Brentford v Arsenal – Confirmed Team News & Predicted XI for PL opener

Arsenal will make the short trip across to west London this evening to take on newly-promoted side Brentford to kick off the Premier League season.

This London derby has been selected as the opening fixture of the entire division, and you can be forgiven for believing this is set to be a cagey affair.

The feeling at the Emirates is not overly confident after consecutive losses to both Chelsea and Tottenham in our pre-season Mind Series of late, but today’s opponent represents what should be an easier test.

All of our preparations will have been focused around getting our players ready for today’s match, and while we will be missing some key players, our team should be completely ready for tonight’s opening league match.

We will be without three key players for tonight’s match as confirmed on Arsenal.com, with Thomas Partey, Gabriel Magalhaes and Eddie Nketiah. The midfielder is expected to return to training in around two weeks, with the latter pair expected to be back closer to the three-week mark, but we should have more than enough cover for the positions at present.

Predicted XI:

Leno
Chambers White Mari Tierney
Lokonga Xhaka
Pepe Smith Rowe Aubameyang
Lacazette

There is one key player missing from this starting line-up in Bukayo Saka, but I feel like he is likely not quite back up to 100% after an extended summer break after his exploits at Euro 2020, while Nicolas Pepe is well-deserving of his place in the team regardless after an impressive end to the previous term.

With Nketiah already ruled out, Folarin Balogun could well be destined for his Premier League debut this evening, having been permanently promoted to the first-team squad for the new season.

Who do you expect to start ahead of the players in my predicted XI?

Patrick

Tags Arsenal v Brentford Brentford

39 Comments

  1. Staxhs says:

    Saka should start imo

    1. Nabimanya Spriano says:

      Okay

  2. Highbury Hero says:

    Nothing less than 3 points and a respectable score line should be expected. We are better than them in everything except one.

    We are playing Chelsea, Man City, Spurs and Leicester inside 10 games. Losing points to those teams is a probability to all teams not only us so it is teams like Brentford (with all due respect) that we should be taking maximum points and goal difference.

    1. PJ-SA says:

      I’ll add an actual style of play and identity would be great too.

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        That is where the inexperience of the coach is obvious. That alone is not a bad thing but is he learning? We are about to find out.

        1. Sylva says:

          H.H
          I agree with you👌
          Let’s see what Arteta tactics would be it’s time his team to started playing with identity.
          I also want to see if this group of players are hungry for something better this season. If the tactics is on point but players don’t have zest and passion we shall know from their first game tonight. They must contend for every ball. I personally prefer M Niles to play as a midfielder beside Xhaka while Lokonga comes in as a substitute. Lokonga still learning his ropes in EPL. But Elnneny just don’t cut it for me. His work rate is good but he has mistakes in him. A win is a must nothing else.

      2. guy says:

        PJ
        We HAVE a style of play and we HAVE an identity. We’ve had them for a season – they’re just rubbish ones!
        PLAN A
        1 Ask a gk who can’t pass to play it short to CBs or DMs who are slow and can’t distribute, 2 to give to our CMs who are slow and negative.
        3 They will TRY to pass long to our wide players who are closely marked. If not they pass it backwards like a hot potato.
        4 If our wide players do get the ball they wait for an overlapping wing back
        5 who will cross from the byeline to our one 4 ft tall striker in the box (the others, in particular those who have a poor shot, are told to wait on the edge of the area) who
        6 if he gets to it will put it wide.
        7 If they can’t cross they will keep possession all the way from one side of the box to the other tika taka style, while forgetting to get the ball INTO the box, until the other team get all of their players back.
        8 Meanwhile our slow centre backs, who cant play a high press, are playing a high press, patiently waiting for the pass over their heads
        PLAN B
        As Plan A except we ask half of our players to operate a high press in their half, while instructing the other half to watch.

        1. instrooments says:

          Lol..Spot on guy…. especially when saka played on the left and Pepe on the right….saka wud keep putting in cross after cross for our CFs or Pepe holds onto the ball for too long waiting for bellerin or Chambers to overlap…..this issue was solved when saka and Pepe swapped wings…as saka scored goals cuz he couldn’t cross with his right foot…..and Pepe became more direct and unplayable cuz the cut-back and cut-in reduced…

          But our pundit decided to revert back to the usual due to selection issues….auba had to play as captain,laca had to play as he seem to gel with the kids , saka had to play as the most creative guy, Pepe was in form and undroppable….

          I hope he gets it right this season cuz if all the players become fit and available, he might lose the room due to game time issues…

  3. fairfan says:

    Top 4 is the minimum requirement for Arsenal this term so 3 points against relegation bound Brentford is a must.

