- Nottingham Forest v Arsenal: let’s welcome the away referee
- Nottingham Forest v Arsenal: where Forest’s approach to tackling goes wrong
by Bulldog Drummond
Gabriel Martinelli and Oleksandr Zinchenko are both on the injury list for the last two games of the season, as it has become ever clearer to less adept teams that the way to beat Arsenal is to kick out. With referees reluctant to take much action, the approach has been effective and adds those two players to the list of long term injuries: William Saliba, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Mohamed Elneny.
In recent times (2018 and 2022) Forest have beaten Arsenal in the FA Cup third round, but in return Arsenal have hammered Forest in two recent meetings in the League Cup (0-4 in 2016, 5-0 in 2019), and of course 5-0 earlier this season at home in the league. In fact, Arsenal have won the last four league games between the two teams. The last team Arsenal played at The City Ground in the league was in the last year of the last century. Martin Keown scored the winning goal.
But one of the key factors about Forest is that they always let at least one goal in at home – it has been 15 games since they managed to play a league match without conceding at least one.
Also on the positive side for Arsenal we are within touching distance of the club’s record number of wins in a season…
What this shows is that although Arsenal will not equal the points totals of either 2002 or the Unbeaten season, the club has already scored more goals this season than in either of those campaigns, and is within a couple of goals of the goal difference achieved in winning the league in 2002. What’s more the club is already ahead in terms of goal scoring and goal difference, and points of the team that won the league in 1998.
So there is no doubt that the policy of having four players in double figures for goals has worked… for although one scorer might see a club through the season, an injury to him can throw everything off track. To confirm the record so far it reads as below, and I am including Eddie with his nine goals, for if he can nick one more in these last two games that will create a glorious all-time record of five players in double figures.
Seeing this variety of numbers it is not surprising that if we add the cup competitions to the league scoring record the club is on 98 for the season.
And there is one more record on the table – and thanks to the BBC for this one, “An 11th Premier League clean sheet away from home for Aaron Ramsdale would equal the record by a goalkeeper in a season, held by Petr Cech (2004-05) and Ederson (2018-19).”
As for the team, 90 min offer
White, Kiwior, Magalhaes, Tierney;
Odegaard, Partey, Xhaka;
Saka, Jesus, Trossard.
Sports Mole go with the same team but refer to our defender as Gabriel not as Magalhaes
Pain in the Arsenal however suggest that Nelson will get a run.
White, Kiwior, Gabriel, Tierney;
Partey, Fabio Vieira, Odegaard;
Saka, Jesus, Nelson.
So there you have it. It starts, as I am certain you know, at 5.30pm.
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