With the Premier League returning to action next month, there are plenty of standout fixtures to have fans salivating.

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Friendly football simply cannot compare to the intensity, drama and intrigue that this famous division brings, with the summer providing a sluggish buffer between the last campaign and this upcoming one. Even transfer sagas cannot truly fill that void.

Of the standout games from this game week, Vincent Kompany’s return to Manchester City will likely draw the most attention. However, the impending battle at the Emirates could instead provide a more thrilling viewing - if history is to repeat itself.

With Arsenal hosting a Nottingham Forest side who battled to survive last term, it marks the meeting of two sides who will have wholly different goals for this season.

With a 12.30pm kick-off on Saturday 12th August and subscribers to TNT Sports (formerly BT Sport) set to enjoy this fixture live, there is reason to believe that they will be treated to a thriller in north London.

As the home support seek to will Mikel Arteta’s men one step further than last year after handing the league title to Manchester City, the travelling side will be hoping to upset the favourites with their steely brand of football.

Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest: Who has the better head-to-head record?

Worral and Jesus

It is clear that Arsenal, as a club with a rich history littered with successes, are unsurprisingly the more dominant side when these two heavyweights have met.

Their continued presence within the top flight has aided their ability to stay at the top, whilst Arsene Wenger’s imperious reign supplemented this domination. As such, it will not just be their opening-day opponent who has endured a similar record against the Gunners.

Not to discount the fine history boasted by Forest, though, who enjoyed their own period of success under the legendary Brian Clough.

  • Arsenal wins: 52
  • Draws: 22
  • Nottingham Forest wins: 29

Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest: Who has more wins at the Emirates/Highbury?

Emirates

The home advantage that north London offers has allowed them to cruise to many victories, with the visiting Tricky Trees winning just four times.

Both Highbury and the Emirates Stadium have experienced its own slices of success and provided a fear factor bolstered by the beautiful football often on show. It seems like the latter has taken the atmosphere to new heights of late, buoyed by their steady progress under their Spanish coach into true challengers for the title.

As such, even at their best, Forest struggled against this club away from home.

  • Arsenal wins: 27
  • Draws: 14
  • Nottingham Forest wins: 4

Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest: Who has more wins at the City Ground?

City Ground

When in Nottingham, however, a far more even affair is assured. Whilst the Gunners still have recorded more wins, it is a far closer-run contest, with only three victories in it.

This should come as no surprise given the consistently exceptional levels upheld by the Gunners, who have proven a match for any opponent on their day.

Despite being the second-oldest league football club in the world, the City Ground is their seventh home, which they moved into in 1898.

  • Arsenal wins: 24
  • Draws: 7
  • Nottingham Forest wins: 21

Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest: Who has the better cup record?

FA Cup

As the kings of the FA Cup, there is no club as successful in that competition as Arsenal. Their record of 14 victories stands alone, though in the League Cup, they have not been as fruitful. Just two wins mark an underperformance for a club of this stature.

Meanwhile, Forest have won the latter competition four times, but only have two FA Cup triumphs to their name.

When facing each other on the way to a potential final, it is unsurprising that the Gunners have come out on top more often. Six wins is a narrow improvement on the three of the Nottingham side, but it has clearly been enough to claim silverware on numerous occasions. Recently though, it is the smaller side who have triumphed in the cups.

  • Arsenal wins: 6
  • Draws: 0
  • Nottingham Forest wins: 3

Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest: What were the last 5 meetings?

Morgan Gibbs-White

20th May 2023 - Nottingham Forest 1-0 Arsenal: In a game that had huge repercussions at both ends of the table, Nottingham Forest claimed the most unlikely victory as Taiwo Awoniyi’s goal separated the sides.

Despite dominating the ball, Arteta’s men could not find a breakthrough past Steve Cooper’s staunch backline.

It was a result that was met with wild celebrations at full-time, as it secured safety for the Tricky Trees and handed the Premier League title to Manchester City.

30th October 2022 - Arsenal 5-0 Nottingham Forest: With the World Cup on the horizon, Arsenal dominated Forest to bring them crashing back down to earth after a shock win over Liverpool the week before.

Gabriel Martinelli started the rout with an early header, and despite Bukayo Saka being forced off with injury, Reiss Nelson stepped up to spearhead a stunning victory. Two goals and an assist from the substitute, alongside further strikes from Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard, helped the hosts cement their place at the top of the table.

9th January 2022 - Nottingham Forest 1-0 Arsenal: The fact that Arteta felt the need to apologise for his team's showing in this match speaks volumes for the manner of the performance.

Despite rotating, Steve Cooper’s rampant outfit shocked the 14-time winners of the competition to dump them out, with Lewis Grabban’s finish seven minutes from time proving to be the difference.

This was a part of Forest’s impressive FA Cup run this campaign, which saw them also knock out Leicester City before narrowly losing to Liverpool in the quarter-finals.

