Premier League football kicks off with Brentford hosting Arsenal and fans are finally returning to the stadiums this season. Mikel Arteta's side have brought in three new faces, but after a largely underwhelming pre-season, questions remain about the Gunners' credentials ahead of the 2021-22 season opener.
Brentford become the 50th different club to play in the Premier League, and the clash with Arteta's men will be their first English top-flight game at the Brentford Community Stadium. However, Arsenal are unbeaten away from home on the opening day of the season since a 1-0 defeat at Sunderland in 2000, and will be looking to kickstart the new season with a win.
Here are 3 things to look forward to as Brentford play host to Arsenal.
3. Fans are back
Football stadiums all over the world have missed the presence of fans and nothing could beat the feeling of playing the first league game of the season in front of a full house. Especially for Brentford, who are back in the top-flight for the first time since 1946-47. The last top-flight match that Brentford played in was a 1-0 defeat by Arsenal in May 1947.
2. Bees buzzing to kickstart new campaign
Ivan Toney was the top scorer in the Championship last season with 33 goals, and the Bees' key man will be raring to go on Friday. He has previously played 12 minutes of Premier League football for Newcastle United in the 2015-16 season. New signing Yoane Wissa could be involved but injured pair Josh Dasilva and Mathias Jensen are unavailable.
1. Arsenal looking to be party poopers
Arsenal make the trip across the capital looking to dent Brentford's elation at being promoted back to the Premier League. Arteta will be hoping his summer investments will pay dividends, with Ben White, Albert Lokonga, and Nuno Tavares all in contention to make their debuts. Thomas Partey, Eddie Nketiah, and Gabriel aren't expected to be available until at least September.