Arsenal kick-off their FA Cup campaign travelling to Championship side Nottingham Forest’s City ground on Sunday for their FA Cup 3rd round game. The Gunners have won the competition 4 times in the last 8 seasons and will be again aiming to go all the way this time around. Last week’s narrow defeat to Manchester City will push the Gunners an extra yard to bounce back with a win on Sunday. It was the same opposition in 2018 against whom Arsenal crashed out in the 3rd round and Mikel Arteta will be cautious to avoid any such thing.
Predicted 4-2-3-1 Arsenal Lineup To Face Nottingham Forest
Bernd Leno is expected to replace Aaron Ramsdale in goal and could barely afford any slip up if he needs to get more gametime for the Gunners.
With Gabriel already suspended, Ben White and Rob Holding are expected to start at the heart of the defence on Sunday. White has already settled in well at Arsenal and Holding will be looking to score again in this fixture the way he did in their last meeting.
Cedric Soares will be starting at RB and Nuno Taveres at LB providing some much-needed rest to Tomiyasu and Tierney for the important semi-final fixture vs Liverpool next week.
Both Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey are off to international duty for the AFCON and Arteta is left with bare minimum options in the middle of the park to choose from. Charlie Patino and Albert Sambi Lokonga are expected to start and control the tempo of the game from the centre of the pitch. Granit Xhaka has been absent from training and is a doubt for the game on Sunday.
Bukayo Saka is expected to keep his place in the starting line-up with his deputy Nicolas Pepe already off to international duty. Gabriel Martinelli might also have to start ahead of Folarin Balogun, who is edging closer to a loan move. Emile Smith-Rowe will start after only making substitute appearances in the last few games.
Eddie Nketiah will lead the line for the Gunners on Sunday. Nketiah has been in fine form in the cup ties for Arsenal scoring 5 goals in the EFL Cup, including a hattrick in the quarter-finals last time around. Alexandre Lacazette will be on the bench and might come on in the latter stages of the match.