Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest
Arsenal kick off their new Premier League campaign at home to Nottingham Forest looking to go one better than last year.
The Gunners sat top of the table for a staggering 248 days but were still convincingly beaten to the title by Manchester City come the close of play.
Mikel Arteta has reacted with another £200million-plus summer spend and the Gunners boast their strongest squad in two decades. Forest have reigned in their own spending, but could hand a debut to Matt Turner, fresh from a £10m move from the Gunners.
Arsenal and Mikel Arteta learned about the new rules regarding gamesmanship and time-wasting the hard way in last weekend’s Community Shield affair with Manchester City, who withstood Gunners pressure before propelling themselves into the ascendancy through a fine Cole Palmer effort.
However, the North London giants quickly became the beneficiaries of the newly-introduced regulations, as Leandro Trossard’s deflected effort in the 11th minute of second-half injury time preceded a second successive penalty-shootout success for the Gunners, who had also retained their Emirates Cup crown by beating Monaco from 12 yards.
The age-old debate over whether the Community Shield counts as a piece of silverware continues to rage, but Arsenal’s celebrations on the day were telling, as Arteta’s men finally ended their spate of dismal defeats against the treble winners and potentially gave themselves a huge psychological boost ahead of another title charge.
Arsenal exceeded most fans’, pundits’ and journalists’ expectations during a phenomenal 2022-23 campaign, although it still only took a couple of injuries to key cogs for things to go pear-shaped, which the Emirates board have sought to rectify with a £200m+ summer spending spree.
Such an outlay should also see the Gunners shut up shop at home more often than they did last term, as their 5-0 demolition job of Wolverhampton Wanderers on the final day marked just their fourth Emirates clean sheet in the 2022-23 campaign, although one of the other three did come against their opening-day opponents.