Premier League title contenders Arsenal return to top-flight action after a two-week hiatus as they travel to the Gtech Community Stadium to encounter mid-table Brentford.
Mikel Arteta’s side headed into the November international break off the back of a 3-1 home thumping of newcomers Burnley, unlike the Bees, who got wrecked at Anfield.
Liverpool picked Thomas Frank’s side apart in a one-sided 3-0 victory, perhaps showing Arsenal a recipe for knocking their city rivals down from a 14-game unbeaten run in the Premier League London derbies (W8, D6).
Depending on the result of Saturday’s Premier League classic between Manchester City and Liverpool, the Gunners could finish this round at the top, provided they hold up their end of the bargain and beat Brentford.
With Fabio Vieira, Jurrien Timber, Gabriel Jesus, Thomas Partey and Emile Smith Rowe expected to remain on the sidelines, Arteta may need to pull off some tactical changes to field a competitive line-up.
According to football.london, captain Martin Odegaard has returned to training on the eve of Arsenal’s cross-city journey and should be in contention for the matchday squad.
Odegaard’s potential return to the fold would significantly boost the Gunners’ chances of extending a three-match undefeated streak against Brentford in the Premier League (W2, D1).
Let’s look at our betting predictions.
Arsenal to win & score over 1.5 goals
Brentford cannot be taken lightly despite being denied a fourth consecutive league victory by Liverpool and heading into this showdown as betting outsiders.
Given Asenal’s track record in his fixture, one goal probably won’t be enough to secure all three points.
Arteta’s men have fended off Brentford just once in four Premier League showdowns, while both league triumphs against this opposition saw them score multiple goals.
Motivation shouldn’t be an issue for the Spaniard in his 200th game in charge of Arsenal despite already winning more matches than any of his nine predecessors to have hit this milestone.
The Gunners must differ from this season’s pattern, as two of Arsenal’s three top-flight wins on hostile turf have yielded an identical 1-0 scoreline, including a narrow victory at Crystal Palace in August.
The fact that Brentford have yet to draw a blank in Premier League home action in 2023 substantiates this hypothesis, highlighting the significance of lacing up the scoring boots this weekend.
And that’s not to mention they’ve scored precisely three goals in their last two home league outings.
Defying an underwhelming run of one win from their last five competitive away matches (D1, L3) in such an unpleasant environment as the Gtech Community Stadium would be a statement of intent.
Bukayo Saka on the scoresheet
The goalscorer’s market has become a popular trend. Nowadays, bookmakers have nearly perfected the odds margins to reduce downsides at the expense of their players. That’s where betting exchanges come into play, allowing players to bet against each other, get fairer odds and ultimately maximise their gains.
Bukayo Saka seems to be the best pick for this weekend.
After netting four goals in his first seven Premier League appearances this season, the 22-year-old has lost his mojo, failing to get on the scoresheet in his last four.
Now’s the perfect time for the England international to rediscover his ‘killer instincts,’ especially after struggling to deliver for the Three Lions during the international break.
Brentford are not among Saka’s favourite opponents, considering he has only scored once in his three Premier League games against the Bees, which could be another reason for him to step up on Saturday.
With Jesus out and Eddie Nketiah not having the best of times, Arsenal need their talismanic winger to lead the line against a defensively-stubborn Brentford side.
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