Preview: Brentford v Arsenal

Gtech Community Stadium

We're back in Premier League action tomorrow after an impromptu pause in proceedings, owing to the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 

The Gunners travel across London to the Gtech Community Stadium to face ninth-placed Brentford, as we aim to retain our top spot in the Premier League. This will be only the fourth meeting between the two sides in 75 years. 

Brentford's season so far


It took 74 years for Brentford to return to the top flight of English football. Their debut season in the Premier League last year impressed many as manager Thomas Frank led them to a comfortable 13th in the league table.

The Bees have settled relatively well into a typically difficult second season, with their 4-0 thrashing of Manchester United being the highlight so far. 

In fact, the London side certainly haven't struggled for goals so far. In their last league match, they put five past Jesse Marsch’s Leeds, and have netted 15 overall this term - second only to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. At the other end, goalkeeper David Raya has kept one clean sheet, against Manchester United.

What the managers say

Thomas Frank

Arteta on Brentford: "I think they are a really good side. I think what Thomas Frank and the staff have done there over the years has been remarkable. The way they have performed and the results they got against the top clubs as well, especially at home, just sets the tone for what is going to happen on Sunday. We are very aware of how difficult it's going to be to beat them.

"The club, the clarity, the philosophy and the vision that they had and how they have executed it, how they're constantly evolving... I think they deserve a lot of praise for what they've done." - read every word from Arteta's press conference

Thomas Frank on us: "We are playing against a very good side. When we beat them a year ago, I think they were not in the same place as they are now. Doing it on Sunday would be completely different because for me, now, after Manchester City, they are the best performing team in the league.

"Maybe, in spells, they've been the best performing team over the first six games. I think they've been remarkable, especially the intensity they play with. I remember being sat there on the Friday night for their opening game of the season watching them against Crystal Palace. I was thinking, 'What?! That's another level'. For the first 20 minutes, Crystal Palace didn't touch the ball. And I thought, 'They could win the Premier League!'"

Team news

Thomas Partey

In his pre-match press conference, Arteta admitted that there were a number of injury doubts ahead of Sunday. Alex Zinchenko was not picked for Ukraine's upcoming international break due to injury, and Emile Smith Rowe continues to struggle with a groin problem.

Meanwhile, Thomas Partey trained this week after missing our last three league games due to injury. Skipper Martin Odegaard was also with the squad at London Colney, and Ben White was confirmed to be fully fit by the boss. - more on injuries

Pre-match briefing

Ivan Toney, Bryan Mbeumo

Brentford target man, Ivan Toney, is currently the fourth most prolific goalscorer in the league. His five goals, including a hat trick against Leeds, recently earned him a call up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad. Only City’s Erling Haaland has more goal involvements this season.

In league head-to-heads, we have won one and lost five of our last away games at Brentford. However, the vast majority of these matches occurred prior to 1948.

In 2018, we beat Brentford 3-1 at home in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup. Danny Welbeck was on the scoresheet twice, along with Alexandre Lacazette. 

Match officials

David Coote

David Coote has only refereed five of our previous fixtures.

Of those five Arsenal fixtures refereed by Coote, we have won two, drawn one and lost one.

  • Referee: David Coote
  • Assistant Referee 1: Nick Hopton
  • Assistant Referee 2: Timothy Wood
  • Fourth Official: John Brooks
  • Video Assistant Referee: Peter Bankes
  • Additional Video Assistant Referee: Neil Davies

Last time around

Despite a radically different squad losing away to the Bees in our first game of last season, we sought our revenge in the home fixture. Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka put on a Hale End masterclass at the Emirates to give us the three points.

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