Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Brentford preview: Assessing Gabriels, Ramsdale’s challenge

It’s Brentford away this evening as we return to Premier League action.

The manager will have some decisions to make with regards his team selection this evening. Obviously Gabriel Jesus’ availability was asked about, with Mikel Arteta saying:

He’s available. But He played 96 minutes in a really competitive match. We have another session. They had a long flight and I have to see the condition of every single player to make the final call on the lineup.

While I don’t think Jesus would ever have started this game anyway, and I think Leandro Trossard will get the nod up front, those international minutes and the long flight also impact Gabriel at the back, and Gabriel Martinelli. So, we’ll have to wait and see how ready they are.

Beyond that, there’s a question mark over Ben White, but that might just be Arteta giving nothing away ahead of a tricky game. If he’s available, I think I’d prefer to see Takehiro Tomiyasu at left-back, as Brentford’s set-pieces and long throws require height in our box and he certainly gives us that.

In midfield, it could be Jorginho, Declan Rice and the returning Martin Odegaard, but we could also see Rice sit at the base, with the captain in his usual slot and Kai Havertz occupying the left 8 position. I wonder if the need to assert control early on, to quiet down the crowd the way we did at Newcastle by dominating possession etc, will see the first option deployed, but I’d be ok with both to be honest. As we discussed on our Patreon preview podcast, Ben White’s availability might have an impact here. If Tomiyasu is needed at right-back, that means Oleksandr Zinchenko on the left, and Arteta might prefer to go with Havertz rather than Jorginho to give us a bit more physical presence.

The other big change will be Aaron Ramsdale in goal with David Raya unavailable for this one due to the Premier League’s loan rules. As I said yesterday, it’s going to be a challenge for a few reasons. First, he hasn’t really played for a while, and doesn’t have the rhythm he’d normally have. Second, he’s got to have it in the back of his mind that this is probably going to be a one off. Third, he’ll no doubt have the home crowd on his back from the start, although I think that could actually be useful for him as he often thrives with that kind of stuff going on.

When asked if Ramsdale was ready for Brentford putting him under pressure with a lot of crosses and balls into the area, Arteta said:

Well, it’s their way of playing, you know. It’s the attack with a lot of numbers in the boxes. We know the threat they are on set plays, on direct play, when you allow them spaces to run, what they can do. Threats can come from different ways. They are a good side, extremely well coached and they are a real threat in the opponent’s box. Like everything, we will try to minimise their strength and highlight their weaknesses. That’s what we try to do.

Typically against the so-called ‘big’ sides this season, Brentford have played with a back three. They did it in the EFL Cup game earlier in the season, but they do have some injury issues, so it’ll be interesting to see if that’s the way they go today. And if they do, perhaps there might be a slight weakness or two we can look to exploit. Nevertheless, we know how dangerous they can be, particularly at home, and even without Ivan Toney they have some players at the top end of the pitch we need to be careful of.

Going away from home just after the break can always be a bit difficult, so let’s hope there’s no post-Interlull rustiness. Depending on what happens in early game today between Man City and Liverpool, a win could send us top of the table, but regardless of that, three points in any manner later on would be very welcome.

Don’t forget, you can join us for live blog coverage of the game, plus we’ll have all the post-game stuff, report, ratings etc on Arseblog News.

Until then.

Related articles

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast