By 90Min
September 25, 2018

Arsenal will switch their attentions to the Carabao Cup when they host Championship side Brentford on Wednesday evening.

This is the first taste of domestic cup action in England for Unai Emery as Arsenal have been given an automatic pass to the third round - as have any other side who are competing in European action this season.

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Their opponents, Brentford, reached the third round stage after defeating Southend United and Cheltenham Town in the opening two rounds. The Greater London side haven't been on a decent cup run in a long time and, after a promising start to the season, they'll be hoping to pull off an upset.


League Form


It's safe to say that Unai Emery's Arsenal reign didn't get off to the best of starts in August.

The Gunners lost their opening two matches against Manchester City and Chelsea, but he has since inspired a turnaround in his side's fortunes. Four wins on the bounce followed those opening defeats and the north London outfit most recently defeated Everton 2-0 to earn their first clean sheet of the season.

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Brentford have been edging closer and closer to a spot in the Championship playoffs over the past few seasons and their early form indicates that they will be competing at the sharp end once again. They currently sit in seventh after a bright start, but they are coming off the back of a 3-1 defeat against Derby on Saturday.


Key Battle


Rob Holding vs Neal Maupay


If there is one player who could end up derailing Arsenal's decent run of form, then it seems destined to be Shkodran Mustafi.

The German has been all over the place so far this season and if youngster Rob Holding can prove his worth in matches such as this one, then he could path his way into Emery's Premier League starting XI ahead of the former World Cup winner.

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He did start against Vorskla in the Europa League last week, but he was rarely tested by a weak attack. He should face a much sterner test in the from of Neal Maupay.

The French striker has been on fire so far this season and is the Championship's top scorer with eight goals. If Holding can keep him quiet then he will be giving Emery a real decision to make going forward.


Team News 


Summer signing Sokratis Papastathopoulos may be forced to sit this one out after picking up a knock against Everton. The likes of Sead Kolasinac, Laurent Koscielny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles will all remain out as they recover from their respective injuries. 

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Emiliano Marcondes and Rico Henry are both out injured for Brentford, whilst manager Dean Smith may drop attacking midfielder Romaine Sawyers in favour of Nico Yennaris to bolster his midfield.


Predicted Arsenal Lineup: Leno; Lichtsteiner, Holding, Mustafi, Monreal; Guendouzi, Elneny, Welbeck, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan; Aubameyang.


Predicted Brentford Lineup: Leno, Dalsgaard, Ngoyo, Mepham, Barbet; Mokotjo, MacLeod, Yennaris; Benrahma, Watkins, Maupay.


Predictions


Arsenal finally seem to be getting into the swing of things, especially in the final third. Scoring goals certainly hasn't been an issue for Emery's side and they will be hoping that they can keep that goal scoring mood going.


However, this won't be an easy test by any means. Brentford play a quick and direct brand of football which has seen them earn a lot of praise in the past.

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The momentum Arsenal have generated in recent weeks cannot be underestimated and if they show up then they should have enough to deal with Brentford. They just need to make sure that they don't underestimate their opponents.

Predicted Scoreline: Arsenal 2-1 Brentford

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