gabriel Martinelli; expect Leandro Trossard to shine in this fixture; and one would also expect Gabriel Jesus to have a big say in what happens here.
Emmanuel Denis is back and available for selection, and Taiwo Awoniyi has scored four in two and could well trouble the Arsenal backline. Both sides need results here, but a loss could put huge pressure on Forest, as they could end the weekend in the bottom three if they don’t earn maximum points at home.