By Bulldog Drummond
The story so far: Nottingham F v Arsenal: Different lives in different leagues
Let’s now have our regular look at the home and away breakdown of the two clubs:
|Pos||Team||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||Pts||% Pts per game|
|17||Nottingham Forest home||13||4||3||6||14||17||-3||15||1.15|
Of course we are comparing two totally different leagues here – and one only has to see the fate of most teams that make it into the Premier League from the Championship to appreciate how different the leagues are. But still we can conclude, Arsenal away in the Premier League perform slightly better game by game than Forest at home in the Championship.
Which is interesting in that it shows that there is not some kind of siege mentality in playing at the City Ground which makes them unbeatable. They are more likely to lose at home than win – at least so far this season.
However we should also note that from 18 September to 18 December Forest played 16 games and only lost one of them – a 0-4 home defeat to Fulham. Fulham have in recent years joined the yoyo gang happy to rise up from the Championship one season, take the solidarity payments and slip back down again the next season. In their case it looks like the money that some clubs would spend on seasoned players whose job would be to help them cling onto PL status, they have used to build themselves a new stand, which certainly improves the old ground by the Thames.
But then after nine season’s unbeaten, following the Fulham loss, the last two Forest games have shown them enter a sticky patch with defeats away to Middlesbrough and at home to Huddersfield, teams respectively seventh and sixth in the Championship, five and six points ahead of Forest. These defeats suggest that the new manager’s work with the current set of players has probably taken them to something akin to their rightful position in the league. Further improvement up the table could well depend on some more dealings in future transfer windows.
So euphoria from the rise away from the fear of relegation and the thought of a full house for this match is probably being tempered (at least by the more realistic and knowledgeable supporters in Nottingham) with the awareness of just how much Arsenal have developed over the last couple of seasons.
Arsenal have of course recently seen off third division upstarts Sunderland in the league cup, using a team that might be indicative of the line up that we can see in this match…
Soares, Holding, Tavares, White,
Elneny, Odegaard, Smith Rowe,
Pepe, Balogun, Nketiah
and that could give us a clue to part of the lineup for this match. Elneny of course is now in Africa, as is Pepe, reducing our options and Maitland-Niles has gone out on loan, but it would be nice to see Smith Rowe get a full game. Charlie Patino might also get another run out following his successful venture against Sunderland.
Forest incidentally have lost one player to Africa: Mohamed Drager.
And finally for this edition, a spot of head to head. Arsenal have beaten Forest 51 times, 22 games have been drawn and we have lost 27 of the games.
The last ten matches between the two sides reveal seven Arsenal wins, two defeats and one draw, the last victory being a 5-0 walkover in the League Cup. That was in the time of the management of Unai Emery and our team was EmilianoMartínez, Holding; Mustafi; Chambers; Tierney, Özil; Nelson; Smith Rowe; Torreira, Willock; Martinelli
More later. But if you want to see how the media predicted our team against Sunderland in the last round, the predictions are recorded here.
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