Brentford and Arsenal return to Premier League action with Sunday’s London derby, which has been brought forward from 2pm to 12pm ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.
The Bees ran out 5-2 winners over Leeds United last time out, while Mikel Arteta’s side most recently overcame FC Zurich 2-1 in the Europa League.
A momentous day for Brentford Football Club occurred at 2pm on Thursday, as talisman Ivan Toney earned his maiden call-up to the England squad for September’s Nations League matches, and a spot in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad is firmly within his sights.
In truth, it would have been impossible to resist the inclusion of Toney based on his exhilarating performance against Leeds alone, as he demonstrated his proficiency from the penalty spot, a free kick and a long-range lob to take home the match ball.
Yoane Wissa and Bryan Mbeumo also netted in a 5-2 demolition job of the Whites, which ended a three-game winless run in the Premier League for Brentford, who continue to sit pretty in the top half of the table – eighth to be exact at this moment in time.
Despite Arsenal’s standing as league leaders, only Manchester City (20) have found the back of the net more times than Brentford (15) in Premier League action this term, with Liverpool – only ahead of the Bees on goal difference – also notching up 15 strikes of their own from six matches.
Ten of Brentford’s 15 goals this season have come on their own turf, where they have only lost one of their last eight top-flight fixtures, and no Arsenal fan will need reminding of their team’s inaugural trip to the Brentford Community Stadium.
A few moments before the half-time whistle blew in Arsenal’s Europa League Group A clash with FC Zurich, the world learned of the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, which has led to a wave of postponements up and down the country – some out of respect and some out of security concerns.
A jam-packed October schedule for the Gunners will not get any easier after their postponed Europa League clash with PSV was rescheduled for next month, and there were fears that Sunday’s trip to Brentford would have also been called off before the game was given the green light to go ahead.
Marquinhos and Eddie Nketiah propelled a much-changed Arsenal side over the line against FC Zurich, but Arteta’s young crop failed their first real test of the Premier League season against Manchester United last time out, with Antony and Marcus Rashford getting the job done 3-1 for the Red Devils.
Nevertheless, Arsenal will finish gameweek seven at the top of the table with victory at the Brentford Community Stadium, although they could drop to third on Saturday if Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur both win, and it is now four games without a clean sheet in all competitions for the early pacesetters.
Brentford’s first-ever match in the Premier League saw them overcome a lacklustre Arsenal side 2-0 last August, but the Gunners responded with a 2-1 success at home, and the visitors’ underbelly is nowhere near as soft as it was in 2021.
Brentford Premier League form:
Brentford form (all competitions):
Arsenal Premier League form:
Arsenal form (all competitions):
We say: Brentford 2-2 Arsenal
With Toney taking the Premier League by storm and galvanised by his England call-up, a prolific Brentford side can experience plenty of joy in front of goal versus a Gunners defence that have been a bit shaky in recent games.
The absence of Zinchenko will be felt given the impact that he has had on the Arsenal team so far, but Arteta’s side respond well to conceding, and we can picture an entertaining London derby finishing all square as Arsenal risk losing their grip on top spot.