Arsenal take on Brentford on the opening day of the new Premier League season and Mikel Arteta has a lot to consider after recent events.
The Gunners’ pre-season camp was going great. Our long trip to America was cancelled, most of our players were performing really well and we had no injuries to be worried about. Sadly, that changed on Sunday.
Arsenal suffered a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at the Emirates. Nobody really cares about the result, but a shocking challenge on Thomas Partey saw the Ghanaian hobble off the pitch in pain. That has been a real cause for concern over the last two days.
Arteta revealed after the game that the midfielder’s injury ‘is not looking good‘, and reports on Tuesday confirmed that he is guaranteed to miss the start of the new Premier League season. (Read here)
That is a massive blow for Arsenal, but it doesn’t end there. Gabriel Magalhaes is also yet to recover from the injury he picked up on international duty, and Arteta claimed that the £27 million man is unlikely to feature against Brentford as well. (Read here)
Bukayo Saka is expected to return to training this week, but there’s no way he’ll be ready to start on the opening day. That complicates things for Arsenal, but Arteta has no choice and he has to get a strong team out to get the job done.
Predicted Arsenal XI vs Brentford
Bernd Leno is guaranteed to start in goal and we expect Calum Chambers, Ben White, Pablo Mari and Kieran Tierney to start in front of him. White impressed after coming on against Chelsea and we can’t wait to see more of him in an Arsenal shirt.
Granit Xhaka, who is reportedly about to sign a new contract, will start in midfield, but he will not have Partey alongside him. Mohamed Elneny is the natural option to start, but we expect Albert Sambi Lokonga to get the nod after impressing in pre-season.
Our attack is a predictable one. Saka is unlikely to start and Gabriel Martinelli will not be back in time for our opening game. That leaves us with a front four of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe and Emile Smith Rowe.
Here’s how we think Arsenal will line up against Brentford