Brentford vs. Arsenal Betting Preview: Back the Bees Against Another Big Six Opponent at Home (Sunday, September 18)
Visionhaus/Getty Images. Pictured: Brentford standout Ivan Toney.
Brentford vs. Arsenal Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-155 / +125)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 7 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||USA Network|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Coming off its first loss of the season, Arsenal makes the short trip to West London to take on Brentford.
The Bees are off to a flying start to the Premier League season, picking up nine points in their first six matches. They are coming off a thrashing of Leeds at home and are one of the most dangerous teams to play at home for the “Big Six” – just ask Manchester United.
Arsenal suffered their first loss of the season at Old Trafford two weeks ago, but the Gunners are still sitting atop the Premier League table.
The Bees have been incredible to open the season. Brentford offensively through six matches has 10.2 xG, 12 big scoring chances created, 11 shots taken inside the six yard box, and the highest xG per shot in the Premier League.
But defensively they’ve been a little shaky as they’re allowing a ton of shots but have kept those shots to the lowest quality possible. Because they’ve only allowed six big scoring chances, they’re sixth in box entries allowed and fifth in crosses allowed into the penalty area.
🔥 @ivantoney24 🔥
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) September 3, 2022
Since the start of last season, Brentford at the Brentford Community Stadium in seven matches against the big six has a +1.4 xGD. My biggest concern for Brentford in this match is they have not done well playing through pressure under Thomas Frank because they don’t play a lot of long balls and rely on a quick passing structure.
It’s hard to play that way through good pressing teams, which Arsenal is, ranking fourth in PPDA and pressure success rate. The structure is also really hard breakdown because they don’t play a high line, and with the passing structures, everyone is usually already in position to counter press or defend. It’s why Brentford only allowed 1.19 npxG per 90 minutes last season.
There are a couple of reasons why Arsenal have had this resurgence, and a lot of it has to do with player personnel.
The Gunners adding Gabriel Jesus gives them a true striking option that they haven’t had in a long time, and Jesus has lived up to the hype. In his first six matches for Arsenal, he already has a 0.84 xG + xA per 90 rate, which would put him among the Premier League’s elite if he keeps up that type of production for a full season.
Mikel Arteta keeping William Saliba and making him a focal point of the Arsenal defense has proven to be one of his best decisions as manager.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) August 5, 2022
Not only that, but moving Ben White to the right back position has given Arsenal loads of versatility given White’s natural ability defending as a center back and his elite ability in progressing the ball up the pitch from the back line.
All of those changes have lead Arsenal to only allowing a total of 4.9 xG in six matches and only one big scoring chance this season.
What is worrying about Arsenal is their road form dating back to last season. The Gunners were dominant at the Emirates by putting up a +18.1 xGD, but on the road they had a -5.2 xGD.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The Brentford Community Stadium is a very difficult place to play for the Big Six. It’s not going to be easy for Arsenal to break down this Brentford defense, especially if they decide to sit in a low block and like we saw against Manchester United, Arsenal is vulnerable on the counter if they get caught high up the pitch, which happened one too many times at Old Trafford.
I only have the Gunners projected at +126, so I like the value on Brentford to give another Big Six side problems at home at +0.5 at +100 (DraftKings).
The Pick: Brentford +0.5 (+100)