Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest preview (067)

Arsenal can and should finish this season on 87 points.

It would mean an 18 point year on year improvement and it would show that they are ready to mix it with the big boys.

Nottingham Forest by contrast are on 34 points and are desperate to hit the 40 point mark, which is still a possibility with two games to go.

Arsenal simply cannot let this happen. The media narrative of bottling the title is already as loud as it is ridiculous, and a defeat to relegation battlers would intensify that, which is the last thing they need as the season wraps to a close.

With just two games left, Arsenal need to find the hunger to go out and finish strongly, because it won’t be long until the noise quietens and people begin to realize what a great achievement this season has been.

And if they can win those two games, that positive energy will be how this season is remembered over the summer, and new signings will be coming into an upbeat environment determined to right the wrongs of a season where they came so close, rather than one with lingering doubts about their own qualities.

The game won’t be an easy one, with Martinelli ruled out for the rest of the season and Zinchenko still a doubt, however Arsenal should have enough to beat them even without these two key players.

The game could be a scrappy affair, as Forest will try to make it tough for Arsenal by playing deep, and going long to Johnson orAwoniyu, with Morgan Gibbs White arriving from midfield to bolster the attack.

The 23 year old Englishman caused a lot of noise last summer when Forest paid £42.5m including add ons for him, however his five goals, seven assists and all round stellar displays have quickly silenced that.

With his runs into the box, Jorginho or Partey will need to be alert to track him, and Gabriel and Kiwior will have plenty on their hands too with the pace of the Forest attack, making this a tricky game for the Gunners.

Forest do however have the second worst defence in the Premier League, with 67 goals conceded this season, and Arsenal have already put five past them, so will be confident of causing more problems today.

With Martinelli out, Reiss Nelson or Leandro Trossard are the most likely options to come in for Arsenal, both of which have goals and assists in their lockers, and could cause a lot damage to a disjointed defence.

Make no mistake, this won’t be an easy game, as Forest showed when they held City in February, however if everyone is on it, three points is very much expected.

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