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Arsenal are in the thick of the title race once again as they visit the Gtech on Saturday evening.

They went into the international break in third place in the table, behind Liverpool on goal difference and a point adrift of Manchester City. Those two play each other at Saturday lunchtime and a draw, coupled with a Gunners’ win, would take the north Londoners back to the top.

Arsenal ran City close for the title last season – in the end finishing five points behind them in second place, their highest placing for seven years.

Over the summer they boosted their squad with signings including Declan Rice, whose £105m move from West Ham was a record fee between two British clubs at the time (later eclipsed by Moises Caicedo’s move to Chelsea), and of course our own David Raya, initially on loan, with a permanent transfer to follow.

David is ineligible to play on Saturday, but has established himself as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper ahead of Aaron Ramsdale, who will face the Bees instead.

Arsenal have only lost one Premier League match so far this season – the controversial 1-0 defeat at Newcastle at the start of this month.

They have won three (Crystal Palace 1-0, Everton 1-0, Bournemouth 4-0) and drawn one (Chelsea 2-2) in their other away games.

The Gunners are top of their Champions League group with three wins and a draw from their first four games, but they went out of the Carabao Cup in the fourth round 3-1 at West Ham, after beating us 1-0 in the previous round.

Arsenal’s last Premier League title win came in 2003/04 – the Invincibles team which went the whole season unbeaten.

Most of their recent success has come in the FA Cup. They have won the competition four times in the past 10 years, making them the tournament’s most successful club with 14 tournament victories to their name.


Former Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta returned to the Emirates as manager in December 2019 to replace Unai Emery. He is now the eighth longest-serving boss in all four divisions and fourth-longest in the Premier League behind Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and our own Thomas Frank.

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He had spent three years as an assistant coach at Manchester City, working alongside Guardiola.

The former Spanish international midfielder, who won 12 full caps for his country, played for Barcelona’s B team before a loan spell at Paris St Germain, which was followed by a move to Rangers.

A brief spell at Real Sociedad followed, before he started a six-year spell with Everton in 2005. He then spent five years at Arsenal, where he was captain for two years before hanging up his boots.


Arsenal have had the upper hand in our four Premier League meetings so far with two wins and a draw.

Their solitary defeat, however, was one of the most famous nights in our history – our first-ever game in the Premier League.

Everything went right as we ran out 2-0 winners to top the table overnight!

Sergi Canos opened the scoring, cutting in from the left and hammering a low shot inside the near post in the 22nd minute, and Christian Norgaard doubled the lead by heading home Mads Bech Sorensen’s long throw at the far post 17 minutes from time.

Arsenal got revenge in the return in February, winning 2-1 but to be honest, that score flattered us. The Gunners dominated the match, but couldn’t find the net until the 48th minute when Emile Smith Rowe curled the ball home.

Bukayo Saka doubled the lead with a shot which went in off the post in the 79th minute, before Christian Norgaard once again scored against the Gunners from close range, this time in second half stoppage-time.

The result left us 14th in the table and without a win in seven Premier League matches.

We were far from our best in last season’s home game – played at 12.00 on a Sunday because of the Queen’s funeral in London the following day.

William Saliba and Gabriel Jesus had Arsenal 2-0 up at the break before Fabio Vieira sealed the points in the 49th minute as the Gunners ran out 3-0 winners.

Leandro Trossard scored yet another goal against us in the February return, but Ivan Toney levelled with his 15th goal of the season, following a lengthy VAR check, and we earned a 1-1 draw.

While our initial Premier League meeting was our first league game with Arsenal since 1947, we were regular opponents in the second half of the 30s – and also very briefly after World War Two.

Our previous league results (Brentford score first):


1935/36 – (H) W 2-1 (A) D 1-1

1936/37 – (H) W 2-0 (A) D 1-1

1937/38 – (H) W 3-0 (A) W 2-0

1938/39 – (H) W 1-0 (A) L 0-2

1946/47 – (H) L 0-1 (A) D 2-2


2021/22 – (H) W 2-0 (A) L 1-2

2022/23 – (H) L 0-3 (A) D 1-1

Highlights of our first-ever meeting in 1935 below:

We have also played Arsenal twice in the League Cup in recent seasons – the latest occasion being only in September, when Reiss Nelson’s eighth-minute goal was enough to give them a 1-0 third round win.

We also met in the third round of the Carabao Cup in 2018/19, going down to a 3-1 defeat.

Danny Welbeck scored at either end of the first half to put the Gunners in charge and although Alan Judge gave us hope by curling in a direct free-kick in front of the 8,000 travelling Bees fans in the 58th minute, substitute Alexandre Lacazette confirmed the victory in stoppage-time.


BBC Radio London Sports Editor Phil Parry looks at Arsenal’s start to the campaign, assesses their title chances and analyses the impact David Raya has made at the Emirates.

Q – How would you assess Arsenal’s season so far?

A – No doubt there will be some optimistic members of the Gunners’ fanbase who would have hoped that they would be top of the table and unbeaten in Europe, but those aside I think it is fair to say that it has been a very positive and solid start to the campaign.

