Arsenal

Arsenal predicted lineup vs Nottingham Forest - FA Cup

Grey Whitebloom
Mikel Arteta has won seven of his eight matches as Arsenal manager in the FA Cup
Mikel Arteta has won seven of his eight matches as Arsenal manager in the FA Cup / Naomi Baker/GettyImages
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Arsenal travel to Championship side Nottingham Forest's City Ground for the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon.

The Gunners have progressed to the fourth round of a competition they have won more often than any other club in 24 of the past 25 seasons - though that sole slip up came away from home against Forest in 2018.

Here's the XI Mikel Arteta may call upon to avoid a similar upset.


Arsenal predicted lineup vs Nottingham Forest - FA Cup

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Bernd Leno (GK) - Relegated to the role of understudy following Aaron Ramsdale's seamless adaptation to his north London surroundings, Leno can scarcely afford any slip ups in the limited game time he is granted.

Cedric Soares (RB) - Having missed out on the chance to replace Takehiro Tomiyasu on Boxing Day, Cedric should be afforded a rare run out ahead of a triple header with Tottenham and Liverpool (twice) next week.

Ben White (CB) - The club's marquee signing of the summer has shaken off some early season jitters which initially made many an Arsenal fan yearn for the indifference to the sport White professes to have.

Rob Holding (CB) - One of the three goals Holding has scored across his entire senior career came in his last meeting with Forest.

Nuno Tavares (LB) - Arsenal's two-footed left back averages a healthy two shots per 90 minutes in this season's Premier League (more than top scorer Emile Smith Rowe) but has only directed one of his 14 attempts on target.

2. Midfielders

Albert Sambi Lokonga (DM) - With Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles all likely to be absent for January (if not longer), Sambi has rocketed back up the pecking order of a midfield that looks a little light.

Charlie Patino (CM) - Arteta was cautious after the 886th and latest player to represent Arsenal scored on his debut in the club's last cup outing, but did suggest more game time could be on the horizon: "If we need him, we’ll use him."

Martin Odegaard (CM) - Having had a direct influence on seven goals in his last eight appearances, Odegaard has bettered his combined goals and assists tally for the club across his first 32 outings.

3. Forwards

Bukayo Saka (RW) - Arsenal would ideally want to rest Saka, but with Folarin Balogun on the cusp of joining Middlesbrough on loan and others away at AFCON, Arteta may not have a choice but to start him.

Gabriel Martinelli (ST) - With five-goal Eddie Nketiah sidelined by COVID, Arsenal's Brazilian dynamo may be trialled down the middle perhaps in a preview of next season.

Emile Smith Rowe (LW) -
Smith Rowe's recurring role as a (scoring) Premier League substitute all but ensures a starting berth in the cup, interchangeably drifting in from the left.


Read 90min's preview of Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal here.

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