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Arsenal vs. Nottingham Forest Expert Pick & Prediction: Expect a Clean Sheet for the Gunners Sunday (October 29)

Arsenal vs. Nottingham Forest Expert Pick & Prediction: Expect a Clean Sheet for the Gunners Sunday (October 29) article feature image
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Raymond Smit/NESImages/DeFodi Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Gabriel Jesus of Arsenal FC.

Arsenal vs. Nottingham Forest Odds

Arsenal Odds -510
Nottingham Forest Odds +1300
Draw +550
Over/Under 3.5 (+125 / -160)
Day | Time Sunday |  10 a.m. ET
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Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Premier League title contenders Arsenal look to rebound from their first major speed bump when they host a Nottingham Forest team coming off an historic victory.

Arsenal have gone two matches without a victory for the first time, drawing Southampton away 1-1 last weekend before taking a frustrating 2-0 defeat at PSV Eindhoven in Thursday’s UEFA Europa League action. They still entered the weekend atop the league table, however.

Forest shocked Liverpool 1-0 a week ago at The City Ground, snapping an eight-match league winless run. The newly promoted side still sit last in the table, but entered the weekend only two points adrift of safety.

Forest won these teams’ last meeting, 1-0 in January in the third round of the FA Cup.

Will Regression Come for Arsenal Soon?

The Gunners have been virtually perfect this season, but there had been building concern that manager Mikel Arteta’s reliance on strong squads in European competition could catch up with his group.

Perhaps that’s what we’ve seen in this recent downturn. With only five changes to the squad that started against Southampton, Arsenal were deserving losers in the Netherlands, even if the xG totals say otherwise.

They’ll be playing on less than 72 hours rest now for the fourth consecutive Sunday, part of what makes competing in the Europa League so difficult. Arsenal have taken seven points from the first three encounters, but have posted only a +2 goal difference across those games.

In a season of early exceptional individual attacking performances, Arsenal are doing it by committee rather than one player. Gabriel Jesus leads the team with five goals while Martinelli and Buyako Saka each have four.

Forest Offense Missing Out on Key Opportunities

Perhaps even more shocking than Forest’s victory over Liverpool was the nature of the 1-0 triumph.

The home side had the better chances up until the moment Taiwo Awoniyi hammered in the rebound of his own miss off the post in the 55th minute. And it could’ve even been 2-0 without Alisson’s late 1-on-1 denial of Ryan Yates.

But it’s hardly the first time Forest could’ve made life easier on themselves. They’ve made the already difficult task of Premier League survival tougher by lagging more than four goals behind their 12.2 xG created and conceding nearly four more than their 19.1 xG allowed.

Awoniyi’s three league goals lead the club despite the fact he’s played less than half of their 1,080 Premier League minutes.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

Arsenal have yet to keep a Premier League clean sheet at home, but that owes partly to competition they’ve faced at The Emirates.

Tottenham and Liverpool are Champions League caliber foes. Fulham have played some of the most open soccer in the league. And Leicester City are the Premier League leaders in goals scored (and goals conceded) away.

Forest is none of these teams, having found the net only once on their travels so far. And while their 4.7 away xG suggests maybe they’ve been due some better finishing luck, Arsenal’s 4.4 home xG allowed equally suggests a clean sheet or two is eventually coming.

I’d expect the Gunners to finally keep one here while also preserving their perfect home record. And -109 odds and an implied 52.2% probability, you’re getting a decent price on such a wager.

The Pick: Arsenal win to nil (-109)

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