Like other clubs, the north Londoners have had to contend with injuries and other challenges but being just one point off the leaders Manchester City with the equal meanest defence and a sense that some points might have been left out on the pitch indicates to me that the first third of the campaign has been good.

Mikel Arteta’s side will finish top of their Champions League group surely which, in the first season back at the level, is also an extremely positive marker and in theory could make further progress a little easier. Of course the elimination from the League Cup at the hands of West Ham will have disappointed some but perhaps the priorities for the 2023/24 season have allowed those feelings to dissipate rather quickly.

Q – How is David Raya doing and is the whole goalkeeper debate distracting from other issues at the club?

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A – David’s move to north London raised eyebrows at the time, not necessarily here in the west, I think it had been assumed from the end of last season that his departure was likely, but with Arsenal watchers. The Gunners already possessed an international-standard keeper who had helped them push Manchester City so hard last season.

It appeared that the how do you fit two-into-one conundrum was to be played out again at the Emirates. Raya has both shown what he is capable of at the Gunners already, but has also had moments where he has faced criticism and scrutiny. As a high-profile signing with a club where expectations are also on the rise, performances are going to be highly analysed. Those of us who had had the opportunity to see David on a regular basis at the Bees know what he is capable of and I feel that his ceiling is still somewhat higher than where he is. What that means for his rival for the number one shirt at Arsenal is a very different matter

Q – Apart from Raya, how have Declan Rice and the other summer arrivals settled in?

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A – The Gunners’ spending in the summer may have been big on pound signs but it was not huge on player numbers, largely due to the fact they only needed to tweak the squad with quality, not transform it. The standout of course being Declan Rice, and as one of only three men to lift major silverware with West Ham, Rice’s leadership qualities added to his value as a player. And when considering the price tag expectation that he was handed, the England midfielder has made a smooth and comfortable transition from east to north London. His ability on the ball, reading of the game off it, and the potential threat he carries on goal are already there to see. He was an obvious missing piece to the squad jigsaw.

As for the other signings, well there were many positive signs from Jurrien Timber before he suffered a season-ending injury in the opening Premier League game of the season and Kai Havertz is a player who team-mates seem to like but who can also frustrate, just ask any Chelsea fan. Finding the correct role for Havertz is key to allowing his confidence to grow in that position.

Q – How much stronger are the Gunners’ chances of winning the Premier League title this season?

A – As with any team in the Premier League over the last few years, your strength in the title race always has to be matched up against Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side’s only slip in recent years was the 19/20 season when Liverpool romped home with no-one in the stadiums. The Gunners’ total of 84 points last time out would not have been enough to win the league in any of the last seven seasons and just once in the last 12, that being the Leicester year when the Foxes won it with 81 points.

What does give the Gunners and others extra hope this year is the seeming extra competitiveness of the top flight. It may not be a two-horse race and that should give those like the Gunners who are picking up momentum, renewed confidence. The additions to the squad plus the experience gained over the last couple of years I feel should make Arsenal stronger contenders.

Q – There have been some mixed games between Brentford and Arsenal over the past couple of years – what have been your highlights?

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A – I think the real highlight which will probably remain so for a very long time was the opening Premier League fixture from two seasons ago. The emotion, sense of history and pride which oozed from the stands and the playing squad and the incredible atmosphere still sends tingles down my spine when I think about that evening. In many ways it was a moment of football perfection, the events transcending the mere fact of a game taking place. From the cheers greeting Sergi Canos’s and Christian Norgaard’s goals to the tears of joy shed at the full-time whistle it was an incredible evening. And in many ways that game indicated what Brentford were going to be all about, undaunted by the challenges ahead.

Of course last season’s home game with the Gunners was a complete contrast, while Mikel Arteta’s side were ready to go for the early kick-off, the Bees were not and it was a much more positive visit for the Gunners.

Q – Finally, can you give me a possible Gunners formation and line-up please?

A – Ramsdale

Tomiyasu  Saliba Gabriel Zincenko

Havertz. Jorginho. Rice

Saka Trosaard  Martinelli


If you can’t get to the Brentford Community Stadium for Saturday’s 5.30pm kick-off and want Brentford commentary, audio coverage is available via Buzz Box for free.

Coverage starts half an hour before kick-off and is advert-free, with Mark Burridge and Jonathan Douglas.

There is also live commentary on BBC London on DAB and the BBC Sport website with Emma Jones and ex-Bee Paul Mortimer.

It is also live on BBC Radio 5 Live.




For Arsenal fans coming to the Gtech Community Stadium, there are plenty of pub options pre and post-match and all are most welcoming and away-fan-friendly (as it should be).

The pub areas are split into two zones. There is the area around Brentford’s old Griffin Park stadium. The pubs there are still very busy on match day frequented by Bees locals before heading down the road to the stadium at Kew Bridge which is only 15 mins walk.

Then there is the area in and around the stadium in Kew Bridge.

It is possible, if you have a good early start, to savour a few pubs in and around Griffin Park and Brentford zone before heading off to the pubs in the Kew zone or even vice versa if you so fancy.

