Arsenal travel to City Ground for Sunday’s FA Cup third round tie against Nottingham Forest.
The Gunners have faced the Championship outfit on three occasions over the past six years.
One of those was in the FA Cup in 2018 where they suffered a shock 4-2 away defeat in the third round.
Hence, they can’t take things lightly. Manager Mikel Arteta may start with some of the Premier League regulars.
Bernd Leno has been the club’s second-choice goalkeeper since September, and has played exclusively in the Carabao Cup. The German is likely to start between the sticks ahead of Aaron Ramsdale, who could be kept afresh for the first leg of the League Cup semi-final at Liverpool.
In the full-back positions, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Kieran Tierney could be rested with a view to the Anfield trip. Cedric Soares and Nuno Tavares are likely candidates to replace them. There will be an enforced change in central defence with Gabriel Magalhaes suspended after his red card against Manchester City.
Rob Holding featured off the bench on New Year’s Day, and he should start from the off with the captain’s armband. The 26-year-old could be accompanied by Ben White, who has been a regular choice at the heart of the defence for Arteta across all competitions.
The Belgian could play in a three-man pivot on Sunday. He could act as the enforcer with Martin Odegaard and Charlie Patino featuring ahead of him. Patino had a promising debut off the bench in the Carabao Cup quarter-final where he scored. The 18-year-old appears set to make his full debut.
Saka and Martinelli have been in peak form over the past month alongside Odegaard, which has left Smith Rowe as the odd man out despite his scoring exploits off the bench. Smith Rowe has three goals in his last four league games and will be aiming for another strong display to reclaim a regular starting role.