Saturday, 30th September 2023

Awoniyi eyes more goals as Nott’ Forest host Arsenal

By Gowon Akpodonor
20 May 2023   |   3:08 am
Arsenal have been fading for a while but last week’s defeat by Brighton meant their title hopes have gone.

Taiwo Awoniyi (right) celebrates with Nottingham Forest’s teammates after the heroic goal against Liverpool.

Arsenal have been fading for a while but last week’s defeat by Brighton meant their title hopes have gone.

This is one of those games where you might expect the Gunners will really bounce back and show great authority but the longer the season has gone on, the less we have seen them do that.

They have lost control of so many games recently. Earlier in the season, Mikel Arteta’s side dictated the play and played at their own pace, but they seem to have lost the ability to do that.

Because of Nottingham Forest’s position, you know that they are going to really scrap for everything without having to throw caution to the wind because their fate is in their own hands.

At home is where it happens for them and while I don’t think it will be a particularly pretty game, I can see Forest finding a way of picking up another point.

Nottingham Forest’s only victory in 11 Premier League meetings with Arsenal came at the City Ground in December 1996, courtesy of Alf-Inge Haaland’s 89th-minute winner (D3, L7).

However, Forest have won their past two home matches versus the Gunners, both of which came in the FA Cup third round – a 4-2 victory in January 2018 and 1-0 win last year.

Arsenal’s most recent league fixture at the City Ground was in January 1999, when Martin Keown scored the only goal.

Forest have taken seven points from their past four matches, as many as they amassed in their previous 13 top-flight fixtures.

They have scored the opening goal in 12 of their 18 home league games this season.

Steve Cooper’s side have gone 15 consecutive league matches without a clean sheet since beating Leeds 1-0 on 5 February, conceding two or more goals in 12 of those fixtures.

Serge Aurier is one short of 100 Premier League appearances.

Taiwo Awoniyi has scored four goals in his last two Premier League games, as many as in his first 23 outings in the division.
Awoniyi is vying to become the first Forest player to score two or more goals in three consecutive Premier League appearances since Bryan Roy in April 1995.

The Gunners only dropped seven points in their opening 19 Premier League matches in 2022-23 but have dropped 20 in their subsequent 17 fixtures (W9, D4, L4).

A 26th Premier League win of the season would equal the club record in a single campaign, set in 2001-02 and matched in 2003-04.

Arsenal are two short of 100 goals in all competitions this season.

An 11th Premier League clean sheet away from home for Aaron Ramsdale would equal the record by a goalkeeper in a season, held by Petr Cech (2004-05) and Ederson (2018-19).

Martin Odegaard has scored nine Premier League away goals this term, a total exceeded only by Erling Haaland and Harry Kane, both of whom have 14.