Arsenal welcome a plucky Brentford side to the Emirates Stadium in what has brewed as something of a rivalry since Ivan Toney’s infamous “nice kick about with the boys” tweet after their 2-0 win last season.
The Gunners also suffered a shock 1-0 defeat away to Everton last week so will be eager to get back on track. No damage was done in their pursuit of the title though with Man City and Man Utd both also dropping points recently. Arsenal have a brilliant record at home this season where they have won 8 out of 9 fixtures. They face a Brentford team unbeaten in 9 consecutive Premier League games though.
You can find my stats pack for this London derby below with everything you need to pick a well-backed bet builder for the game. Use the info on goals, shots, corners, passes, fouls and more alongside my Stats Pack Guide to increase your chances of success.
There might be a temptation for Mikel Arteta to change the team following the disappointing performance last week. There has been some talk that Ben White’s position at right back is under threat from Tomiyasu, whilst Leandro Trossard might be pushing for a start in attack. Key striker Gabriel Jesus is still injured but nearing a return soon. This could add to the pressure on Eddie Nketiah who might feel like he needs a performance upfront here.
Brentford could potentially have their whole squad available. Frank Onyeka and Pontus Jansson have been ruled out recently with injury but both are close to a return. The real question is what formation manager Thomas Frank prefers. He switches between a 3-5-2 and 4-3-3. Against the bigger teams his preference tends to be safer, employing three centre backs. It is difficult to say, but all options are available for the Bees here.
Arsenal average an impressive 2.25 goals per game and just 0.85 against. They are slightly overachieving their xG metrics at both ends of the field, but this is to be expected for most sides top of any table. The Gunners average a mighty 16.10 shots per game with 5.25 on target. Their defence has been excellent this season and concedes just 8.55 shots against in each fixture.
Corners have not been huge in Arsenal fixtures. They have racked up 5.65 per game which is only an average-type amount for a team in their position. Both wingers cut inside a lot and don’t stretch the field as much. The North London outfit have been fairly well disciplined, obtaining just 1.70 cards per game and managing to draw 2.45 cards against from the opposition.
Brentford average 1.6 goals per game and 1.33 goals against. They have definitely been overachieving at both ends of the field. Their xG is only 1.24 and their xGA is a whopping 1.84. At some stage these metrics should regress to the mean which is something to look out for. Brentford only average exactly 10 shots per game but have been quite accurate, with 3.86 SOT. Opposition teams have been firing readily at them at an average of 15.10 times, with 5.52 on target.
Brentford average 4.48 corners per game and 5.57 against. They are known for their long throw routines so will often try to play for the throw rather than the corner. The Bees have been a reasonably well disciplined side under Thomas Frank, only picking up 1.38 cards per game. Cards against is 1.71. Brentford place a big emphasis on set piece routines and will look for some tactical fouls.
Player shots and shots on target
Eddie Nketiah will once again lead the line for Arsenal here. He averages 3.77 shots per 90 mins, with an impressive 1.69 on target. He can be relied upon to shoot both frequently, and accurately. The trio of Martinelli, Odegaard and Saka all average over two shots per game. Of this trio, Martinelli is the most dangerous to get involved with due to increased competition in his position from Trossard, who is taking minutes off him.
Ivan Toney unsurprisingly averages the most shots for Brentford with 2.70 per 90 mins. Bryan Mbeumo fires in 2.05 shots at a 0.95 SOT rate per 90 mins. Brentford have three strong attacking options with Yoanne Wissa who has similar statistics to Mbeumo. Christian Norgaard is an interesting candidate in this market. He only averages 0.93 shots per 90 mins, but the midfielder has converted that into 0.62 SOT.
Player goals and assists
Eddie Nketiah has four goals in 18 appearances and must be considered due to the chances he will likely get upfront. Norwegian maestro Martin Odegaard has scored 8 times and also weighed in with 5 assists. England star Bukayo Saka has been a machine this season and has 7 goals and 7 assists. Granit Xhaka is someone who can sometimes go under the radar. The Swiss international has five assists and also netted three times.
