Football News

Arsenal v Brentford predicted XIs: Team news as Thomas Frank is ‘hopeful’ of key return

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 21:11, 17 February 2022

Arsenal look to continue their momentum as they host Brentford in a Premier League showdown at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon (15:00 UK time).

Mikel Arteta’s men returned to successful ways last time out when they ran out 0-1 winners at Wolves, subsequently ending a two-game winless streak. This leaves them sixth, on 39 points and four points behind Manchester United, who occupy the final Champions League spot (although the Gunners have played three games fewer than their old rivals).

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As for Brentford, who are playing in their first top-flight campaign since 1946/47, they come into this latest round of Premier League fixtures 14th in the table but, more importantly, seven points above the relegation places, albeit having played a game more than Norwich in 18th. However, they are on a six-game winless run and have won just one of their previous nine league matches, which includes seven losses.

Arsenal predicted XI v Brentford:

  • Ramsdale; Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Smith-Rowe; Lacazette.

Emile Smith Rowe is expected to return to Arsenal’s starting lineup with Gabriel Martinelli’s suspended after the Brazilian forward was sent off in their 1-0 win over Wolves. Smith Rowe is the Gunners’ leading scorer this season. Takehiro Tomiyasu is back in training and could be part of Arteta’s squad.

Brentford predicted XI vs Arsenal

  • Martin; Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock; Canos, Jensen, Norgaard, Janelt, Henry; Mbeumo, Wissa.

There’s a clean bill of health for Brentford coming into this weekend’s showdown. Thomas Frank, who’s attempting to register a double over Arsenal, is hopeful top scorer Ivan Toney will be available to feature in North London following a recent absence.

“We hope he will be (available). He’ll be assessed during the week and we’ll do everything we can to get him available,” Frank told reporters.

“It’s not like we can say he will 100% be fit, but it’s something we are hoping for and think that could be realistic. But it depends on how he is progressing during this week.”

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Too early for Eriksen

On winter transfer deadline day, Brentford made headlines by hiring Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen, who had been a free agent following his departure from Inter Milan in December when it became apparent he would not be allowed to play Italian domestic football after being fitted with a pacemaker.

Many thought Eriksen’s career was over but the former Tottenham star — 51 goals and 62 assists in 226 previous Premier League appearances — never gave up hope and the Bees, staffed by six of his compatriots, took a chance on him. However, according to manager Frank it could be a while before we see him in action. Eriksen, who enjoyed many North London derby clashes against the Gunners, concurs with his boss.


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“It takes some time to get football fitness, condition-wise is good. I have done a lot of running and a lot of tests, so the condition is good. The football touch is something of course you get in games, but of course to get there is still a few more weeks,” he told Sky Sports.

“At the moment, when the coach sees me fit and wants me to play, then I’ll be able. But at the moment we just take it day by day.”

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