shocking: Paul Merson makes Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal prediction

Paul Merson makes Evangelos Marinakis point in Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest prediction

Nottingham Forest news from NottinghamshireLive as pundit Paul Merson gives his view on the Reds ahead of their season opener at Arsenal

Paul Merson is backing Nottingham Forest to stay up again in the Premier League this season – and believes club owner Evangelos Marinakis will have a big part to play.

Forest managed to secure another year in the top flight after coming through a relegation battle last season. Now, in 2023/24, they will be looking to consolidate and build on the foundations that have been put down.

Steve Cooper’s side have a tough start to the campaign as they face last season’s runners-up Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday (12.30pm kick-off). Forest will have fond memories of beating the Gunners 1-0 at the City Ground to reach safety and end their opponents’ title challenge, though they were thumped 5-0 in their last visit to the Emirates.

Although Merson thinks the Reds will beat the drop, he is predicting a 3-0 defeat for them against Mikel Arteta’s side. He told Sportskeeda: “I think Arsenal will go with Kai Havertz, Bukayo Saka, and Gabriel Martinelli as their front three this weekend. They have Trossard as well, and will need to mix and match as they get through their games.

“This could be a good game for Havertz. Nottingham Forest defend very deep and Arsenal will need to get the ball into the box. Declan Rice has got to play as a holding midfielder for Arsenal. You can’t pay a massive amount for someone and then play them out of position – that surely can’t be right. He was brought to the club because he was the best holding midfielder around.

“I think Nottingham will be all right this season, but it does depend on their owner (Marinakis). They were on the verge of sacking their manager several times last season. It depends on what the club’s expectations are this season. I think Forest are going to be better than at least a couple of other clubs in the league.

“This game is a nice start for Arsenal. Nottingham Forest’s away form last season was bordering on atrocious. I don’t see anything but a win for Arsenal this weekend.”


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