Arsenal v Brentford: a club on the up vs a club in decline



By Bulldog Drummond

So the results of recent matches, however they are analysed, suggest that Arsenal should not have too many problems in overcoming Brentford this weekend.

But of course, results can be thrown off piste by injuries.  The Premier League Injuries table currently shows Arsenal having five injuries and one player unavailable, and Brentford seven.

Top of the injury chart are Chelsa, Luton Town and Manchester United each on 10 players down.  Bottom of the chart are West Ham and Fulham each with two men out.   Our rivals at the top show Liverpool with nine men down and Manchester City with three.

Arsenal’s unavailable man is of course David Raya who is not allowed to face his parent club – although we remember that for the game at Griffin Park several publications still had him down to play which caused much amusement in the Untold portacabin.

Jurrien Timber is said to be recovering well, and is now being eased back to full fitness. Oleksandr Zinchenko is in the “currently being assessed category to see if he might be in the squad.  Much the same is being said about Takehiro Tomiyasu.

A report two days ago concerning Martinelli and Saka suggested both had “little issues,” with the club adding, “we are pretty positive that hopefully they can be part of that. We’ll have to wait and see how they are.”

Meanwhile, we looked at the home and away form of the two clubs in the last report but pulling all that together we can see that Brentford have slipped some distance behind the top clubs.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
3 Arsenal 27 19 4 4 68 23 45 61
15 Brentford 2024 27 7 5 15 39 50 -11 26
8 Brentford 2023 27 10 12 5 43 34 9 42


Indeed the table above shows that while this campaign they have lost 15 games, they actually only lost five in total last season.   Last season by this stage the goal difference was running at +9 and now is at -11, a drop of 20 goals from a goal difference point of view.

This is quite a slip from coming ninth last season, and must be a disappointment to their fans – as fans always look to one season to build on the season before.

The prime difference for Brentford is of course turning many of the draws from last season into defeats.  15 defeats in the first 27 games could not have been imagined by their management at the start of the season.

But in fact last season was the best campaign for Brentford since 1937/38 when they came sixth out of 22 clubs in the old First Division, so some slippage is probably inevitable.

However, despite falling off from the heights of last season there can be no real prospect of Brentford being relegated.  Not only are they six points above Luton Town (who admittedly have a game in hand) but even if Luton carry on winning Everton and Nottingham Forest could still slip up, not least as both are currently fighting financial fair play allegations.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
15 Brentford 27 7 5 15 39 50 -11 26
16 Everton 27 8 7 12 29 37 -8 25
17 Nottingham Forest 27 6 6 15 34 49 -15 24
18 Luton Town 26 5 5 16 37 54 -17 20
19 Burnley 27 3 4 20 25 60 -35 13
20 Sheffield United 27 3 4 20 22 72 -50 13


The one thing however that could have them looking over their shoulders however is their position in the current “last six games” table, which as you may know, we tend to find quite a good predictor of results.  Arsenal are included for reference.


Premier League Form (Last 6)
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 6 6 0 0 26 3 +23 18
15 Luton 6 1 1 4 13 16 -3 4
16 Nottingham Forest 6 1 1 4 8 11 -3 4
17 Everton 6 0 4 2 5 9 -4 4
18 Brentford 6 1 1 4 8 14 -6 4
19 Sheffield Utd 6 1 0 5 5 21 -16 3
20 Burnley 6 0 1 5 4 18 -14 1


As we see in the last six games table Brentford are actually in a relegation position, contrasting very sharply with Arsenal’s place at the very pinnacle of the league.  To survive they might well be contemplating using some unsightly approaches such as mega-tackling, and we’ll have a look at those figures in the next article.

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