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A disastrous pre-season for Arsenal saw their tour to America cancelled due to a covid outbreak, while they’ve lost three of their four winless outings in order to warm up for this opening encounter.
That included fixtures with Scottish outfits Hibernian (2-1) and Rangers (2-2), and they’ll hope the returning of their key players can turn that around.
Brentford will be feeling very optimistic about their first ever game in the Premier League. They came from behind to beat Valencia at their home stadium last weekend and having also drawn with Man Utd at the end of last month in a friendly, they certainly won’t be pushovers.
They lost just twice last season on home turf, coming against Preston and Barnsley, finishing the season with three straight wins against Rotherham Utd, Watford and Bournemouth here.
You wouldn’t expect the Bees to be pushing for a top-half finish this season and against the bottom half of the table, the Gunners have a pretty respectable record. Indeed, they’ve gone W9-D3-L2 since Christmas against such sides, including six wins from nine on the road.
In fact, they scored two or more goals in all the last eight of those victories, netting more than two in six, and with the attacking talent they possess, we’d expect nothing but the same again from them.
Arsenal To Beat Brentford
The men from North London have been recruiting over the summer as Ben White has joined the ranks at centre back, Nuno Tavares improves the option at left back and Albert Lokonga looks a brilliant rotation option in the middle of the park.
They do still seem to be lacking enough strength in depth in the attacking midfield role, but between Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe, Gabriel Martinelli and Willian, they should be able to provide Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with the service he’ll need.
Mikel Arteta was presented with a similar challenge at the start of last season when facing the recently promoted outfit Fulham on the road, a game in which they managed to win 3-0, and we’d expect them to be able to manage a similar result.
Moreover, they won all their final five matches at the end of last season, four of which came by exactly two clear goals, and if they can continue that form, we’d expect to see another similar result.
Arsenal To Beat Brentford At 17/20
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