2021-22 FA Cup: Third Round – Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal

Nottingham Forest look to spring a shock cupset as Arsenal visit the City Ground in a blockbuster Third Round tie in 2021-22 FA Cup.

Forest are looking to escape the Third Round in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2003-05 seasons with a win.

Victory would see Arsenal advance to the Fourth Round for a fourth consecutive campaign since losing here at this stage in 2017-18 season.

 

Team News

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Max Lowe is ruled out for Nottingham Forest as he nears a first-team return after recovering from a groin injury.

Alex Mighten, Joe Lolley (both knee), Rodrigo Ely (muscle) and Loic Mbe Soh (thigh) remain absent as Forest manager – Steve Cooper otherwise have a fit squad following a Coronavirus outbreak which saw their Bank Holiday Monday match against Barnsley postponed.

Mohamed Drager (ankle) is away on international duty at Africa Cup of Nations for Tunisia.

Arsenal will be without Gabriel as he serves an one-match ban, following his red card against Manchester City in a 2-1 home defeat in the Premier League on New Year’s Day.

Calum Chambers (Coronavirus) is set to return but Sead Kolasinac (ankle) remains absent.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicholas Pepe, Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey are all away on international duty at Africa Cup of Nations.

 

Stat Attack

  • Nottingham Forest have won two of four previous FA Cup meetings against Arsenal (W2, L2).
  • Arsenal have won one of two FA Cup visits to Forest (W1, L1).
  • None of the four previous FA Cup ties between Nottingham Forest and Arsenal have gone to replays, which will be extended to five with this tie being settled with extra time and penalties if required.
  • Forest have lost three of their last five meetings against Premier League opposition in FA Cup (W2, L3).
  • Arsenal have won six of their last seven FA Cup ties against lower-league opposition (W6, L1), with their only defeat during those matches coming at Forest in January 2018.

 

Prediction

Having spent the last few months in red-hot form, Forest lost focus during the festive period with two contrastable performances in their last two games, where poor finishing was their biggest issue but their enforced break should hopefully mean a fresh energy in attack.

Arsenal meanwhile have enjoyed a strong run of form in recent months but their defeat to Man City was a game of two halves, after dominating the first half with strong play out from defence on top of heavy pressing yet they defensively imploded after half-time.

On that note, if Arsenal can play like they did last time out in the first half but across 90 minutes then this should be an easy result, yet Forest will be a difficult team to beat given their improved quality and will have belief from their win in January 2018 over the Gunners.

This Arsenal team though is different with plenty of young talent so I can see a competitive away win coming.

Prediction: Nottingham Forest 1-3 Arsenal

Result: Nottingham Forest 1-0 Arsenal

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