Nottingham Forest will start in 2022 by hosting Arsenal in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon.
Campaign-chasing Forest ended the calendar year with a couple of losses and had their match against Barnsley postponed until Monday, while Arsenal enter the competition due to their own match delay – after Liverpool’s inability to line up a team for the mid-week Carabao Cup clash.
Here is everything you need to know about the cup slips that are registered on Sunday.
When is kick off? Sunday 9 January, 17:10 (GMT)Where is the match played? StadsmarkenTV channel / livestream? ITV 1 (UK), ESPN + (USA), Sportsnet (Canada)Highlights? FA Cup (22.30 – BBC One)Judge? Craig Pawson
? Good morning, Reds?
? Back in action on Sunday? Arsenal?
? City Ground, kick-off 17.10
? Secure tickets to @EmiratesFACup draw: https://t.co/suub90tNkA
?? #NFFC pic.twitter.com/WlKVrnjnLd
– Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) January 5, 2022
Nottingham Forest were the side that had an appeal for their match against Barnsley who accepted the spread of covid and fitness problems throughout the squad.
Former Arsenal youth team player Jordan Osei-Tutu joins regular replacement Alexander Mighten on the sidelines with respective ankle and knee injuries. Max Lowe (groin) and Loic Mbe Soh (thighs) are also hesitant.
However, the squad has been strengthened by the arrival of winter recruits Steve Cook and Keinan Davis, with Canadian national team player Richie Laryea also ready to join Forest.
Predicted lineup for Nottingham Forest (4-2-3-1): Samba; Spence, Worrall, McKenna, Colback; Garner, Ojeda; Johnson, Zinckernagel, Silva; Grabban
Cup specialist Eddie Nketiah has Covid / Ryan Pierse / GettyImages
Arsenal will not be able to claim their top scorer in the cup this season after Eddie Nketiah tested positive for covid-19 on the eve of the club’s first match in 2022. Gabriel Magalhaes will be able to serve his suspension on a match after a second yellow card against Manchester City for the trip to the Midlands.
This is the first match where Mikel Arteta will be without his quartet of African internationals after Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny and Nicolas Pepe joined the rejected captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in international service.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ reported loan to Roma leaves Arteta short for midfield options.
Read Arsenal’s expected line-up here.
Since Forest’s highest flight relegation in 1999, the two clubs have met three times in cup competitions over the past five years; with Arsenal winning both League Cup matches but losing to their future hosts on their most recent visit to City Ground 2018.
That victory is one of only two Forest have won against the Gunners in the last 30 years (D4 L10).
The north London side famously broke the best flying record for unbeaten matches in a row that Brian Clough and Peter Taylor’s Forest had set in the late 1970s.
After a fresh round of praise, Clough wrote in recognition of this achievement with a typically memorable assessment: “It sticks in the collar a bit because it’s Arsenal. Nobody likes Arsenal, only Arsenal fans like Arsenal. I was brought up not like them.”
Mikel Arteta won the FA Cup during his first season as coach of the competition / Catherine Ivill / GettyImages
Manchester City may have punctured Arsenal’s five-match winning streak in their most recent competition, but the Gunners delivered a performance against the reigning league champions that offered more encouragement than comfort.
Arteta will no doubt deviate from his established XI for the trip to Nottingham, but if Arsenal’s undergraduate studies can come close to replicating the performances of recent months, Forest may not be able to repeat its outrage from three years ago.
Prediction: Nottingham Forest 0-2 Arsenal
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