Nottingham Forest vs ArsenalFA Cup, KO: 17:15 Jan 9, 2022, City Ground
ARSENAL seem to have turned a corner under Mikel Arteta but they will still need to be wary of coming a cropper in the FA Cup against Championship side Nottingham Forest.
The Gunners saw their five-game winning streak come to an end against Manchester City last weekend but they deserved more from the 2-1 loss, having been by far the better team before going down to 10 men.
I cashed in by backing Granit Xhaka for a card but it was stopper Gabriel who let Arsenal down with a red card that turned the game on its head.
Having defended valiantly with 10 men, Rodri's last-gasp winner for City was cruel and the Gunners now have to pick themselves up for this tricky cup tie.
Forest have been a team transformed since Steve Copper arrived as boss, going on a nine-game unbeaten run before hitting a bump by losing their last two.
They haven't played since December 30 due to an outbreak in the squad forcing their game with Barnsley to be postponed. So it will be interesting to see how strong both teams are for this cup tie in the midst of a demanding fixture schedule.
How the bookies view it
In-form Arsenal are red-hot favourites and their best price is just 16/25 at Novibet for a win in 90 minutes. Nottingham Forest are as big as 27/5 with SBK while the draw at 90 minutes pays 16/5 at BoyleSports. To qualify, the Gunners are just 1/4 at McBookie with Forest at 13/5.
Recent head to head
There have been quite cup ties between these sides in recent seasons and Arsenal haven't always had it their own way. Forest memorably knocked the Gunners out of the FA Cup in 2018 with a 4-2 win at the City Ground (below) but that was sandwiched between 4-0 and 5-0 losses in the League Cup in 2016 and 2019 respectively.
Players to watch
I'd expect both teams to be nowhere near full strength and it's hard to predict who will start for this cup tie. But Keinan Davis has joined Forest on loan from Aston Villa and should be handed his debut here. The young striker is 37/10 with SBK for anytime scorer and that could be worth a punt as the Gunners should field a weakened back four.
With a League Cup semi-final against Liverpool up in midweek, Arteta (below) could rotate his squad heavily. Eddie Nketiah should come in up front and he's 37/20 with Unibet for a goal which looks great value if he starts.
Anything else catch the eye?
With Forest unlikely to field a full-strength side, I fancy the Gunners to win fairly easily, even if Arteta rings the changes. SBK are offering 19/13 on the Gunners winning at half-time and full-time which looks a decent option.
There have been four goals or more in each of the last three meetings and this is another game that promises plenty of action. Over 2.5 goals is 17/20 with Unibet, which looks great for accas, while the odds increase to 7/4 at Coral for over 1.5 first-half goals.
Despite losing their last two games, Forest racked up eight corners in both matches which suggests they could be worth a punt in the corner handicap. McBookie are offering 11/10 on Forest +1.5 in that market.
This FA Cup match between Nottingham Forest and Arsenal will be played on Jan 9, 2022 and kick off at 17:15. Check below for our tipsters best Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.