Arsenal are set to welcome Nottingham Forest to the Emirates this weekend with sights firmly set on a return to winning ways.
Mikel Arteta’s troops, of course, have enjoyed a fine campaign to date, on their way to top spot in the Premier League table, and a place in the knockout rounds of the Europa League.
The last couple of weeks, though, have seen the Gunners’ performances, for the first time, begin to come under real scrutiny.
Amid a stretch of just four goals in five fixtures, Arsenal failed to secure three points in successive outings for the first time in 2022/23 over the course of this past week.
The latest of these came on Thursday night, courtesy of an altogether deserved 2-0 defeat at the hands of PSV Eindhoven.
Safe to say then, that boss Arteta will be hopeful of having as many of his key performers as possible fit and available to feature from the off on Sunday afternoon.
Predicted Arsenal line-up vs Nottingham Forest
Confusion as to the situation of versatile defender Zinchenko remains ahead of Arsenal’s next outing.
The Ukrainian, after an impressive stretch of form, has now not featured in any of the capital club’s last five outings, owing to a recurrence of an injury suffered at the start of the season.
Mikel Arteta last week assured that Zinchenko was inching closer to a return, ‘progressing really well’ in training.
After being absent from the Gunners’ matchday setup once more on Thursday, though, his status to face Forest remains largely unclear.
Emile Smith Rowe
Certain to miss out for Arsenal on Sunday, on the other hand, comes Emile Smith Rowe.
Youngster ESR has of course endured a nightmare season to date, stringing together just 48 minutes of game time owing to a combination of fitness concerns and competition for places.
Forced under the knife to fix a groin issue late last month, though, the England international is not slated to mark his comeback until December at the earliest.
Another member of Arteta’s ranks in the midst of a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Mohamed Elneny has featured in just a solitary fixture thus far this term.
And this situation is not set to change any time soon.
The Egyptian midfielder picked up a serious hamstring injury during a meeting with Fulham late in August, with his return date having been pencilled on for the end of the year.
There has, as of yet, been little word forthcoming regarding the situation of defender Gabriel Magalhaes.
This comes after the Brazilian was spotted limping down the tunnel on the back of Arsenal’s Europa League defeat on Thursday.
No news, though, should mean good news, with Gabriel likely to take his place alongside William Saliba at the heart of the north Londoners’ backline once more against Forest.
Not technically injured, but youngster Marquinhos, after being afforded a couple of opportunities to impress on the senior stage, has since been struck down by a bout of fever.
It is therefore simply a case of waiting it out to see if the summer arrival in north London is deemed ready in time to take his place in the Arsenal squad this weekend.