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Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest Stats and Bet Builder Tips Preview

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Arsenal came agonisingly close to winning a shock Premier League title last season but cramped up down the final stretch, and eventually, Man City were too strong for them. Mikel Arteta did a great job launching the Gunners from fifth up to second but ultimately it was a trophyless campaign. Arsenal will be hoping to go one better this season but must get over their disappointment and also juggle both domestic and Champions League duties this time around. 

Their opening game of the season is at home to a Nottingham Forest outfit who did well to survive in the league last season. Manager Steve Cooper deserves plenty of credit for keeping the Midlanders afloat despite an appalling start to the campaign. They are expected to be in the relegation battle again this year and Forest are the biggest-priced team to win on the nose this weekend in the Premier League.

Arsenal will be hoping for a routine victory to kickstart their season, whilst Forest will be looking to replicate the shock result that cost Arsenal the title only a few months ago and we are here to break the game down. Looking at the lineups, players and matchups to bring you Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest bet builder tips.  

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Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest Predicted Lineups

Trossard to oust Eddie upfront

The big question mark for Arsenal is in attack. Gabriel Jesus has been ruled out for at least a month and the initial expectation was that Eddie Nketiah would take his place in the XI. However, Arteta has been leaning towards Leandro Trossard featuring upfront alongside Gabriel Martinelli. Both Declan Rice and Jurrien Timber are expected to make their debuts.

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Key Man Brennan Johnson could return

Forest could have Brennan Johnson back in contention after injury, but he might have to be content with a place on the bench. Taiwo Awoniyi is set to miss out and either Johnson or Emmanuel Dennis are the likeliest to stand in for the former Union Berlin man. Newly signed keeper Matt Turner should make his debut against his former club whilst Felipe and Moussa Niakhate are both ruled out due to injury. 

Nottingham Forest Predicted Lineup

Arsenal VS Nottingham Forest TEAM STATS 

Arsenal’s Attack to be crucial once Again  

Arsenal were excellent last season but did overachieve their expected points of 72.53 with a final tally of 84. Most of that overachievement was in attack where they netted 88 goals from an xG of 76.51. This may be an indication of where Arsenal are these days though. They have a tremendous bunch of individual players who can come up with moments of magic. The Gunners averaged 59.36% possession and were a ball-hungry team under Mikel Arteta.

The expectation is that Forest will have little possession

Forest were not a good team last season and only survived due to the ineptitude of other sides. They conceded a massive 68 goals and only netted 38 at the other end themselves. Steve Cooper’s men obtained 38 points and their xG and xGA metrics correlated closely to their actual goals and conceded numbers.

The concern is that Forest weren’t unlucky and they will simply have to raise their level significantly this season to avoid any relegation trouble. With just 37.69% of the ball, no team had less possession than the Midlanders and we know they will play exclusively on the counter-attack at the Emirates Stadium. 

ARSENAL VS nOTTINGHAM fOREST PLAYERS TO WATCH 

Dual threat of Saka appeals 

Bukayo Saka is one of the main men for Arsenal and the fact that he’s also on penalty-taking duty is a massive bonus for his backers. He fired 13 goals and supplied 11 assists in the Premier League last season which means backing him in the ‘to score or assist’ market is very appealing. Saka fired in 28 shots on target in 34 appearances last season so you could also consider him for your Arsenal bet builder in this market.

Odegaard is likely to shoot regularly

The Arsenal captain fired in 89 shots from 3089 mins of action last season for the North Londoners in the Premier League. That’s at an average of roughly three shots per game and this isn’t a surprise. The Norwegian international is often given first choice of dangerous set piece positions and against sides who sit back and defend deep it opens up more shooting opportunities. He may take on three shots which looks a perfectly acceptable addition to your Arsenal bet builder.

Accurate Trossard to test Turner 

Leandro Trossard had surprisingly good accuracy with his shooting last season. Of his 49 attempts in the Premier League, 20 were on target and a 41% hit rate is fairly impressive for a winger. For this match he may well start upfront giving him even more opportunities to shoot.

Gibbs-White the key to anything Forest do offensively   

The one truly class player that Forest have in their ranks is England U21 starlet Morgan Gibbs-White. He is on a different technical level to anyone else in their team and without doubt anything good they do going forward is going to come through him. He averaged one shot every 54 mins in the Premier League last season and 50% of his efforts were on target.

For those feeling really brave then Gibbs-White to score or assist is a recommended larger priced option. He combined for 12 goals and assists last season and if Forest do score, he’s probably going to be involved in some form.

Yates yellow a strong possibility

Ryan Yates was one of the biggest offenders last season for Forest. He collected six yellow cards in the Premier League and made 43 fouls. He is often seen as one of the heartbeats of the team in the middle of the park and will unquestionably play dirty if he has to. Officials are likely to be trigger-happy with cards in the opening round so he could be a wise bet. Yates is the sort of player who could tactically waste time as well, something which is being heavily clamped down on.

Mangala value to fire from range

This is more of a suggestion for those who like to take a risky swing, but Orel Mangala is odds-against just to have one shot or more in this lunchtime kick-off. He played 1510 minutes of Premier League action last season and attempted nine shots for Forest. He can sometimes get giddy and try something spectacular from a low-risk situation. Forest might be feeding off scraps at times so if he found himself in any sort of shooting position, he might decide to pull the trigger.

Arsenal VS Nottingham Forest MATCHUPS TO WATCH 

Serge Aurier vs Gabriel Martinelli

Martinelli was heavily targeted by the opposition last season and drew 38 fouls from 33 starts. His technical trickery makes life difficult for any right back who will often try to lay an early marker down on him. Serge Aurier averaged less than one foul per game last season but is a physical player who has a tough matchup here. Martinelli will most likely suck him in.

Ryan Yates vs Martin Odegaard

If Martin Odegaard is in the mood, he can be unstoppable, so Forest are going to have to marshal him well. Several players might have to chip in, but Ryan Yates stands out as the most likely candidate. These two could lock horns and it will be a key battle. Yates averaged a foul every 41 minutes in the Premier League last season and is worth a look for two or more fouls. 

Ben White vs Morgan Gibbs-White

Ben White has converted into a right back fairly well, but his natural position is always going to be more central. There is sometimes a feeling that when he comes up against a really top-class technical player that he can be exposed. If Morgan Gibbs-White pops up on the left hand side, he could be a tricky customer. He was fouled on average once every league game last season and might tempt White into making a mistake.

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