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First Team

Premier League Preview: Arsenal

The Gunners open our first top-flight campaign in 74 years

17 June 2021

On 26 May 1947, our last First Division match ended in a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal at Griffin Park. It's fitting that our first game back in England's top-flight, 74 years later, will see us host The Gunners at Brentford Community Stadium.

2020/21 Report

League Position: 8th

Top League Goalscorer: Alexandre Lacazette (13)

Stadium: The Emirates Stadium, Hornsey Rd, London, N7 7AJ

Capacity: 60,260

A second successive eighth-place finish saw Arsenal finish on 61 points, actually five more than they achieved the season before, but it also saw them miss out on European football for the coming campaign.

Inconsistency hit them in the early season as Mikel Arteta played with his tactical system, switching between three and four at the back. After Christmas, they found a rhythm in the league but were eliminated by Southampton in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. Despite victories over Liverpool and Leicester City, they couldn't get beyond Manchester City in the Quarter-Finals of the Carabao Cup.

Their Europa League campaign saw them reach the Semi-Finals, where they lost 2-1 to eventual champions Villarreal, managed by their old bos Unai Emery.

The Manager

Mikel Arteta began his professional career with Barcelona in 1999, going on loan to Paris Saint-Germain in 2001, before signing for Rangers. He won a Scottish double of league and cup before moving back to Spain with Real Sociedad. A six-year spell with Everton was follwed by five years at Arsenal, where he won the FA Cup twice.

Arsenal Manager.jpg

He retired to focus on coaching and was appointed to Pep Guardiola's backroom staff at Manchester City in 2016. Working alongside fellow assistant coaches Brian Kidd and Domenec Torrent, Arteta helped City to two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two Carabao Cup trophies.

He left to become Arsenal manager in December 2019, winning his first match as boss on 1 January 2020, a 2-0 victory over Manchester United. Later that season, he led his side to the FA Cup, becoming the first person to win the trophy as both captain and manager of Arsenal. He also became the first boss to win a major trophy in his first season in charge of the club since George Graham in 1987.

Last Meeting

We last met Arsenal on 26 September 2018, in the Third Round of the Carabao Cup. That night, Danny Welbeck netted a brace before Alan Judge got one back for the Bees with a free-kick beyond Bernd Leno. Alexandre Lacazette sealed the win in stoppage time, breaking clear of the defence before slotting a low shot under Luke Daniels.

Brentford: Daniels; Odubajo (Dalsgaard 64), Jeanvier, Konsa, Barbet; Sawyers, Mokotjo, Yennaris; Judge, Watkins (Benrahma 79), Canos (Maupay 74)

Arsenal: Leno; Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Holding, Monreal; Elneny (Ramsey 84), Guendouzi; Mkhitaryan (Torreira 75), Smith-Rowe (Lacazette 64), Iwobi; Welbeck


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