Brentford vs. Arsenal Betting Tips: Bookings in the capital for all London clash
A tumultuous couple of weeks for club football comes to an end this week as we head into the international break, but first Brentford welcome Arsenal to the Community Stadium for some early Sunday Premier League action.
Brentford vs Arsenal Tips
The visitors have spent a long two weeks mulling over a 3-1 defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Manchester United but were able to retain their status as league leaders thanks to Manchester City’s draw at Aston Villa. The Gunners began the season in blistering fashion, winning five straight to surge to the summit of the division and bag Mikel Arteta August’s manager of the month accolade, but were shown no respect by a United side that are on the up under Erik Ten Hag.
That game at Old Trafford was arguably their first real test and, even though they were missing a couple of key players, they didn’t give a very impressive account of themselves and could potentially have conceded more. Before that match they had conceded just four times in their opening five, though none of the sides they have faced had reached double figures for goals through their first six games.
One side that has though is their hosts, as Brentford fired five past Leeds in their latest outing to take their tally to 15 for the season - with only Manchester City and their fabulous nordic meat shield having scored more.
Ivan Toney bagged a sensational hat-trick in that game and, now buoyed by his first ever England call-up, will be looking to put Arsenal to the sword. His first goal against Leeds two weeks ago was his 50th for the Bees, and his next two were his first ever from outside the box - following a sumptuous free-kick with a wonderfully weighted finish from distance to take advantage of a defensive mix-up.
While Toney’s good form was rewarded with an England call-up, Arsenal defender Ben White’s was not, much to the dismay of manager Mikel Arteta - who has challenged the former-Brighton man to prove Southgate wrong for excluding him.
The centre-back is likely to continue filling in at right-back, which will have undoubtedly harmed his chances given England’s plethora of positional options, though Takehiro Tomiyasu has returned to fitness.
The Gunners will be hopeful on the fitness of Thomas Partey, who has been integral to their midfield under the Spaniard, but will certainly be without Oleksandr Zinchenko after the Ukrainian FA announced a two-week absence for him - meaning Kieran Tierney should slot in at left-back.
Brentford, meanwhile, will be glad to see Kristoffer Ajer and Sergi Canos both available for selection again, though Ethan Pinnock and Christian Norgaard remain sidelined. Bryan Mbeumo should continue to partner Toney up top, despite Yoanne Wissa’s continued contributions from the bench. The Congolese forward has netted two in his last two appearances - scoring one in eight minutes of playing time against Leeds and an important equaliser in just 12 minutes on the pitch against Crystal Palace.
One of the more interesting duels in this game looks set to be between Brentford wing-back Aaron Hickey and Arsenal winger Gabriel Martinelli. The latter has given a superb account of himself so far this season, and looks set for a place on the plane to Qatar come the World Cup in November.
With three goals to his name in just six starts already this season, the Brazilian has been causing all sorts of problems for opposition players up and down the country. Adam Smith, Wesley Fofana, Jacob Ramsey, and Nathaniel Clyne have all fallen for his whimsy already this season, finding themselves in the referees notebook having impeded him.
Martinelli has suffered 17 fouls in total through six league games this year (4th most in the division), whilst today’s opponent has been no stranger to referees.
Hickey, signed from Bologna in the summer, has been booked in three consecutive games on the right-hand side. The Scottish wing-back leads his side for cards, and picked up seven in Serie A last season.
Taking charge of this one is David Coote - who has handed out 19 yellows, a red, and two penalties in just five games so far this term.
The Nottinghamshire based official dished out an average of 4.5 bookings per game in the Premier League last season, dishing out cards like an over zealous executive at a networking event.
Now, whilst Ben White has done a sterling job filling in at right-back for Arsenal, he never looks fully comfortable out there and can sometimes find himself out on an island with the odds stacked against him.
His two bookings so far this season have come at a much higher rate (0.38 per 90) than ever before in his career, and it’s a stark contrast to the 0.09 per 90 he was subject to last season.
He’s likely to be up against Rico Henry, who has drawn his fair share of fouls this season, and the ever-dangerous Ivan Toney - who often pulls out into the left channel and has drawn 10 fouls so far this term.
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