24th September 2019 - Arsenal 5-0 Nottingham Forest: Facing Championship opposition in the cup always poses a threat for the bigger clubs, especially when they are as tricky as Forest can often be.

However, Unai Emery led his team to a comfortable victory in the end, as goals from Gabriel Martinelli, Rob Holding, Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock helped Arsenal reach the fourth round of the EFL Cup.

7th January 2018 - Nottingham Forest 4-2 Arsenal: Another cup clash between these two saw Forest once again dump out the holders, as they took the lead three times to frustrate Arsene Wenger, inflicting his one and only FA Cup third round defeat.

The Frenchman was forced to watch this clash from the sidelines as a three-match touchline ban kicked in, whilst the hosts had a caretaker manager in charge, and this lack of structure made for a spectacle for the neutral.

Who has played for Arsenal and Nottingham Forest?

Aaron Ramsey

Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal 2011-2019; Nottingham Forest 2019-2022): Joining with a big reputation as a defensive stalwart for the future, it quickly became clear that this man was not up to the requisite level for Wenger. The 31-year-old would play just 70 games during his eight years in north London before Nottingham Forest were willing to take him off their hands.

He would fare no better at the City Ground, falling out of favour and eventually leaving at the expiry of his contract.

Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal 2008-2019; Nottingham Forest 2010-2011): Tempted to join Arsenal over rivals Manchester United due to the allure of Wenger, the Welshman became something of a cult hero in north London for his silkiness and technical prowess from the engine room.

Despite injuries plaguing his time at the Emirates, he still scored two FA Cup-winning goals; the first came to complete their comeback against Hull City in 2014, while his finish helped them beat London rivals Chelsea to once again win the competition three years later.

It may surprise some that the 32-year-old actually spent a tough year on loan at the City Ground, where opportunities remained sparse for the maestro. He has since returned to his boyhood club Cardiff City on a free transfer.

Henri Lansbury (Arsenal 2007-2012; Nottingham Forest 2012-2017): Lansbury actually came up through Arsenal’s academy, but would only make eight senior appearances before being allowed to leave for around £1m.

This proved to be quite the steal, as the midfield general would quickly establish himself as a mainstay across various managers in Nottingham, even captaining Forest on his way to making 150 showings. Even in departing the club, he recouped a £3m fee from Aston Villa, to allow him to leave on good terms.

Kevin Campbell (Arsenal 1988-1995; Nottingham Forest 1995-1998): Another recruit to come up through Arsenal’s academy, Kevin Campbell was a powerful No 9 who epitomised the philosophy of his time.

A pure goalscorer, he accumulated fans at every club he played due to his personable demeanour and quality. Somewhat overshadowed by Ian Wright, he would still score 46 league goals for the Gunners before joining Forest.

Despite then being relegated, his 22-goal haul helped them return to the top flight at the first time of asking.

What is Arsenal’s biggest victory over Nottingham Forest?

Granit Xhaka

24th April 1915 - Arsenal 7-0 Nottingham Forest - During Arsenal's last season outside of the top flight, their seven-goal drubbing of Nottingham Forest remains their largest margin of victory over their opening-day opponents more than a century on.

Four goals from Harry King, a Bob Benson brace and a solitary Jock Rutherford goal provided the Gunners with their win in what was the final campaign before the league was suspended due to the First World War.

What is Nottingham Forest’s biggest victory over Arsenal?

Ryan Yates

9th November 1957: Nottingham Forest 4-0 Arsenal - It has been nearly 50 years since Forest's most dominant display over the Gunners, with this one-sided league clash eventually helping to separate the sides in the final league table as the hosts would end the campaign three points ahead of their mid-table opponents.

A double from Tommy Wilson set Forest on their way, while goals from Jim Barrett and Stewart Imlach completed the rout.

Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest: Key match stats

Steve Cooper
  • This will be the 104th meeting between these two teams.
  • Nottingham Forest’s presence in this coming top-flight campaign will be their second consecutive season since 1999.
  • Arsenal have never spent a campaign outside of the top tier of English football since their first appearance, though they have still only played in the fourth-highest number of seasons (107). Liverpool, Aston Villa and Everton have all featured in more.

Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest: Classic meetings

AFC vs NFFC

22nd September 1990: Nottingham Forest 0-2 Arsenal (League Divison One) - Although seemingly a routine away victory for Arsenal, this crucial win, with goals from Anders Limpar and David Rocastle, helped to bring a tenth English league title to north London that season.

8th March 1997: Arsenal 2-0 Nottingham Forest (Premier League) - In a team littered with stars, it was Dennis Bergkamp who unsurprisingly shone brightest as his brace helped secure all three points for Arsene Wenger’s side.

The mercurial Dutch forward was supplemented by Paul Merson, Patrick Vieira, Martin Keown and Tony Adams to name just a few, as their French coach was building towards the league title he would win the following year.