Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Arsenal: Arteta must unleash 'prolific' Arsenal gem instead of Vieira

Arsenal are back in action this evening, as the Gunners travel to the Gtech Community Stadium to face Brentford in the Carabao Cup.

Mikel Arteta’s side will hope to make an improvement on their third-round history in the competition, having exited at the first stage last season in a forgettable 3-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion at the Emirates.

 

 

 

Last time out for the Gunners, Arteta’s frail squad were held to a 2-2 draw at home to fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur, in what was a closely contested affair despite the host’s injury woes.

 

What is the latest Arsenal team news vs Brentford?

During the draw against Spurs, club-record signing Declan Rice was forced to withdraw at half-time, a substitution that proved costly as his replacement, Jorginho, was knocked out of possession in the build-up to the Lilywhites’ equaliser.

 

It’s suspected that the Englishman’s injury isn’t major, as per football.london, however, it’s also expected that the midfielder will be absent for the cup fixture due to squad rotation and recovery.

 

Gabriel Martinelli missed the north London derby following a hamstring injury he sustained at Goodison Park during Arsenal’s victory over Everton, the Brazilian also looks set to miss the trip to Brentford.

 

To Arteta’s disbelief, Martinelli’s replacement, Leandro Trossard, was also absent against Spurs after feeling a niggle in training prior to the big occasion.

 

The extensive injury list, joined with the need to rest players due to a busy schedule could allow some players the opportunity to thrive against Brentford, with one name being Emile Smith-Rowe, who made his first appearance of the season from the bench in the derby.

 

Should Emile Smith-Rowe start against Brentford?

It’s been a difficult few years for Smith-Rowe, who thought he’d found his place in Arteta’s eleven after making 33 Premier League appearances in the 2021/22 campaign, where he scored 10 goals.

 

For various reasons, the 23-year-old has fallen down the pecking order at his boyhood club, with him playing just 161 minutes of football in the league last season on the back of undergoing groin surgery.

 

In the winter of 2022, the Englishman was once dubbed as “incredibly prolific” for his form in north London by talent scout Jacek Kulig, and could be offered a chance to shine this evening against a testing opposition.

 

Smith-Rowe’s way into the squad could be simple this time around, considering Fabio Vieira’s poor display against Spurs, which saw him be withdrawn at half-time for a performance that gave him a 6.4 Sofascore match rating.

 

As highlighted by his success already in the Premier League, Smith-Rowe could cause Brentford real problems this evening, with his direct and clever playmaking abilities from midfield.

 

In the 2021/22 campaign, the Hale End graduate recorded an average of 3.05 progressive carries and 1.41 key passes per 90 in the league, suggesting his strengths on the ball and his eye for a threatening pass, via FBref.

 

If the England U21’s star can rediscover his form by gaining consistent minutes, his return could be a huge boost for both himself and Arsenal, who have a special talent on their hands if they can utilise him as well as they once did.

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