Brentford vs Arsenal: Bees can pile more pressure on Mikel Arteta

Following an underwhelming 2020/21 season, Arsenal are in desperate need of a good start. Brentford though, will be looking to contain their momentum from last season's promotion campaign.

When: Friday, August 13, 8pm BST

Where: Brentford Community Stadium

How to watch: Sky Sports

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Best bets

Draw and both teams to score at 15/4

Over 1.5 goals and over 3.5 cards in the match at 13/8

Ivan Toney to score anytime at 7/4

The season may not have officially started yet but the pressure certainly is building on Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

The Spaniard led his side to an eighth-placed finish last season, meaning the Gunners failed to qualify for a European competition for the first time since 1995.

The club have been desperately trying to strengthen over the summer but it's fair to say that their transfer business has been far from inspiring.

The Gunners have been linked with a veritable Who's Who of available players. Yet, despite this, their only significant bit of business has been the signing of Ben White.

For Brentford, this is a much-delayed return to the big time.

After three years trying to get Brentford promoted, Thomas Frank has one goal this season - survival.

West Brom and Fulham proved last year that avoiding relegation for newly promoted clubs is far easier said than done. However, following a good pre-season, the Bees look in good shape.

Last three head-to-heads

Arsenal 3-1 Brentford (League Cup - September 26, 2018)

In their last competitive head-to-head, it was Arsenal who prevailed and booked their place in the last 16 of the 2018/19 League Cup.

Two first-half goals from Danny Welbeck got Unai Emery's side off to a flyer.

Alan Judge got one back for Brentford shortly after the break but it didn't change the trajectory of the game.

Alexandre Lacazette completed the win with a stoppage-time effort for the Gunners.

Brentford 0-1 Arsenal (First Division - May 26, 1947)

In order to find the last league meeting between the two clubs, you need to go all the way back to 1947.

On that occasion, it was Paddy Sloan who scored the only goal of the game.

Out of the 17,000 fans in the ground that day, few would believe it if you told them the next league fixture between the two clubs would take place 74 years later.

Arsenal 2-2 Brentford (First Division - October 12, 1946)

Fans were treated to a thriller when the two teams met earlier that season.

Reg Lewis and Jimmy Logie scored Arsenal's goals, with a brace from Alec Blakeman helping the Bees to a draw.

Last ten head-to-heads

Brentford wins: 4

Draws: 3

Arsenal wins: 3

Brentford goals: 13

Arsenal goals: 11

Low expectations

Arsenal are priced at 50/1 to win the Premier League this year with Planet Sport Bet.

It's been a long time since we've seen odds of this size next to their name. Then again, it helps to underline just how far the Gunners have fallen.

Despite the doom and gloom, let's not forget how Arsenal finished the previous campaign - with five league wins in a row.

Question is, how should we read into that late burst of form? Was it Arsenal finally beginning to click or was it more down to the fact that pretty much everything by then had been settled?

If the Gunners can harness some of that form and kick-start the season in style, there may yet be hope for Mikel Arteta's side.

Nothing to lose

Brentford have enjoyed a pretty good pre-season as they prepare for a return to the top tier.

The club picked up a win over Valencia, managed a draw with Manchester United and ended up with five wins from seven friendly fixtures.

Their business in the transfer market has also been commendable following the acquisition of Kristoffer Ajer from Celtic, Frank Onyeka from FC Midtjylland and Yoane Wissa from FC Lorient.

The Bees are priced at even money to fall straight back into the Championship this season but they shouldn't be underestimated just yet.

Thomas Frank has instilled a lot of fight into this squad - something that was evident during their last two attempts at promotion.

Considering this is a side that has nothing to lose, they could give Arsenal a lot of problems. What's more, with a packed home stadium behind them, the Bees will be full of adrenaline.

Goalscorer bets

Who is going to be the best forward on the field when these two teams clash? Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang? Alexandre Lacazette? Many would say, it's Ivan Toney.

The Brentford man scored 31 goals last season and is considered to be one of the main assets for the Bees ahead of the new campaign.

Toney is currently priced at 7/4 to score anytime against the Gunners.

Speaking of Arsenal, it's their aforementioned forward pair who offer the shortest price in the anytime goalscorer market.

Another interesting bet is Nicolas Pepe at 9/5. The Arsenal man scored ten goals last season and certainly brings a goalscoring threat to the table.

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