Saturday’s Premier League action closes out with Nottingham Forest taking on Arsenal at City Ground, knowing their top-flight fate rests firmly in their own hands.
The Tricky Trees produced an inspired performance to snatch a vital point in the 2-2 draw against Frank Lampard’s struggling Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend.
The result shot them up to 16th place in the Premier League table, and three points now separate them from the relegation zone with two remaining fixtures.
Steve Cooper’s side could secure a top-flight stay should they avoid defeat against the Gunners, especially if other results go in their favour.
Their odds in the weekend contest are significantly bolstered as they come up against an Arsenal side still reeling from last weekend’s defeat that saw their title hopes go up in smoke.
Mikel Arteta’s side suffered a capitulating 3-0 defeat to European hopefuls Brighton & Hove Albion leaving title rivals Manchester City one win away from defending their Premier League crown.
Forest have flirted with a return to the Championship for much of their debut Premier League campaign, but they are within touching distance of maintaining their top-flight status.
The Tricky Trees have improved in recent weeks picking up seven points from their last four league games while scoring at least twice in four of their previous five matches.
They need a positive result against Arsenal but have won just two of their last ten league games against the Gunners on home turf (D1, L7) – although they will be hosting them for the first time since 1999.
However, Forest are no strangers to earning success over Arsenal, having won their last two meetings with the North Londoners at City Ground – although both victories came in the FA Cup in 2018 and 2022.
Arsenal watched their title dreams fade into despair last weekend. But they have enjoyed an outstanding campaign and will hold their heads high, knowing they were bested by the reigning champions.
A return to Champions League football should also serve as a consolation to Arteta’s relentless Gunners, who are hoping to end their impressive campaign on a high.
Having beaten Forest 5-0 in the reverse fixture at the Emirates Stadium earlier this season, Arsenal will be looking to complete the double over the Reds for only the second time.
They have won their last four league games against the Tricky Trees and will be looking to make it five in a row over the Reds for the first time in their history.
Premier League Form
Nottingham Forest: LWLWD
Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal Potential Line-ups
Nottingham Forest (3-5-2): Keylor Navas; Joe Worrall, Moussa Niakhate, Felipe; Serge Aurier, Ryan Yates, Danilo, Orel Mangala, Renan Lodi; Morgan Gibbs-White, Taiwo Awoniyi.
Arsenal (4-3-3): Aaron Ramsdale; Ben White, Jakub Kiwior, Gabriel Magalhaes, Kieran Tierney; Martin Odegaard, Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey; Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, Leandro Trossard.
We Say: Nottingham Forest 1-3 Arsenal
Arsenal may be fragile after last weekend’s humbling, but Arteta will demand a quick response from his side.
They should have enough to swat aside the relegation strugglers, whose fight against the drop could be taken to the final day.
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