Premier League

Brentford vs Arsenal: TV channel, live stream, team news & prediction

Max Parsons
Thomas Frank will lead Brentford into their first appearance in the Premier League
Thomas Frank will lead Brentford into their first appearance in the Premier League / Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Here we go...

No, this isn't more news about Lionel Messi's transfer to Paris Saint-Germain; the Premier League is finally back!

Newly promoted Brentford host Arsenal in the top flight's curtain raiser, playing their first ever match as a Premier League club. The Bees won promotion via the Championship play-offs last season, beating Swansea City 2-0 at Wembley, and have impressed in pre-season too - most recently beating Valencia 2-1 in a friendly.

Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta will be desperate to improve upon a disappointing campaign last time out, finishing eighth and not qualifying for a European competition for the first time since 1996. The Gunners have been in woeful form leading into the 2021/22 season, losing to Hibernian, Chelsea and Tottenham in a winless pre-season, although can get their competitive season rolling in positive fashion with an opening day victory over another London rival.

Here's 90min's preview of the 2021/22 Premier League's first fixture.

How to watch Brentford vs Arsenal on TV

Brentford Community Stadium
Brentford Community Stadium in west London / Henry Browne/Getty Images

When is kick off? Friday 13 August 20:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Brentford Community Stadium
What TV channel is the match on? Sky Sports (UK), fuboTV (US)
Who's the referee? Michael Oliver
Who's on VAR duty? Chris Kavanagh

Brentford team news

There have been doubts over star striker Ivan Toney's availability for Brentford's clash with Arsenal on Friday, having been absent from the Bees' 2-1 victory over Valencia on Saturday.

However, Frank confirmed after that fixture that he fully expects the forward - who notched 33 league goals last term - to be ready to feature in some capacity.

The Brentford boss has also opted for wing-back systems in successive pre-season matches, suggesting that a back three could be in use for their league opener.

This could result in new arrival Kristoffer Ajer getting a competitive debut for the club, along with midfielder Frank Onyeka who struck the winning goal against Valencia following his second half introduction.

Arsenal team news

Arteta has several injury woes to contend with ahead of the trip to Brentford, as well as the devastating news that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette will miss out through illness.

Thomas Partey and Eddie Nketiah both picked up knocks in Arsenal's friendly defeat to Chelsea earlier in the month and are unlikely to be involved.

Thomas Partey
Thomas Partey's injury concerns continue / Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Gabriel. meanwhile, is still nursing a knee problem that kept him out of Brazil's gold medal-winning Olympics squad in Tokyo. There is some good news, however. £50m signing Ben White looks set to make his competitive debut, as does Albert Sambi Lokonga following his promising performances in pre-season.

Brentford vs Arsenal predicted lineups

Brentford: Raya; Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock; Canos, Janelt, Norgaard, Onyeka, Henry; Mbeumo, Toney.

Arsenal: Leno; Chambers, White, Mari, Tierney; Xhaka, Lokonga; Pepe, Smith Rowe, Willian; Balogun

Brentford vs Arsenal prediction

Only a fool would try and predict just how opening day pans out...but here goes.

Ben White
Ben White in pre-season friendly action for Arsenal / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Brentford will undoubtedly come into the new campaign full of excited anticipation, while Arsenal will more likely be burdened by heavy expectations. The Gunners do have previous when facing newly promoted sides in their first fixture of a league season, beating Fulham 3-0 at Craven Cottage last term.

Brentford, however, will feel confident of causing an upset on Friday. Having been a solid feature of the second tier title race over the past couple of years, the Bees have built strongly and are a force to be reckoned with. Frank may require a little more backing in the transfer market to be able to stake a claim in the top flight this season, but a venture into the unknown will not scare this squad at all.

On an opening night where one of the Premier League's elder statesmen travels to a plucky and vibrant new boy, the spoils could be shared.

Prediction: Brentford 1-1 Arsenal