Premier League newcomers, Brentford welcome Arsenal to Brentford Community Stadium in the 2021-22 Premier League season-opening Friday Night Football.
Thomas Frank’s Bees look to begin their maiden Premier League campaign on a high, whilst Arsenal look to kick-start their season on the front foot after an awful 2020-21 campaign by their standards.
Ivan Toney is fit and available for Brentford after recovering from a stiff neck, which forced him to sit out their final pre-season friendly against Valencia which they won 2-1.
Josh Dasilva remains ruled out with a hip injury suffered last season whilst Mathias Jensen misses out after failing to participate in pre-season.
Arsenal will be without Eddie Nketiah and Thomas Partey after the pair suffered ankle injuries during pre-season.
Gabriel is also absent after suffering a knee injury on international duty for eventual Olympics champions, Brazil.
- This is Brentford’s first-ever Premier League meeting against Arsenal.
- Brentford have won just one of their last five meetings against Arsenal in all competitions (W1, D1, L3).
- Arsenal are visiting the Brentford Community Stadium for the first time but are winless in four of five trips to the Bees in the old First Division (W1, L4).
- Brentford’s Ivan Toney scored 33 goals in 2020-21 Championship, which is the exact total that Alexandre Lacazette (17) and Nicholas Pepe (16) managed for Arsenal in all competitions last season.
- Arsenal have lost two of their last five opening weekend matches (W3, L2).
Having retained the core of his squad whilst adding quality reinforcement in Frank Onyeka and Kristoffer Ajer plus others, Thomas Frank will be hoping that his team can build on an excellent pre-season in which their attack were already firing on all cylinders.
Arsenal though will be looking to hit the ground running if they’re to set their standards higher after a disappointing season last time out, although their central midfield doesn’t seemed to have had much reinforcement with only Albert Sambi Lokonga amidst some inconsistent players.
Now if Brentford can attack that particular area of the pitch with their high intensity then I do worry for Arsenal’s defence, which will be interesting with Ben White and Nuno Tavares set to improve their defensive quality and hopefully mean less messy performances in defence compared to last season.
This game therefore should be a cracker because both teams will be eager to impose themselves quickly on the front-foot, although Brentford have to be more ruthless in their attacking pace than last season but Arsenal are there for the taking and the home fans will definitely help to lift spirits another notch.
Prediction: Brentford 1-1 Arsenal
Result: Brentford 2-0 Arsenal