The Gunners prepare for what is often a testing Premier League London derby. We look ahead to the game with our data-powered Brentford vs Arsenal prediction and preview.
Brentford vs Arsenal Stats: The Quick Hits
- Arsenal (39.4%) are predicted to only have a slight advantage over Brentford (31.8%) by the Opta supercomputer.
- Mikel Arteta will take charge of his 200th match as Arsenal manager.
- Brentford boast a strong home record, although the Gunners have won on their last two trips to Gtech Community Stadium.
Mikel Arteta will take charge of his 200th match as Arsenal manager away to Brentford on Saturday, an occasion he will hope to toast with a win.
Arsenal are very much in the Premier League title picture heading into Matchday 13, and will look to take advantage of leaders Manchester City and second-placed Liverpool doing battle earlier on Saturday.
Arteta will know by kick off in their early evening fixture whether top spot is indeed up for grabs, but the more important goal will be collecting three points from what looks like a testing London derby.
Arteta has won 115, drawn 34 and lost 50 of his first 199 matches at the helm in all competitions. Regardless of the result at Brentford, he has won more matches in his first double century than any of the other nine bosses who have reached the milestone with the Gunners.
If his successful tenure is to include silverware in 2023-24, he needs Arsenal’s away form to get back on track, with losses at Man City and Nottingham Forest in the closing stages of last season being followed up by recent setbacks against Lens, West Ham and Newcastle in this campaign, although two home wins sent his side into the November international break in a much better place.
After David Raya started the last eight Premier League matches, keeping four clean sheets in that run, Aaron Ramsdale is set to come back in with the Spanish goalkeeper ineligible to face parent club Brentford. The visitors will hope captain Martin Ødegaard is fit to return after missing international duty with Norway due to a concussion, particularly with Fabio Vieira suspended.
Bukayo Saka will be bidding to continue his impressive run in London derbies. The England international has been involved in more goals (13) in those games than any other Premier League player since the start of last season, with five goals and eight assists. In the same timeframe, Brentford striker Bryan Mbeumo has scored eight goals in London derbies, which is a league-leading figure.
It’s been another fine season for Saka so far. He has eight assists in all competitions – only West Ham’s James Ward-Prowse (nine) has more among Premier League players – and overall he has 45 assists for Arsenal, a tally only four top-flight players can better since the start of 2019-20.
If Saka can help Arsenal to victory it will be a happy 200th game in charge for Arteta, but the Gunners are set for a stern examination as part of a Matchday 13 card with a host of fixtures that look tough to call.
As well as Arsenal’s tough trip and Man City facing Liverpool, Tottenham will take on Aston Villa and Newcastle United meet Chelsea, so the top positions in the table could soon have a very different look to them.
Brentford vs Arsenal Head-to-Head
These two teams have already met once this season, with Arsenal emerging triumphant in a 1-0 EFL Cup victory at Brentford in September.
Reiss Nelson scored an early goal that proved decisive, though the Gunners owed much to goalkeeper Ramsdale, who produced a strong performance that included a key save from Yoane Wissa. They ended up going out of the competition in the next round against West Ham.
Arsenal also fared well at Gtech Community Stadium last season, winning 3-0 in the Premier League. William Saliba and Gabriel Jesus both scored headers before Vieira capped the win with a long-range strike on his first start, at a time when Raya was still representing Brentford.
Brentford did get a creditable draw at the Emirates Stadium in the return fixture. Leandro Trossard scored his first goal for Arsenal in the second half, but a header from Ivan Toney, who had earlier hit the post, earned the Bees a 1-1 draw. The Gunners were comfortably top of the table at that point but were ultimately overhauled by Manchester City in the title race.
This is a fixture Trossard, who has scored in three straight matches for club and country coming into the match, enjoys. He has scored three Premier League goals against Brentford and has only ever netted more times against Liverpool (five goals) in the competition.
Despite their recent setbacks against Arsenal, Bees fans will still fondly remember beating Arteta’s side 2-0 in their first-ever Premier League game against them in August 2021.
But Arsenal now have a chance to win two away games against a fellow London side in the same season for the first time since the first-ever Premier League season in 1992-93, when they achieved the feat against Crystal Palace.
Two straight home wins against Sevilla and Burnley helped Arsenal to steady the ship in the UEFA Champions League and Premier League prior to the international break.
Those triumphs came after the controversial loss at Newcastle and the EFL Cup exit away to West Ham. Their only other defeat this season also came in away game against Lens, while they dropped points in a dramatic draw on the road at Chelsea, so the Gunners have not been as ruthless on their travels as they have on home soil.
Brentford’s 3-0 defeat at Liverpool last time out ended a three-game winning streak in which they saw off Burnley, Chelsea and West Ham.
Prior to that run, it had been a frustrating start to the season for Thomas Frank’s team, who made an unpleasant habit out of dropping points from winning positions.
Their win over Burnley on October 21 ended an eight-match run where they had not won in 90 minutes (they did defeat Newport County on penalties in the EFL Cup during that sequence), and it was a result that sparked a rapid improvement.
While the revival came to an end in Brentford’s loss to Liverpool, the defeat was not as comprehensive as the scoreline suggests. The two teams created a similar level of goalscoring opportunities (the hosts had 1.71 expected goals compared to 1.68 for Brentford) and the visitors had 16 shots, although they were frustrated to test Alisson with just three of them. The match was still undecided until the last half-hour, when Mohamed Salah scored his second goal and Diogo Jota sealed the victory.
Brentford are a tough team to beat a home. They’ve only lost one of their last 10 home league games, a defeat to Everton in September. Stretching further back, they have suffered defeat in just two of their last 22 Premier League home matches, with Newcastle the only other team to beat them during that run.
Derby fixtures have also been good for the Bees over recent seasons. They are unbeaten in 14 clashes against London opponents. However, the only club on a longer current such run without defeat is Arsenal (16 matches).
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Brentford vs Arsenal Prediction
Arsenal are marginally given the edge over Brentford by the Opta supercomputer, but this is an extremely tough contest to call with neither team rated as clear favourites.
The Gunners are given a 39.4% win probability, with Brentford’s chances of three points not far behind on 31.8%. Given how close those rates are, you should not discount the draw, which is given a 28.8% chance.
Looking at the 2023-24 season as a whole, our predictive model is reasonably confident about the chances of both teams having successful campaigns.
Arsenal’s most likely finishing position is either second (35.0%) or third (35.2%), while they are crowned champions in 6.1% of our 10,000 simulations, a higher rate than the 4.1% they started the season with.
The Gunners reach the top four 89.7% of the time, a figure that has also improved since pre-season.
As for Brentford, their most likely position is 10th (achieved in 16.4% of simulations), with their most common range of finishes being between seventh to 13th, putting them well clear of any relegation battle and in with a fighting chance of securing back-to-back top half finishes.