Friday the 13th of August sees the beginning of the 2021/22 English Premier League season. There is one fixture to be played and it is between newly promoted Brentford and Arsenal in a London derby. This will be the first time Brentford have participated in the Premier League in its current form and they will be looking forward to welcoming The Gunners to the Brentford Community Stadium.
Brentford finished third in the Championship last season, 4 points adrift off second place Watford and entered the playoffs for a place in the Premier League. Having lost the first leg of their semi-final tie 1-0 at Bournemouth, The Bees produced a strong performance at home in the second leg to win 3-1 and reach the final. Brentford proved too strong for Swansea City and two goals inside the opening 20 minutes of the match was enough to secure promotion.
Brentford have played 6 preseason friendly matches, picking wins over AFC Wimbledon, Boreham Wood, Watford, and most recently, Valencia. The two matches they failed to win both came against Premier League opposition and Brentford were defeated by West Ham United and held to a 2-2 draw by Manchester United. Brentford were tough to beat at home last season and have lost only one of their last 23 league games but clearly the opposition is going to be of a higher calibre this season.
Arsenal come into the match having endured a tough preseason, where they failed to win any of their 4 matches. There were defeats against Hibernian, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur plus a draw with Rangers. The most recent defeat against Spurs featured a strong starting XI and some Arsenal fans may be a little concerned ahead of the new campaign.
However, trends show Arsenal are on a run of 5 consecutive wins in the Premier League having finished strongly at the end of last season. In their 8 most recent matches of the Premier League, Arsenal have been undefeated 7 times plus, they are undefeated in their last 7 away Premier League games in a row.
Arsenal have been winning at both half time and full time in their last 4 away league matches and have scored 3 goals in 4 of their last 7 away Premier League fixtures. Looking ahead to the team news and Brentford will start with Ivan Toney in attack, who scored 33 goals in the Championship last season. Kristoffer Ajer has joined from Celtic and will partner Pontus Jansson in defence.
Arsenal are set to begin the season with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette up-front. Bakayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe could provide the attacking threat from midfield for The Gunners.
Brentford are likely to come out on the front foot and play without any fear. However, there is a good chance they will be caught by arsenal on the counter-attack and therefore, we expect to see both teams find the back of the net but Arsenal to come away with maximum points.
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