Arsenal will get their new Premier League campaign underway when they host Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Arsenal will welcome Nottingham Forest to the Emirates Stadium this weekend for their first match of the new Premier League season. Mikel Arteta will be expecting his side to start with a win against Steve Cooper’s men.

However, the Gunners boss has plenty of selection decisions to make before his team can take to the field on Saturday. How the Spanish coach opts to line up his side against Forest may well give an indication as to who lays where in the pecking order for Arsenal.

Here are three things to look out for when Arsenal face Nottingham Forest.

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Who will lead the line?

With Gabriel Jesus set to miss out with injury, Arteta must decide on who will start up front in the Brazilian’s stead. New signing Kai Havertz led the line against Manchester City in the Community Shield, but isn’t at his most comfortable in that role. Leandro Trossard has been prolific in pre-season and can also fill in as a striker if required.

However, Eddie Nketiah was Arsenal’s back-up centre-forward last season and has shown he can deliver if given the chance to start games. The £100,000-a-week forward is in Arteta’s squad for scenarios such as this and has the quality to put Nottingham Forest to the sword if given the nod.

Keeping Nketiah and the rest of his attacking options happy all season will be a tough task for Arteta.

Manchester City v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield
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Arteta reconfiguring his midfield

Both Declan Rice and Thomas Partey started against Manchester City on Sunday, which gave the Gunners more defensive stability against the reigning Premier League champions. However, Arteta may feel he doesn’t need to be so conservative on this occasion. 

Havertz may well be brought into the midfield trio alongside Martin Odegaard, with one of Rice or Partey playing a deeper role behind them. This would make for a more attack-minded midfield contingent to take on Forest.

Manchester City v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield
Photo by Paul Harding – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

A new-look left side for Arsenal

Both Kieran Tierney and Gabriel Martinelli have been regular starters for Arsenal in recent seasons. However, both could miss out to Jurrien Timber and Trossard, respectively, this weekend. 

Timber has been a revelation since his arrival from Ajax this summer, and feels a more natural fit for Arteta’s preferred style of play than the Scottish left-back. With Oleksandr Zinchenko, Jakub Kiwior, and Takehiro Tomiyasu all also on the books at the club, Tierney’s future may well lay beyond the Emirates Stadium.

Meanwhile, Trossard’s recent form makes it hard for Arteta to leave the Belgian out. However, Martinelli will certainly play a huge role for Arsenal this season.

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