Arsenal begin their EFL Cup campaign with a tricky away fixture against Championship side Nottingham Forest.
After a disappointing start to the season, things have started to get better for Arsenal as they find themselves in a decent sixth position in the Premier League. With their new signings finally starting to gel and players returning from injury, Arsene Wenger may soon have his strongest possible lineup at his disposal.
His next stop will be at the City Ground where his Arsenal side are set to take on Nottingham Forest. Sitting 13th in the Championship table, six points adrift of the automatic promotion places, things haven’t gone down particularly well for Forest either.
They have one of the league’s leakiest defences and that could prove to be damning given the quality of attackers Arsenal possess among their ranks. Forest will go into this game as underdogs and only a miracle could see them getting the job done over one of the country’s best clubs.
Possible Lineups & Team News
First choice goalkeeper Petr Cech is likely to be given a breather and David Ospina looks set to take his position between the sticks for the Gunners. Similarly, full-backs Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal look set to be rested and will be replaced by Mathieu Debuchy and Kieran Gibbs. At centre-back, new signing Rob Holding could partner Gabriel Paulista.
Going further up the field, Granit Xhaka is expected to be given the nod to start in midfield. The £34 million signing has not been Wenger’s first choice regular yet, but his exploits over the weekend may make the manager decide to start him in the middle of the park.
Alex Iwobi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may be tested on the wings and Lucas Perez is expected to lead the line if Olivier Giroud fails to recuperate from a toe injury.
For the hosts, Vladimir Stojkovic is expected to start as the goalkeeper with a centre-back pairing of Damien Pirquis and Matt Mills playing ahead of him. In midfield, Paijtim Kasami and Jorge Grant will play on either sides of former Arsenal man Henri Lansbury.
Apostolos Vellios is set to lead the line with Nicolao Dumitru and Ben Osborn playing on either flanks to give the hosts much needed width against a robust Arsenal side. Former Gunners attacker Nicklas Bendtner is expected to start on the bench for Forest.
- Forest have lost just one of their last six matches in all competitions and will be looking to cause an upset on Tuesday.
- Both teams are unbeaten in 5 of their last 6 matches in all competitions.
- Nottingham Forest have conceded at least once in all of their last 6 matches. Arsenal have conceded in 5 of their last 6 matches.
- Tuesday’s hosts have only won 1 of their last 4 matches.
- Nicklas Bendtner is one of three former Arsenal players on Forest’s books. Henri Lansbury and Armand Traore also had spells with the Gunners after coming through the academy.
Watch out for
The Swiss midfield maestro is on the back of a blistering strike against Hull City on the weekend and will be raring to make his first appearance in the league cup. Also, with Arsene Wenger not seeing him as a regular starting option, this just might be the game for the 23-year-old to prove his worth.
Nottingham Forest 0-2 Arsenal
Arsenal look the stronger side on paper. The presence of a world-class manager at the helm will certainly help the cause for the Gunners. Also, given an array of attacking riches at their disposal, the visitors look set to outplay Forest on Tuesday.
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