Arsenal predicted XI vs. Brentford: £70m-rated targets start; technician linked with PL move plays
Arsenal’s opening Premier League fixtures are brutal on paper, with the Gunners having to face off against Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham in their first six league games.
Yet their opening match will see Mikel Arteta’s side travel to west London to face Premier League newcomers Brentford. The Bees finally clinched promotion to the top-flight after winning last season’s Championship play-off against Swansea City.
The two clubs last played each other three years ago in the League Cup, with Arsenal clinching a 3-1 win over Brentford.
A lot has changed since then. Arsenal have continued to slump down the Premier League table, whilst Brentford have asserted themselves as London’s best-run football club.
The Gunners will be keen to kick the season off in style, so what could their XI look like when the two teams face off against one another in west London? And which Arsenal targets look the most likely to join this summer and make their Premier League debuts?
Two players make their Arsenal debut
Let’s start with the defence. In goal, Bernd Leno retains his starting spot between the sticks.
Although Arsenal have been linked with the likes of Andre Onana and Aaron Ramsdale, the German keeper is yet to be reliably linked with a move away. If the 28-year-old stays is still with the Gunners for opening day, he should start.
Ahead of him in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Ben White could make his debut as an Arsenal player.
The Brighton defender has recently been subject to a £40m bid from the Gunners which has been rejected as reported by Sky Sports News. Moreover, the Seagulls want £50m for the youngster.
However, the Gunners are said to be eager to lodge a second attempt to sign the 23-year-old, which could lead to the England international joining the north London club.
Joining White in the defence will be Rob Holding as his centre-back partner as well as Calum Chambers and Kieran Tierney at fullback. The British trio were staples of Arteta’s XI in the run-in last season, and they should all retain their positions.
In midfield, Thomas Partey could have a new midfield partner in Albert Sambi Lokonga.
The Anderlecht youngster has also been subject to a bid from Arsenal, and just like White, there is a good chance the Gunners will make a second, and hopefully successful, attempt to sign the Belgian ace for a reported fee of £20m according to HLN.
Arsenal prospects Saka and Smith Rowe start against Brentford
Completing the XI is the reliable four of Nicolas Pepe, Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Although Smith Rowe has this week been subject to a bid from Aston Villa as reported by the Athletic, the 20-year-old playmaker looks set to remain with the Gunners this summer.
With Emi Buendia and Martin Odegaard off the market, the England youth international could be awarded the no. 10 spot for the opening game of the season.
Predicted Arsenal XI vs. Brentford: Leno; Chambers, White, Holding, Tierney; Sambi Lokonga, Partey; Pepe, Smith Rowe, Saka; Aubameyang
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