Forest chasing third straight home win
Visitors need win to keep title hopes alive
Destiny in Forest's gleeful grip
Having struggled away from home all season long, Nottingham Forest came up with a big performance at Stamford Bridge last weekend, just when they needed it. Titanic targetman Taiwo Awoniyi struck twice in a 2-2 draw at Chelsea, and going into this weekend Steve Cooper's men know they are three points above the dropzone with two rounds of games to go.
Roared on by a passionate crowd at the City Ground, Forest have generally done well on home soil. Cooper's side have lost just two of their last 14 league games by the banks of the Trent, and they have won the last two against Brighton and Southampton. When I lived just a few doors down from the City Ground as a student, I often went to Forest home games, and the atmosphere is as fierce as it ever was.
Although Forest have one of the worst attacking records in the league - 36 goals scored in 36 games - they have really started to fire in front of goal in recent weeks. 12 of their 36 goals (exactly a third) have come in the last five games, and the impressive Awoniyi has scored four in his last two appearances. Had the burly Nigerian been fit for the whole season, Forest might already be safe.
Forest's gargantuan squad has been stretched of late, and they are without at least eight players because of injury. That list includes full-back Neco Williams, striker Chris Wood and goalkeeper Dean Henderson.
Gunners trying to delay title race pain
After last weekend's 3-0 humbling by Brighton, Arsenal know that only a win on Saturday realistically keeps the flickering flame of the title race alive, and keeps Manchester City honest ahead of their Sunday showdown with Chelsea. While the Gunners were eight points clear of City at the top at one stage, it's hard to truly argue that they have blown it.
There was always likely to be a regression to the mean, with Arsenal hugely overperforming compared to pre-season expectations and indeed compared to their underlying numbers. That regression has happened in the last couple of months - Mikel Arteta's side have won just five of their last ten league matches, and the failures include a horrible 3-3 draw against hapless (and now relegated) Southampton, and the squandering of a 2-0 lead in a 2-2 draw at West Ham.
Arsenal will return to the Champions League after a long absence next season, and their efforts this term have convinced stars like Bukayo Saka and Aaron Ramsdale to agree new deals and pledge their futures to the club. This is a significant campaign, and being eventually steamrollered by one of the best teams of the 21st century doesn't change that.
The loss of outstanding centre-back William Saliba to injury was a key factor in Arsenal's recent stumbles, and now Gabriel Martinelli and Oleksandr Zinchenko have been added to that list. Jakub Kiwior, who behaved very strangely for Brighton's first goal against Arsenal last weekend, may deputise in defence once again.
Trentside tussle should be fun
Forest have started scoring goals freely, but they still can't defend, so those factors lend themselves to an entertaining match, especially when you consider this is a game Arsenal need to win. In nine of Forest's last 12 league outings, both teams have scored and there have been at least three goals.
We can use the Sportsbook's Bet Builder to back BTTS and Over 2.5 Goals at 1.84/5, but I'll throw in Over 6.5 Corners to get us up to 2.166/5. Both sides' games in the top flight average well over nine corners.
Danilo to lead the charge
To those in the know when it comes to South American football (including betting.betfair.com's very own Nathan Joyes), Forest's capture of Palmeiras midfielder Danilo was seen as a bit of a coup, and the young Brazilian has delivered on that promise in recent weeks. The 22-year-old has been given licence to get forward a bit more, and has scored in three of his last four appearances.
We'll dip back into the Bet Builder and back Danilo to have a shot on target, Renan Lodi to commit at least one foul and Bukayo Saka to have a shot on target, which gives us a combined price of 5.41.
Renan Lodi has picked up seven yellow cards in his first PL season, and has been cautioned in his last two appearances. He'll be up against the tricky Saka, who is averaging 0.77 shots on target per 90 in the league this term.