So the new season begins as Arsenal play the opening match away at our newly promoted neighbours Brentford, who are total newbies in the Premier League, having been in the Fourth division as recently as 1998.
In fact it is 74 years since the Bees were last in the top tier of English football. But don’t expect them to be a pushover, as Ivan Toney is in tremendous for with 31 goals in the last campaign.
Brentford won 7 out of their last 8 games last season, and the away 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth was their only loss in their last 15 matches.
But after Arsenal’s underwhelming (so far) transfer window, we are set to start the season without any recognisable backup keeper and with still only Emile-Smith-Rowe as a playmaker.
As last year our team looks good on paper, but with Thomas Partey, Gabriel and Eddie Nketiah out for the next few games, we are not going to have our very best starting line-up.
Lokonga has looked okay in pre-season and it looks like he will have to partner Xhaka in midfield (or Elneny?) and our forward line will be between Aubameyang, Lacazette, Saka and Pepe. With our captain still firing blanks in pre-season, it will be interesting to see who Arteta chooses, especially as Saka only returned to training recently. Or could Balogun get a run out against a hopefully weak Brentford side?
Against Tottenham, it was Bellerin and Tierney on the wings with White and Mari as centre-backs. Will he stay with these or will Holding come back in? Could Arteta surprise us by putting Maitland-Niles or Chambers in the back line somewhere?
Who do you think Arteta will choose to start against Brentford?