Welcome to a sunny West London for a rather odd-feeling 12pm Sunday kick-off in the Premier League.
Brentford’s clash with Arsenal this afternoon had been slated for 2pm but has been moved to this earlier slot ahead of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II tomorrow.
The hosts have not played since September 3, when they turned in arguably their best performance of the season in a 5-2 demolition of Leeds United. Their absence from the pitch has not kept the club out of the headlines though, after talisman Ivan Toney received his first England call-up earlier this week.
His individual performance against Leeds – a hat-trick featuring a penalty, a free kick and delightful lob – underlined his international credentials and should serve as warning for Arsenal ahead of this afternoon’s clash.
Only Manchester City have scored more goals this season than Brentford in the Premier League, with ten of their 15 total goals coming in front of their own fans.
Indeed, Thomas Frank’s side have a fearsome record at Gtech Community Stadium, where they have lost just one of their last eight top-flight fixtures.
Arsenal lost on the opening day of last season at this very venue but Mikel Arteta looks to have a much more cohesive unit under him now.
They will re-take top spot in Premier League with a victory today and Arteta will be keen to see his side re-discover their winning thread in the league after a 3-1 loss at Old Trafford last time.
They were successful in Europa League last Thursday, beating FC Zurich 2-1 in a tricky game where the announcement of the late Queen’s death came just before the half-time whistle blew.
Arteta will be wary of this Brentford side though and with Arsenal not having kept a clean in their four in all competitions, he’d be right to.