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How to watch Arsenal vs. Nottingham Forest: TV, betting info

While Arsenal and Nottingham Forest occupy different ends of the Premier League table, that was irrelevant last season. In the dying weeks of the campaign, the Gunners suffered defeat at the City Ground; that result officially ended the North London club’s quest for the title.

In a twist of fate, those two teams will meet on the opening weekend of the 2023-24 Premier League season.

That recent history will frame the encounter at the Emirates, but there’s more to the matchup than a not-so-distant memory. In fact, the match could set some early precedents for the campaign to come.

Let’s break Arsenal vs. Nottingham Forest down.

Leandro Trossard of Arsenal and Taiwo Awoniyi of Nottingham Forest in action during the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Arsenal FC at City Ground on May 20 in Nottingham, England.
Will Palmer/Sportsphoto/Getty

TV Channel, Streaming Options

In the opening round of matches, you might think that NBC would lean on the heavy hitters and air the matches featuring marquee clubs. Arsenal, however, won’t be on the air.

Despite finishing in second place last season, the Gunners will start their campaign with a streaming-only match. The Gunners and Nottingham Forest will take the pitch at 7:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, August 12, and you can catch the action on Peacock.

Both Arsenal and Nottingham Forest Will Want to Build on Last Season

In the world of sports, it’s a fairly standard cliché to refer to the end of a season as turning a page. Everyone’s records reset, and once the new campaign arrives, previous results are confined to the history books. While there’s an element of truth to that idea, Arsenal and Nottingham Forest will have the weight of recent history hanging over them.

Looking at Mikel Arteta’s club first, the Gunners now have serious expectations. At this point, improvement isn’t enough. When you lead the league for most of the season and falter in the home stretch, there’s only one way to respond to the critics: By winning.

In a similar vein, Arsenal is now a known quantity. Opposing teams know just how good the likes of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli are. Martin Ødegaard isn’t going to be allowed space in transition. Oleksandr Zinchenko’s forays into midfield won’t be a surprise. If anything, teams will be waiting to exploit the space behind the Ukrainian.

To that end, the Gunners will have to innovate. Arteta has challenged his troops to be more unpredictable on the pitch, but it’s tricky to balance innovation with familiarity. If attacking success stems from everyone being on the same page, how much variation can there really be?

It will also be worth considering Arsenal’s personnel changes and the burden of expectation. Granit Xhaka, an ever-present for the Gunners, has left London, and was replaced by the big-money signings of Declan Rice and Kai Havertz. While there’s no question about the arrivals’ collective talent, stepping into a team with high expectations will bring plenty of pressure. Can they—and Arsenal—manage the growing pains while knowing that chasing Manchester City doesn’t leave much room for error?

In the opposite dugout, Nottingham Forest avoided relegation, the club now faces the pressure of a second season in the Premier League. You can survive one campaign with good fortune, but lightning rarely strikes twice.

Last season, the Tricky Trees found most of their success at home. When the City Ground was rocking and Forest had its collective tails up, they could create havoc. On the road, though, things were significantly more bleak, with only one win coming away from the friendly confines. Can you avoid the drop with that disparity in results? Sure, but it’s a recipe for narrow margins.

The Reds also had a massive squad last season, and that hasn’t really been addressed during the summer transfer window. Again, that didn’t prove to be a fatal flaw, but having so many players who are unable to play regularly can be a recipe for an unhappy dressing room.

Betting Odds for Arsenal vs. Nottingham Forest

Given Arsenal and Nottingham Forest’s respective places in the 2022-23 table, you might expect this match to be a bit one-sided. And while anything can happen on the pitch, the bookmakers are inclined to agree.

According to The Action Network, who, in turn, cited Bet365 odds, the Gunners are 2/11 favorites. If you’re inclined to bet on the underdog, you’ll get 14/1 odds on the visitors. A draw has 6/1 odds and the over/under is set at 3.5 goals.

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