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Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest preview, how to watch, team news & more

Arsenal begin their quest for the Premier League title when they welcome Nottingham Forest to the Emirates Stadium on the opening weekend of the season. 

Mikel Arteta

Arsenal begin their quest for the 2023/24 Premier League title when they welcome Nottingham Forest to the Emirates Stadium on the opening weekend of the season.

The Gunners were one of the surprise packages last season. Many pundits predicted they would struggle just to make the top four having narrowly missed out the previous year. However, Arsenal shocked everyone by mounting a serious title challenge and they sat top of the table for almost 250 days. At one stage the North Londoners held an eight-point lead over Man City and were installed as favourites to win their first Premier League trophy since 2004.

However, an untimely collapse in April handed the initiative to Man City and they took full advantage to clinch the title en route to an historic treble. City went on an incredible winning run from the turn of the year to haul in Arsenal and secure their fifth title in six years. They then went on to win the FA Cup and Champions League with victories over Man Utd and Inter Milan respectively.

Mikel Arteta has admitted that missing out on the title last season still hurts, but his squad will use the pain as motivation to go one better to win the Premier League this coming campaign. Arsenal will have to deal with the weight of expectation this year, though. Nobody gave them a chance last season, but having gone so close the supporters will now be expecting the club to sustain a serious title challenge once again. It’s difficult to know how their young squad will respond to such pressure but Arteta says he has full faith in his Young Guns to deliver.


Arsenal have invested heavily this summer to build a squad capable of competing on all fronts this season. A lack of depth was a main contributing factor to their disastrous, title-ending run back in April as they couldn’t cope with the loss of William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu. Arteta has brought in Jurrien Timber to strengthen the defence and the Dutchman has been hugely impressive in pre-season.

Kai Havertz has also been signed in a £60m deal from Chelsea to provide more options in midfield and attack. The German has played in an attacking midfield role for much of pre-season but he’s also been deployed up front so his versatility will be a useful asset. However, the marquee signing for Arsenal is undoubtedly Declan Rice as the Gunners beat off competition from City and Bayern Munich to sign the Englishman in a £105m deal from West Ham.

Rice should prove to be an excellent addition to the Arsenal squad and his leadership skills will also be important, especially with Granit Xhaka’s departure. The Swiss international has joined Bayer Leverkusen so Arteta has lost an influential figure in the dressing room. Arsenal are expected to also bring in goalkeeper David Raya from Brentford while another winger is also on the agenda, so the club is clearly investing serious money as they look to close the gap on City.


Arsenal secured the early bragging rights after beating Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday afternoon. City looked to have won it thanks to a superb goal from Cole Palmer but Leandro Trossard equalised deep into stoppage time to force penalties. The Gunners were triumphant in the shoot-out to win the Community Shield and secured a much-needed win over their title rivals.

Arteta and the players confirmed after the game that the victory at Wembley will give them huge confidence and belief that they can now go on to beat Man City to the title this season. City have dominated Arsenal in recent years but the Gunners squad believe that ‘mental block’ is gone and they now know they can beat the Cityzens. That confidence could be well placed as Arsenal matched City on Sunday, but it’s a different story to get the better of Pep Guardiola’s men over the course of a 38-game season.

Arsenal will look to get their campaign off to a positive start with a win over Forest at home on Saturday afternoon. The easily won this fixture last season having ran out 5-0 winners, and Arteta would love a similar score line this weekend.

How to watch

It may not be too late to buy a ticket for the game and you can check availability here. However, if you aren’t able to get your hands on a ticket, you can still follow all the action live as the game is being shown live on TNT Sports [formerly BT Sport].

The match will kick-off at 12.30pm on Saturday August 12th. If you aren’t a TNT Sports subscriber, you can watch extended highlights of the game later on Saturday night on Sky Sports or Match of the Day.

Team news

Arsenal were dealt a major blow last week when it was confirmed that Gabriel Jesus is facing a spell on the sidelines. The Brazilian aggravated a knee injury in pre-season and had to have a minor operation late last week. Jesus is expected to be out for around 4-5 weeks, so he’ll miss the opening few games of the new season.

Oleksandr Zinchenko has missed Arsenal’s last few pre-season games and the Community Shield due to an on-going calf issue. The Ukrainian international will be handed a late fitness test before his availability this weekend can be determined.

Albert Lokonga is ruled out with a muscle injury as he looks to resolve his future. The Belgian is expected to leave Arsenal this summer after falling out of favour. Reiss Nelson and Folarin Balogun are also doubts this weekend due to injury issues.

As for Forest, they’ll be without Wayne Hennessey due to a knee injury while Omar Richards is also out with a groin problem. Felipe Monteiro is a doubt with a knee injury.


Arsenal won this game 5-0 last season and will be confident of starting the new campaign on a positive note. Arteta’s team look hungry to avenge their title defeat and will know they cannot afford to drop silly points against Man City, even at this early stage.

Forest did well to avoid relegation last season and they’ll be looking to push on this campaign to establish themselves as a top flight club.  However, realistically they know it’s going to be a very tough game at the Emirates Stadium and they aren’t expected to get anything from the match.

It will be interesting to see how Arsenal’s new summer signings get on in their Premier League debut’s with Rice, Timber and Havertz all expected to start. But the Gunners should have too much quality for the visitors. Arsenal 3-0 Forest

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