ARSENAL open their 2023/24 Premier League campaign with a tasty test against Nottingham Forest at the Emirates – and Mikel Arteta has made some interesting changes.
Brazilian defender Gabriel has been benched which sees Thomas Partey slot in at the back.
While former Gunners keeper Matt Turner starts in goal for his new club.
- Kick-off time: 12:30pm BST
- Live stream: BT.com
- TV channel: TNT Sports
- Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; Partey, White, Saliba, Timber; Odegaard, Rice, Havertz; Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli
- Forest XI: Turner; Boly, Worrall, McKenna; Aurier, Yates, Mangala, Aina; Danilo, Gibbs-White; Johnson
CASINO SPECIAL – BEST ONLINE CASINOS FOR 2023
Follow ALL the action from the Sydney Football Stadium with our live blog below…
- By Sam Dymond
The pressure Ram-ps up
Aaron Ramsdale starts in goal for Arsenal this afternoon – but is the England stopper's place in Mikel Arteta's side under threat?
Brentford's David Raya is expected to join the club this weekend, and is in attendance at the Emirates Stadium today.
A fine shot stopper, Raya has also shown his ability to play with the ball at his feet since Brentford were promoted to the Premier League – an asset so important to Arteta.
When asked this week about the competition for the goalkeeper's position, Ramsdale confidently replied 'bring it on!'
- By Sam Dymond
Forest face fortress in opener
Nottingham Forest may have memorably got the better of Arsenal at the City Ground back in May, but when it comes to games in the capital it's a very different matter.
In fact, Arsenal are unbeaten in their last nine home league games against Forest (W5 D4) since a 3-1 defeat at Highbury in March 1989.
And of those nine unbeaten games, one was a 2-1 victory in the first game of the 1998-99 season – and in what is a worrying omen, that was the last campaign in which Forest were relegated from the Premier League.
READ MORE SUN STORIES
KIT’S ALL WRONG
Arsenal face Forest in WRONG kit after error that may not be fixed til Oct
- By Sam Dymond
Goalkeeper Turner makes Forest debut
An Arsenal player until just days ago, Matt Turner will make his Nottingham Forest (and Premier League) debut this afternoon back at the Emirates Stadium against his former club.
The other Forest debutant is Ola Aina, relegated when on loan at Fulham back in 2020-21.
Otherwise it's a fairly familiar side for a club that has become used to huge summer overhauls in the past five years.
Last season's standout performer, Morgan Gibbs-White, will play off Brennan Johnson along with Danilo.
But perhaps the most heartening news for Forest fans is that both Taiwo Awoniyi and Moussa Niakhate are on the bench after recent fitness issues.
Nott'm Forest (3-4-2-1): 1 Turner; 30 Boly, 4 Worrall, 26 McKenna; 24 Aurier, 22 Yates, 5 Mangala, 43 Aina; 28 Danilo, 10 Gibbs-White; 20 Johnson
Subs: 34 Horvath, 7 Williams, 8 Kouyate, 9 Awoniyi, 11 Wood, 19 Niakhate, 21 Elanga, 23 Freuler, 32 O'Brien
- By Sam Dymond
Nketiah leads line for Arsenal
Mikel Arteta has named his first starting line-up of the new season, and there are a couple of surprises.
With Gabriel Jesus injured, Eddie Nketiah leads the line flanked by the attacking threats that are Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.
But it's the defence that really catches the eye.
A stalwart of last campaign, Gabriel has been left on the bench for this afternoon's game with Ben White partnering William Saliba centre-back.
It means midfielder Thomas Partey drops back to play at right-back while there are Arsenal debuts for Jurrien Timber, Kai Havertz and £105m man Declan Rice.
Arsenal (4-3-3): 1 Ramsdale; 5 Partey, 2 Saliba, 4 White, 12 Timber; 8 Odegaard, 41 Rice, 29 Havertz; 7 Saka, 14 Nketiah, 11 Martinelli
Subs: 31 Hein, 6 Gabriel, 10 Smith Rowe, 15 Kiwior, 18 Tomiyasu, 19 Trossard, 20 Jorginho, 21 Vieira, 24 Nelson
- By Sam Dymond
Can Arsenal shake off season end?
The 2022-23 season was a mightily impressive one for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta, albeit one that ultimately ended in disappointment.
The Gunners began that campaign on fire, but it ended with something of a whimper; only six league defeats all season, and half of those came in the final six games.
Arsenal's first six Premier League games in 22-23:
- W 2-0 v Crystal Palace (A)
- W 4-2 v Leicester (H)
- W 3-0 v Bournemouth (A)
- W 2-1 v Fulham (H)
- W 2-1 v Aston Villa (H)
- L 3-1 v Man Utd (A)
Arsenal's final six Premier League games in 22-23:
- L 4-1 v Man City (A)
- W 3-1 v Chelsea (H)
- W 2-0 v Newcastle (A)
- L 3-0 v Brighton (H)
- L 1-0 v Nott'm Forest (A)
- W 5-0 v Wolves (H)
Forest must summon spirit of Clough
If Nottingham Forest are to do the unthinkable and leave London with an opening weekend win, it will be the first time that they have registered consecutive league victories over Arsenal since 1978 when the legendary Brian Clough was at the helm.
No pressure, Steve.
Gunners huge favourites to prevail
Nottingham Forest came out on top when these clubs last met just 84 days ago, but the bookmakers are barely giving the Tricky Trees a sniff as they prepare to do battle again in the capital; instead, Arsenal are majorly odds-on to take all three points.
- Arsenal win 1/7
- Draw 5/1
- Nott'm Forest win 13/1
Odds from Betfair correct at the time of post publication.
Welcome back Premier League football
Good morning and welcome to live Sunsport coverage of Arsenal versus Nottingham Forest on the opening weekend of the 2023-24 Premier League season.
We're at the Emirates Stadium to see whether the Gunners can begin their campaign in style as they hope to go one better than their runners-up finish last term.
Top of the pile for so long in 2022-23, the season finally unravelled in a 1-0 defeat at Forest in May that saw Manchester City crowned champions.
That result – played out in front of a buoyant City Ground – also saw Steve Cooper's side secure their top-flight status despite months of upheaval and bad luck.
Now both clubs are eager to ensure that this season is played out without concern and disappointment – and it all starts today.
Kick-off in North London is scheduled for 12.30pm, and team news is on the way.
Source: Read Full Article