Striker Ivan Toney is the third highest scorer in the Premier League with 13 goals. He is a key man for the Bees and Arsenal will have to pay particular attention to him. In addition, Toney has supplied three assists. Brian Mbeumo and Yoanne Wissa are also worth looking at. Each have scored plenty of goals this season and weighed in with two assists. Mathias Jensen is the leading assist provider for the Bees with four. He is a long throw specialist and that is always an area which needs consideration with Brentford.
Arsenal average 58% of the ball which is one of the highest amounts in the Premier League. They are likely to have at least 65% possession in this fixture, maybe even more. A quartet of players all average over 60 passes per 90 mins with Zinchenko, Partey, and Saliba perhaps best watched the closest. The main problem is predicting who might last the entire 90 mins. Arteta often likes to freshen up his full backs and Thomas Partey has been nursed a bit recently due to some injury problems.
Brentford only average 43% possession and no player in their ranks averages more than 50 passes per 90 mins. This is not a ball hungry team and best suited on the counter-attack. The two players who are likely to have the most passes are Ben Mee and Christian Norgaard. In such a fixture where Brentford are likely to be starved of the ball, it is difficult to envisage any of their players toppling the 50 pass park.
The Gunners have generally been quite a clean team under Mikel Arteta this season. No player on this list has more than four cards and only two players, Saka and Odegaard average more than one foul per 90 mins. The attacking players are underrated for picking up fouls in this Arsenal system. They will press from the front and harass the opposition. Arsenal are probably going to have a lot of the ball here so are less likely to produce fouls and cards.
Ivan Toney is a physical monster, and it is no surprise to see him get fouled 2.22 times on average per 90 mins. Midfielder Jay DaSilva averages over three dribbles per 90 mins and might require some special attention. Right back Aaron Hickey does get forward and is another who averages over 3 dribbles per 90 mins. He’s been fouled 2.07 times per 90 mins and a prime candidate for Bukayo Saka to press.
Matchups to watch
Gabriel vs Ivan Toney
Bukayo Saka vs Aaron Hickey
Martin Odegaard vs Jay DaSilva
The Bees are a reasonably clean team, and their dirtiest player is striker Ivan Toney who averages 1.75 fouls per 90 mins and obtained 8 cards. He is a very physical player who is not shy of getting stuck in. Attacker Bryan Mbeumo has obtained four cards this season and is one to watch for some battles. He is a high energetic type of player who will get stuck in if required, Yoanne Wissa is the same for the exact reasons. Both fullbacks Hickey and Henry will likely come under significant pressure and have some tough matchups.
Eddie Nketiah is quite an elusive player and gets fouled 2.08 times per 90 mins. He has a high agility and dribbling rate which is one of the main reasons for this. Both Saka and Martinelli can be foul magnets for obvious reasons. Both love to take on their opponents and average over 4 dribbles per 90 mins. Granit Xhaka is a warrior in midfield and will not shy away from getting stuck in. He himself gets fouled 1.20 times per 90 mins. Xhaka can frustrate opponents with his ‘in your face’ attitude.
Matchups to watch
Ivan Toney vs Gabriel
Aaron Hickey vs Gabriel Martinelli
Rico Henry vs Bukayo Saka
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
Looking through the pack, there’s a few bet builder selections that I liked the look of. Load them into your betslip at 5/1 in one click below, but make use of the sign up offer above first to get some free bets whether it wins or loses.
Arsenal vs Brentford
Ivan Toney averages 2.70 shots p/90.
Brentford average 10.00 shots per game.
Arsenal games average 3.10 goals per game.
Brentford games average 3.00 goals per game.
This selection has won in all 3 of their Premier League meetings (0-2, 2-1, 3-0)
Bukayo Saka has 14 goal contributions in 20 appearances this season. 7 goals and 7 assists.
He scored in this exact fixture last season, and assisted twice against Brentford earlier this season.
Rico Henry doesn’t make the cards (for) graphic but still averages 0.75 fouls p/90.
Up against Bukayo Saka, who draws 1.68 fouls p/90 and attempts a whopping 4.11 dribbles p/90.