Arsenal are set to kick off their 2021-22 Premier League campaign against Thomas Frank’s newly promoted Brentford and Brentford Community Stadium on Friday night.
The Bee’s will participate in the Premier League for the first time since the league’s initial season in 1992-93, and they haven’t competed at the highest level of English football since 1938-39. Frank’s team could also imagine their chances against Mikel Arteta’s Gunners, with the Basque-born director and former Arsenal midfielder tasked with fielding an XI that six first-team players are sure to miss.
Ben White’s summer signing is likely to make his debut for Arsenal, but with Brazilian center-back Gabriel unavailable due to injury after playing as an Olympics international with Brazil, Pablo Mari should remain the left-side option. in the central couple. With Rob Holding listed as doubtful, the selection should be self-explanatory.
No doubt Kieran Tierney will start as a left back, but the bigger question comes along the lines of whether or not Arteta will turn to Arsenal veteran Héctor Bellerín, or if Calum Chambers could be drafted back into the position after solid performances as a right back. . where he started eight of Arsenal’s last eleven league games last season. The fact that Bellerín was linked to a move this summer only solidifies the chances that Chambers could be deployed from the start of hostilities.
Arsenal’s new youngster has the perfect opportunity to impress
They may be early doors, but the signature of summer Sambi Lokonga has already captured the hearts and minds of many in the Arsenal fan base after their preseason displays made most realize the jewel the Gunners have in their hands after their move from the childhood club. RSC Anderlecht.
And the timing couldn’t have worked more perfectly for the Brussels native and Under-21 international, with Thomas Partey suffering an injury in Arsenal’s 2-1 preseason loss to Chelsea that will lock him out until mid-September.
Lokonga’s elegance on the ball, mobility in the center of the park, and the ability to evade the press with direct balls well placed across the lines or over the top present a player at both ends that is ideal for replace Partey. Arteta has turned to Egyptian international Mohamed Elneny in the past, but reduced mobility, especially against a competitive side like Brentford, could potentially be costly through no fault of his own.
If Lokonga is called in and shows the necessary contributions, the talented young Belgian could get his first tough assignments as Arsenal have early upcoming dates with Manchester City and Chelsea.
The key to the selection of four forwards for Arsenal’s chances in the season opener
The perennial question about Arsenal’s four most effective forwards remains the frustration of many. What can be ruled out is the selection of Eddie Nketiah (injury) or Gabriel Martinelli (prolonged summer with Brazil in Olympic service), hence the age-old question of whether Alexandre Lacazette or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should be trusted to lead the line.
There is little scope for the surprise decision to start Folarin Balogun despite being in the first team setup, considering the young center forward has yet to record a single minute of Premier League action to date, and with one de Lacazette or Aubaeyang guaranteed to be selected, one has to wonder if Arteta will ask for both older forwards to be included, forcing Aubameyang to appear on the left.
Unfortunately, such a decision would affect Bukayo Saka or Nicolas Pépé, and the broad pair are looking to continue their relationship on the field with Arsenal’s new number ten, Emile Smith Rowe. The attacking trio wore the role when all three appeared in the starting XI last season, and that trend continued during preseason preparations, although it is not known whether Saka will end up taking a chance.
But on a tactical level, if Saka were included, he would certainly provide a better attacking balance behind the center forward, and given the Gunners’ focus when in possession combined with Brentford’s high level of organization under Frank, Lacazette could have the opportunity to do so. forward at Aubameyang’s expense. No one would be surprised if the opposite happened, however, with rumors that Lacazette has volunteered as on multiple potential summer deals.
Planned initial eleventh
Bias aside, Arsenal must enter the 2021-22 Premier League campaign with the intention of relying on tactical balance and the ability to generate and shoot goals from multiple areas of the starting eleven. With that in mind, this is how the Gunners could face Brentford on Friday night;
Log; Tierney, Mari, White, Chambers; Xhaka, Lokonga; Aubameyang, Smith Rowe, Pépé; Lacazette
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Brentford vs Arsenal Odds: Result, Both Teams To Score, Correct Score and Goalscorer
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