    1. Edibal Stephen says:

      I think today’s match will be big statement for arsenal especially Abomeyang, preseason not good which I haven’t seen for awhile shows arsenal are on solid footing to prove doubters wrong.and today’s game will be a big statement.

  4. kjelli says:

    0-3/4 Looking forward to see how Pepe will start the
    new season!! Hope to see Balo given 30 odd minutes
    Brentford should be nervous and tire in the second half

  5. Crowther says:

    Point of correction”arsenal shall be without one key player but not three as u have stated”.leaving that aside,arteta should drop auba & he brings saka in that lineup

  6. RW1 says:

    Will be a real measure of where we stand. As my brother is a brentford season ticket holder the feeling there is pretty positive .. new stadium core of promotion team retained with some additions they are happy with and already integrated in to squad focus over the summer has been on improving fitness … no push over .. and compared to us where continuity is a problem glaring gaps in squad have not been addressed and fitness issues already an issue I don’t think it’s going to be an easy game .. not expecting the kind of Fulham result early last season against a newly promoted outfit … will go with the heart and say 2 1 to us .. but not with a lot of confidence

  7. Declan says:

    Off topic, Steve Bruce has confirmed Willock having medical this morning and will train with Newcastle this afternoon.
    £25 million fee and 6 year contract.
    Good luck Joe.

  8. siamois says:

    I’m going for 4-1 for the Arsenal Brentford first game in the PL still on a high from their promotion it’s gonna be a wake-up call for them!

  9. tea says:

    I can’t believe this is arsenal team. A team entirely filled with average players. We can’t even get any of our player sold for a common 40 million save for saka. Very very sad wot arsenal has become . sad sad sad. Still gunners 4life!

    1. Trig says:

      I can’t believe it too

  10. Trent Madagua says:

    I’d play 3 at the back and have Kieran moved to left wing back playing Auba and Laca as possible to each other in a front 2.
    3-5-2.
    I honestly think it’s time we moved on from Auba playing on the wing.

  11. Ade says:

    Winning is winning, all I want is 3 points, I don’t care about the scoreline, no injury, no red card. I wish saka starts.

  12. Shabu Daniel Terese says:

    Saka may include in the line-up while Aubameyang should be out

  13. Longkat says:

    We need the 3 point

  14. Bruno says:

    Aubameyang is out for the game .!!!

    1. A J says:

      Ornstien reports Auba & Laca to miss game, as both unwell.

      1. siamois says:

        Yep they are both missing the game.

      2. Sue says:

        It never rains but it pours ☹

      3. SueP says:

        Time for the others to step up then and show what they can do

  15. instrooments says:

    I kinda have a good feeling about the game with auba and laca out….let’s finally get the opportunity to see the young guns perform…

    Saka FLO Pepe
    …………ESR…………..
    Xhaka…..Lokonga
    Tierney.. Mari.. white..Chambers
    ……………Leno………..

    Martinelli can come in second half ,

    Our pundit could still surprise us by playing Pepe as CF ..with Marty and saka at the wings…

    1. instrooments says:

      Maybe the pundit might get lucky again like last December when his hand was forced to play ESR…this might be FLOs or Martinelli’s chance …. though am kinda bothered that he might surprise us with a terrible formation with willian playing

      1. siamois says:

        “The pundit”is that your new nickname for MA ?

        1. instrooments says:

          LoL..Yea siamois…that’s how I see him… An intelligent pundit, with smart theoritical analysis of football but lacks skills and basic instincts for successful practical implementation on the pitch……..He would be a fantastic assistant to a proper manager or a famous pundit but here we are….

          1. Highbury Hero says:

            Our Gary Neville.

  16. Jah son says:

    A united arsenal under Arteta 🤫🤫🤫🤫

  17. Adeyemii says:

    Laca and Auba missing the game may be blessing in disguise it will serve as an opportunity for Martinelli Balogun to show what they can offer to the team

    1. Voyageur says:

      Interesting that my gut reaction to the news was too be more excited about the game and the prospect of seeing our young players. Probably means Arteta will start Bellerin on the wing and Willian as a false 9….

      1. guy says:

        aaaargh Voy – I pray you’re wrong but nothing would suprise me from Arteta!

  18. gerry burke says:

    auba and laca missing, ?, conspiracy theory number 147.what is going on there, unwell ?, well, i never.

  19. blue17 says:

    The fact that y’all think you can predict Arteta’s lineup is actually hilarious.
    I’m expecting something crazy that would even bamboozle our on players on the pitch.

  20. Dennis says:

    No Laca or Auba.
    time for Flo and Martinelli to show their worth.
    hoping for a great game tonight.
    more preferably, i will like to identify MA style of play

  21. Muhanguzi Ronald says:

    I hope this time the squad is mature enough not in age but tactics to take back the club to the top four. For Brentford match, Arsenal is going to surpass that test.

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