Arsenal host Brentford at the Emirates Stadium this Saturday with the hosts looking to maintain their winning form after a hard-fought 1-0 win against Wolves at the Molineux Stadium. The visiting team come into the fixture on the back of a goalless draw against Crystal Palace at home. The Bees are winless in their past 5 games with 1 draw and 4 losses. They face an uphill task this Saturday against a team they beat in the reverse fixture back in August comfortably by 2 goals to nil.
The top 4 race is heating up as we head into matchday 26 with Arsenal in 6th place with 3 games in hand over West Ham and Manchester United who are placed above them. A win at the weekend will see Arsenal leapfrog West ham to 5th place 1 point behind Manchester United who were victorious against Brighton yesterday.
Meanwhile, Brentford who are 14th in the league 7 points adrift of Norwich City in 17th, will look to get something out of this game in order to cement their position in the table and pull clear of the relegation zone.
WHEN AND WHERE?
Venue:- Emirates Stadium.
Date:- 19th February, Saturday.
Time:- 3:00 PM GMT.
Arsenal will be without Gabriel Martinelli who picked up a red card in their previous fixture meanwhile Mohammed Elneny and Takehiro Tomiyasu are set to be fit for the game with the former being benched last time out after participating in the AFCON final and the latter returning to training after a calf injury. Kieran Tierney who has played every minute of the previous 9 games was not pictured in training yesterday and will be a doubt for the game on Saturday.
For the Bees, Christian Eriksen is inching closer to a PL return after playing in a behind the doors friendly and bagging an assist but it is highly unlikely that he plays at the weekend. Ivan Toney who suffered a calf injury is also a doubt for the game after missing the last 2 games.
The English winger will be an important player for the Gunners in attack due to the absence of Martinelli. He has bagged 6 goals and 4 assists in 22 appearances this season and will look to increase the tally against Brentford who have conceded 40 goals this season which is the 6th highest in the league. His link-up play with Lacazette up top and Odegaard will be crucial for Arteta’s men to get the 3 points.
The 23-year-old goalkeeper is having a flying start in his debut season at Arsenal with 11 clean sheets in 19 Premier League games. The goalie was signed from Sheffield United for 25 million+5 million addons raising eyebrows from the fans and media who were left surprised by the hefty price tag for a goalie. Despite the criticism faced by him from the media and fans, the ex-Sheffield United goalie has made 60 saves in total this season and will be looking to continue his impressive form in goal.
The French striker will be the main man to score for the Bees in the absence of their top scorer Ivan Toney who is nursing a calf injury. Mbeumo has 3 goals and 3 assists this season in 22 appearances and is joint second for the most goals scored this season level with Yoane Wissa. He will be key for Brentford who look to increase their season tally of 26 goals in 25 matches which is the 14th lowest in the league.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1) – Ramsdale, Tavares, Gabriel, White, Tomiyasu, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe, Lacazette.
Brentford (3-5-2) – Raya, Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock, Canos, Jensen, Norgaard, Janelt, Henry, Mbeumo, Wissa.