Arsenal will look to take the momentum from their win over Aston Villa into the midweek, when they face Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
Unai Emery still seems to be a fair distance away from locking down his preferred starting eleven. But, the Gunners showed fighting spirit against Aston Villa over the weekend to end up on the winning side of a 3-2 scoreline. The win will do wonders to the morale in the dressing room while also putting the club at 11 points and sending them to the fourth spot on the Premier League table.
One of the positives about Arsenal’s season so far is the form that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is exhibiting as well as the chances that are being offered to the youth, with Bukayo Saka the latest to be handed his first league start for Arsenal. The focus will now shift to the Carabao Cup, with more youth involvement likely to be seen.
Nottingham Forest, on the other hand, are on a crazy good early season run in the Championship so far, having lost just one of their 8 league matches. Sabri Lamouchi seems to have gotten a grip of English football early on itself, with the team playing with a definite ideology in mind.
The iconic club will look to take a big scalp in the Carabao Cup in the Third Round against Arsenal and move further towards perhaps, another opportunity to reach the last stages of cup competitions in England and return to their old pedestal.
The two teams will battle each other at Emirates on Tuesday in an attempt to advance to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.
Team News & Tactics
Alexandre Lacazette continues his rehabilitation and will not be available before October. Ainsley Maitland-Niles joins him on the list of unavailable players, with the English youngster suspended after receiving his marching orders against Aston Villa over the weekend.
But, there is wholesome news for Unai Emery as far as the defence is concerned. Rob Holding is now available for selection. The trio of Konstantinos Mavropanos, Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney all played over an hour for the Under-23 side on Friday and are in contention to start against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.
In defence, Shkodran Mustafi should be a certain starter, having not featured for Arsenal over the weekend. Rob Holding should be his designated partner at centre-back. Calum Chambers should start ahead of the almost-fit Bellerin while we should see Tierney being handed his first start in an Arsenal shirt on Tuesday.
The former Celtic star will likely be given an hour or so to get into groove and build up fitness before being brought off by Unai Emery. Emiliano Martinez should be in goal for Arsenal.
Lucas Torreira and Mesut Ozil were ‘rested’ against Aston Villa and should start against Nottingham Forest. While Ozil will don the number 10 role, Torreira should partner up with academy ace Joe Willock in the double pivot.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should be handed some well-deserved rest, which means we could see summer signing Gabriel Martinelli start upfront for Arsenal. Martinelli should be supported by fellow youngsters Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Martinez; Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Tierney; Torreira, Willock; Nelson, Ozil, Smith Rowe; Martinelli
Carl Jenkinson will not be given a chance to take the field at Emirates once again, with the former Arsenal defender one of five players set to miss the trip to London. Tendayi Darikwa, Ryan Yates, Michael Hefele and Yohan Benalouane will all miss the Carabao Cup fixture against Arsenal.
Sabri Lamouchi will be wary of Unai Emery’s intention to rotate and would love to take advantage of it by fielding a strong starting eleven. There should be very few changes to the lineup that won 1-0 at home to Barnsley over the weekend, if at all.
Brice Samba should continue in goal for Forest, with the back four likely to see just one change. Michael Dawson is expected to make way for Tobias Figueiredo, who has started both of the club’s Carabao Cup games so far. Joe Worrall, Matthew Cash and Yuri Ribeiro will complete the back four.
Ben Watson should be rested, with former Tottenham star John Bostock coming into the midfield for the 34-year-old. Samba Sow is likely partner Bostock in midfield, with Tiago Silva donning the number 10 role for Nottingham Forest against Arsenal.
Joe Lolley is one of the in-form stars in attack for Forest and should start on the right, with Joao Carvalho likely to be on the left. Rafa Mir should, in theory, start upfront for the Championship side. But, the 22-year-old has not hit his stride so far and will have to pull up his socks if he is to compete with Lewis Grabban for the sole spot upfront.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Samba; Cash, Worrall, Figueredo, Ribeiro; Bostock, Sow; Lolley, Silva, Carvalho; Mir
1. Nottingham Forest are unbeaten in their last nine matches in all competitions this season.
2. Arsenal have conceded 10 goals in their last 5 Premier League matches.
3. Arsenal have not kept a clean sheet at home in all competitions so far this season.
4. Nottingham Forest have scored in every game this season in all competitions so far.
5. Nottingham Forest are unbeaten away from home since the start of the 2019-20 campaign.
Player to Watch
Honestly, it was a toss-up between Lucas Torreira and Mesut Ozil. Both have somehow drifted away from being the first-choice in their respective positions and have something to prove against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday. But, we chose Torreira because he is closer to convincing Unai Emery to regain his first-choice status than the German playmaker.
Matteo Guendouzi has been immense this season for Arsenal so far and arguably, their best midfielder, despite his odd errors. But, Granit Xhaka has not been as consistent, despite the statistics suggesting that the Swiss international’s presence is somehow related to Arsenal’s efficiency in results.
Torreira was the passing engine for Arsenal last season and could strike a great chord with Dani Ceballos in due course. To do that though, the Uruguayan midfielder will have to prove to Emery that he can be a greater asset than Xhaka in crucial games. Expected to be in a starting lineup where he will be one of the ‘seniors’, Tuesday could provide the platform for him to do just that.
Arsenal 2-2 Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest were the giant killers the last time the two teams met in the Carabao Cup in the 2017-18 season. With Unai Emery expected to name a somewhat second-choice starting eleven, Sabri Lamouchi could use the game as a platform to continue the momentum his team has achieved so far this season.
Expect an open game, with Arsenal’s youngsters likely to play freely and to impress their manager. But, Forest should be up to the mark, with their experienced lineup likely to not let the opportunity go to waste. We expect the scores to be level come the end of the regulation time.
What happens next will depend on the substitutions, with Forest having the slight edge for us. This looks like a game that is built for an upset.