Forest v Arsenal: All the history you need to know ahead of the FA Cup third round clash
The weekend of the third round of the FA Cup is one of the highlights of the footballing calendar and this year’s draw has thrown up a few crackers (and potential banana skins).
It appears the magic of the FA Cup is well and truly back and when Arsenal’s name came out of the hat faced with an away trip to Nottingham Forest, it was a draw for the football purists.
Although the Gunners will head into the game as overwhelming favourites, Forest possess something Arsenal can only dream about, two European Cups.
Although the two clubs are now competing in different leagues with very different goals in mind, it hasn’t always been that way as we take a look at the history between the two clubs as they gear up for a new year FA Cup encounter.
The First Meeting
On the 22nd October 1904, Nottingham Forest travelled to North London to face Arsenal for the very first time.
It was also a very successful trip as Forest headed home after a comfortable three-nil win. However, it did not improve their position much as Forest ended the season 16th just above Bury and city rivals Notts County who finished bottom.
Arsenal finished tenth in a season which saw Newcastle head Everton home by one point at the top of the table
The Last Meeting
A fond memory for Gunners fans which was notable for Nicklas Bendtner coming up against his former side once more.
After 16 minutes Bendtner found himself in the book and after 90 minutes, it was even worse for Bendtner and Forest as goals from Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain and two from Perez ensured Arsenal comfortably made it through the early stages of the 2016/17 league Cup.
The Goal Fest
In the 1960/61 top flight division, Forest and Arsenal played out an eight-goal thriller at the City ground in a game that remains to this day the highest scoring encounter between the two.
However, the season was a disappointing one for both sides with Forest finishing a distant 14th and the Gunners arch rivals winning the league (although there is some good news as that still remains Spurs most recent title triumph).
The last Premier League Clash
Nottingham Forest have an impressive trophy haul which includes one league title, two FA Cups, four League Cups, two European Cups and one Uefa Super Cup to their names.
Despite this, this season marks the 19th season in a row that Forest have been missing from England’s top flight.
During the sides relegation season of 1998/99, Arsenal did the double over their opponents with a 2-1 win at Highbury and then a 1-0 win at the City ground on the 16th January 1999.
Forest ended up bottom of the table a whopping 11 points adrift of 17th place Southampton whereas the Gunners were pipped to the post by Manchester United for the title.
The overall stats
Both sides have rich history, but Arsenal hold the advantage in the overall head to head stats.
Overall, the two sides have met 89 times with Arsenal claiming nearly 50% of those matches with 44 wins to their name.
Forest have claimed 25 wins meaning 20 times the sides have met; a draw has been played out.
The Gunners have also scored 134 goals to Forest’s 99 which equates to an average of 1.51 goals per game for Arsenal and 1.11 for Forest.
Arsenal will head into the game as overwhelming favourites and the stats suggest another win is on the cards. But as we all know, over 90 minutes, anything can happen.