Pubs in Griffin Park/Brentford zone

When at Griffin Park, Brentford was well known for its four pubs – one on each corner of the ground. Three are still operating.

The Griffin is closest to the old away end and has always been very popular with both home and away fans and has its regulars who still make the journey down to the new stadium from there on matchday. The New Inn is on the other side which used to also be popular with away fans before the move. The Brook pub is the other option if you want to savour a pub in and around what is left of our old home. Worth a peep if you want to reminisce about old Brentford.

About five minutes’ walk away from the old ground are two pubs which are enormously popular. The Globe (Windmill Rd) is a “lively but comfortable” pub on matchday. Incredibly friendly and cosy, it has always been popular with a selection of away fans who fancied having a beer a few minutes further walk away from the ground without having to queue six persons deep. After the move to the new ground, The Globe has retained many of lot its regulars from the Griffin Park days and with screens throughout the pub and in its sheltered beer garden, it shows both Premier League and EFL football before and after each match.

Meanwhile around the corner, The Lord Nelson (Enfield Rd) is another incredibly friendly and cosy away-friendly pubs about one minute walk from The Globe. Again with a TV screen for live sports and a lovely beer garden, this is another pub frequented by “away fans in the know”.

The other pub worth checking out in the Griffin Park region is The Black Dog Beer House, formerly The Albany, on Albany Road, if you like your real ales.

There are plenty of other pubs in and around Brentford High Street including real ale pub Magpie and Crown (Brentford High Street) and the cosy Brewery Tap (Catherine Wheel Road) near the river.

For a Griffin Park area pub crawl before heading over to Kew we recommend the following: Take the Piccadilly line to Northfields station. Turn left and walk for 2 mins and you will come to The Plough (Northfields Ave). Then walk to The Lord Nelson (10 min walk from The Plough) & then The Globe (1 min walk from The Nelson) en-route before hitting The Griffin (8 min walk from The Globe) and then The Black Dog (2 mins from The Griffin). You can also try and do the other three pubs on the corner whilst down here if you fancy.

Then you can then either walk (15 minutes from The Globe/The Nelson and The Griffin/Black Dog ) or take a train from Brentford station (which is five minutes walk away from both The Globe/The Nelson and The Griffin/Black Dog) or a bus (237/267) to Kew Bridge.

Trains run at 24 and 54 minutes past the hour to Kew Bridge from Brentford and take 2 mins.

Pubs in the Kew Bridge zone

Right next to Kew Bridge station, you will find the Express Tavern – an ale pub with a retro feel. The pub has been refurbished in readiness for the new football season and needless to say, is popular before the match due to its close proximity to the stadium.

Across the road by the river is One Over the Ait – a spacious boozer right next to Kew Bridge. This pub is situated on the location of the now-demolished Oxford & Cambridge pub where Brentford Football Club was founded in 1889.

Across Kew Bridge and the River Thames, there are two pubs on Kew Green – the Cricketers and the Greyhound – very close to the pier where Brentford fans have embarked on their away journeys by water to F*lham, Orient, Charlton, West Ham and even Southend.

North of the river along hoity-toity Strand on the Green, you will find The Steam Packet, in an old Cafe Rouge, and The Bell. A bit further down are The City Barge and the Bulls Head – two pubs side-by-side in which you would often see Ant and Dec hanging out.

There is also The Pilot which you can get to coming out of the BACK entrance of Gunnersbury station and we believe the old John Bull pub at the front of the station has been refurbed as The Gunnersbury but we have never been there so can’t give it a or a

Transport to Brentford and Kew Bridge

The simplest on paper to get to Brentford FC from town is to get the tube to Waterloo (Northern, Jubilee lines) or Vauxhall (Victoria Line) and then take the Overground train to Kew Bridge, which is right by the stadium. Brentford is one stop further on if you are on an ‘Original Griffin Park Pub’ mission.

With trains from Waterloo being only twice an hour (22 and 52) and taking 28 minutes, we normally recommend people jump on the tube from Kings Cross or Euston and head to Northfields or South Ealing on the Piccadilly Line as it is quicker (including the time getting across London and waiting at Waterloo) and trains are more frequent.

It is only 40 mins max station by tube to station meaning you could be in a Brentford pub within an hour of embarking your train at Kings Cross, Euston or Liverpool Street.

The other station option is Gunnersbury. You can walk to the stadium from Gunnersbury tube station (District line) in 25 minutes or take a bus (H91, 237, 267, 110), but note that it is closed for entry for one hour after the match.

For the Brentford/Griffin Park pubs you can get the Piccadilly line tube to Northfields station from King’s Cross or Euston (35 minutes) then walk down to The Plough, The Globe, The Lord Nelson and The Griffin and other pubs from there.

The new stadium is around 25 minutes’ walk from South Ealing station – if you don’t fancy Gunnersbury – or you can get on the 65 bus from across the road which will drop you almost outside in 15 minutes.

You can also pick up the 65 bus from Ealing Broadway (district and central line) which will take you to the new stadium in 25 minutes.

You can check out Transport for London’s guide to travel on the Tube and Overground.