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Brentford vs Arsenal predictions: Stakes raised in high-noon showdown
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Simon Barlow
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Ivan Toney could be key to Brentford's hopes against Arsenal as he looks to mark his maiden England call-up in style
Ivan Toney could be key to Brentford's hopes against Arsenal as he looks to mark his maiden England call-up in style

Brentford will look to answer back in a developing rivalry with Arsenal when the two London clubs meet at Brentford Community Stadium on Sunday. 

The Gunners were stung by the Bees' intensity on the opening night of the 2021-22 campaign when the newly-promoted club ran out 2-0 winners at their freshly-appointed stadium. 

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta then used a tongue-in-cheek tweet from Ivan Toney that he had saved for six months to fire up his squad ahead of the return clash at the Emirates. 

And following Arsenal's 2-1 home win in February, Alexandre Lacazette then took to social media to repeat Toney's phrase right back at him. 

The World Cup hopeful received his first England call-up this week on the back of some superb early-season form, so for Toney the stakes have already been raised for this high-noon clash. 

Team news

Brentford are still without Christian Norgaard (Achilles) and Ethan Pinnock (knee) for the clash with the Gunners. 

Pinnock is due to play in a behind-closed-doors friendly during the international break to advance his fitness. 

Sergi Canos is available to face the Gunners, having recovered from the hamstring injury that has kept him out all season, but it seems unlikely he would come straight back into the side for either right-back Aaron Hickey or wide attacker Bryan Mbeumo. 

Competition for spots on the opposite flank will be as keen as ever as Yoane Wissa, who scored as a late substitute in the 5-2 demolition of Leeds, vies with Mikkel Damsgaard and Keane Lewis-Potter for the chance to start alongside Mbuemo and Toney in attack. 

Arteta insisted Ben White is fit to face the Bees, despite rumours of a potential injury circulating after his exclusion from the latest England squad. 

The Arsenal boss gave few clues away as to his selection options when he spoke to the media on Friday but the Ukrainian FA has said that Oleksandr Zinchenko will be sidelined for two weeks with a calf injury. 

That means Kieran Tierney will stay in at left-back after starting for the North Londoners against FC Zurich last week. 

Thomas Partey, who played a full part in Arsenal's first three wins of the season, is back in training and likely to replace Albert Sambi Lokonga in midfield. 

Arteta did disclose that Emile Smith Rowe has been managing an ongoing groin issue which has limited his match involvement to cameos from the bench. 

The stats

Gabriel Jesus tops a number of stats after a great start to his Arsenal career
Gabriel Jesus tops a number of stats after a great start to his Arsenal career

Only Tottenham's Harry Kane (18) and Heung-Min Son (15) have scored more Premier League goals than Toney (13) in 2022. 

After receiving a call-up from Gareth Southgate this week, he could become only the third Brentford player to play for England, after Billy Scott in 1936 and Leslie Smith in 1939.

The Bees have committed the fewest fouls in the Premier League this season (42). 

However, Arsenal's Gabriel Jesus has suffered the most fouls of any player in the top flight (21), five more than the next most fouled player, Wilfried Zaha. 

Jesus has also had more touches in the opposition box (66), attempted more dribbles (34) and more dribbles in the box (eight) than any other player in the Premier League this season. 

Brentford have allowed 61 shots on their own goal in the last four games. 

Prediction

A high-scoring shoot-out could ensue at Brentford and that would be in keeping with the Bees' last few Premier League games. 

Four of the last six matches featuring Frank's side have seen at least four goals scored with both teams on the scoresheet in all but one — the 4-0 demolition of Manchester United — this term. 

The Gunners are capable of giving as good as they get, having dominated United for long periods of their recent 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford. 

But Toney is as good a finisher as anyone the Red Devils possess and his presence should ensure that the Bees get on the board at least once in a game that might see Arsenal struggle to justify their tag of favourites.

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ArsenalBrentfordPremier League
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