2. Declan Rice vs Ryan Yates
A likely debut as our left-sided eight means Ryan Yates will be the one tasked with stopping Declan Rice.
It could prove too much for the Forest man as, back in October, he went head-to-head with Rice’s predecessor, Granit Xhaka, and failed miserably to keep him in check, with the Swiss often venturing into the box unopposed to create chances.
Xhaka might have moved on since, but Rice will probably feature in a similar capacity this weekend and has shown in pre-season (especially in the Emirates Cup) that he too can roam forward and combine with the left winger – a move which will create havoc behind enemy lines.
How Yates responds will pique spectator interest because while he was overrun in north London, the 25-year-old shone in the reverse fixture and is well-equipped to nullify the Arsenal threat.
He expertly marshals the engine room and rarely loses out in challenges, ranking in the top 2% of Premier League midfielders for challenges lost per 90 last term (The Athletic), while his ability to drop back into defence will help Forest to repel our prolific attack.
Let’s hope the £105m man comes out on top.
Continued on the next slide…