Brentford v Arsenal: home/away form, plus tackles, fouls and cards


By Sir Hardly Anyone

In the league so far this season Arsenal have managed to pick up one more point away from home than Brentford have gained at home, while actually playing one game fewer.   Arsenal also have a better away game goal difference than Brentford have gained at home.  So the opening stats are with us for this game…


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
11 Brentford home 6 2 3 1 12 10 2 9
4 Arsenal away 5 3 1 1 8 3 5 10


And indeed the season at home for Brentford took a while to get going, with the victories coming only in the last two games and those against modest opposition.


Date Game Res Score
13 Aug 2023 Brentford v Tottenham Hotspur D 2-2
26 Aug 2023 Brentford v Crystal Palace D 1-1
02 Sep 2023 Brentford v AFC Bournemouth D 2-2
23 Sep 2023 Brentford v Everton L 1-3
21 Oct 2023 Brentford v Burnley W 3-0
04 Nov 2023 Brentford v West Ham United W 3-2


In addition, there was of course a home defeat to Arsenal in the League Cup as well.  Arsenal away from home, however, have beaten Crystal Palace, Everton and Bournemouth.  Not major teams, but enough to show that the club can win on the road.

On the other hand in the games between the two sides since Brentford re-entered the top league after almost three-quarters of a century outside the division, they have had just the one win in five matches, winning against Arsenal in August 2021 2-0 at Griffin Park.   Since then it has been two wins to Arsenal and a draw in the league, plus the win in the league cup in September.  In their two seasons back in the league Brentford have come 13th and ninth.

But if we compare the state of the two teams in the league this season overall we do see something of a greater difference between the two…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
3 Arsenal 12 8 3 1 26 10 16 27
11 Brentford 12 4 4 4 19 17 2 16


Which makes an Arsenal win the most expected result.

Comparing the two teams in terms of their overall performance the shots each side has had on goal per game is virtually identical: 14.5 for Arsenal and 14.6 for Brentford, but this is achieved in a totally different manner by the two teams.  Arsenal do it with possession – 61% on average in a league game this season, while Brentford have just 47.6% possession.

Where Brentford put all their emphasis is on winning the crosses – where they have a much higher ratio than Arsenal.

But it is when we look at the yellow cards that we see where Brentford’s problem lies – they have picked up 30 of them this season, almost twice as many as Arsenal.  True they are only half way down the table for yellows, but that is still a lot more than Arsenal’s 16, and could cause one or two defenders some problems after they get one.

So let’s move on to the defensive nature of their approach…


Club Tackles pg Fouls pg Yellows from fouls pg
Arsenal 16.3 9.7 1.0
Brentford 16.6 11 1.83


What we can see is virtually no difference in the number of tackles, but more of the Brentford fouls go wrong and more are likely to result in a card.


Club Tackles per foul Tackles per yellow Fouls per yellow pg
Arsenal 1.68 16.3 9.7
Brentford 1.51 9.07 6.01


So we can see the advantage Arsenal have.  Arsenal can put in slightly more tackles before a foul is called, but almost 80% more tackles before a yellow card is given.  Arteta’s drive to take Arsenal to the bottom of the yellow card table (compared with the top of the table when he joined) is really working this season.  As a result, Arsenal can put in 61% more fouls than Brentford, before getting a yellow card.

Although away teams always pick up more yellows than home teams in the Premier League, given the way these two teams play and the influence of crowds upon most refs, Brentford are more likely to get a yellow than Arsenal in this match which is reassuring.   We’ll have a look at the referee for this match in a later piece.

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