By Bulldog Drummond
The early team news doing the rounds suggests Oleksandr Zinchenko is set to miss the game against Brentford after the Ukrainian Football Association confirmed he has picked up a calf strain during the international break.
The Mirror suggests that the injury “means Kieran Tierney will get the nod at left-back.”
The full set of injuries from EPL Injury Table says that in addition to Zinchenko, Reiss Nelson is still out with his muscular injury, Cedric Soares is recovering from his knock, Thomas Partey is facing a late fitness test, Mohammed Elneny is out for months, Emile Smith Rowe has a return of the musical injury he suffered prior to the last game,
Thus Arsenal are currently showing six injuries which is at the high end of the chart of Premier League injuries at the moment. Everton has seven, and Liverpool eight, while Newcastle like Arsenal have six. The other 16 clubs have fewer injuries, down to Tottenham who have just one.
Overall Arsenal have only played Brentford 15 times in the histories of the two clubs, the opening games in 1902 behind in the FA Cup. The first game at Griffin Park was a 1-1 draw, and Woolwich Arsenal won the replay 5-0.
The first batch of league games ran from 1935 to 1947 (with of course a long pause in the middle for the second world war). During the pre-war games Arsenal failed to beat Brentford across seven consecutive Division One matches from 1935 to 1938. However, just before war broke out, Arsenal did manage to beat Brentford in May 1939.
In more recent times we have had three games against them, one in the League Cup (an Arsenal win) and the two last season (one win each).
Put all of this together and Brentford is one of a small number of teams that have beaten Arsenal more than Arsenal have beaten them, (five Arsenal wins to six for Brentford).
But looking at this season Brentford certainly have had the luck of the draw when it comes to who they have had to play. They opened with a game against Leicester (now resolutely at the foot of the table), then Manchester United (who had lost their opening match and seemed to be in turmoil). Brentford then lost to Fulham, and drew with Everton and Palace.
So if we look at the league position of the teams Brentford have played we find it reads 20th, 5th, 10th, 16th, 15th, 9th. It’s been a fairly easy journey.
|07 Aug 2022||Leicester City v Brentford||D||2-2||Premier League|
|13 Aug 2022||Brentford v Manchester United||W||4-0||Premier League|
|20 Aug 2022||Fulham v Brentford||L||3-2||Premier League|
|23 Aug 2022||Colchester United v Brentford||W||0-2||League Cup|
|27 Aug 2022||Brentford v Everton||D||1-1||Premier League|
|30 Aug 2022||Crystal Palace v Brentford||D||1-1||Premier League|
|03 Sep 2022||Brentford v Leeds United||W||5-2||Premier League|
Last season Brentford scored 22 goals at home and 26 away. In short it is pretty much one goal a game which means if they do score they will then utterly shut up shop with two lines of defenders seeking to keep our forward line at bay. It doesn’t make for very attractive football.
The stadium is the second smallest in the Premier League, with only 17,250 allowed in the ground, smaller than all the other grounds except Bournemouth which holds 11,307. Interestingly three of the smallest grounds in the Premier League are in London and the south (Brentford, Fulham and Crystal Palace) as is the smallest stadium of them all (Bournemouth).
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