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The kids are alright; Arsenal academy graduates feature heavily in matchday squad against Brentford

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Arsenal at American Express Community Stadium on December 29, 2020 in Brighton, England.The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal has gone with youth to kick-off their 2021-22 Premier League campaign, as boss Mikel Arteta has placed his faith in the kids tonight, including multiple Hale End academy graduates.

https://twitter.com/Arsenal/status/1426242213651091456?s=20

The Gunners look to hunt for honey at the Brentford Community Stadium, with Folarin Balogun leading the line in place of both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, unavailable through illness, while Eddie Nketiah is sidelined through injury.

Highly-touted Belgian U21 international Sambi Lokonga makes his expected full debut for Arsenal following a summer move from RSC Anderlecht, after Thomas Partey picked up a nasty injury in their pre-season friendly against Chelsea, while both Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli are also included in Mikel Arteta’s XI to face off against Thomas Frank’s Brentford outfit.

The kids are alright; Arsenal academy graduates feature heavily in matchday squad against Brentford

Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli (right) celebrates with Mohamed Elneny after scoring their side’s second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Wednesday May 19, 2021. (Photo by Facundo Arrizabalaga/PA Images via Getty Images)

The selected bench consists of quite a few academy graduates, too, with Karl Jakob Hein being preferred to Arthur Okonkwo as the back-up goalkeeper on the night, while Héctor Bellerín, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson, and Bukayo Saka are all available to come on whenever Arteta sees the need to make changes throughout hostilities. Nuno Tavares makes the matchday squad as well, after his summer move from SL Benfica.

It may not be a superb bench for Arsenal when it comes to a balance of options, but if changes are needed during proceedings, the likes of Saka, Nelson and Tavares could certainly provide an injection of pace, should the Gunners need to shake things up after half-time.

For last-minute betting predictions for tonight’s match, click here


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

Arsenal betting odds, next game:

Arsenal vs Aston Villa odds: result, both teams to score, correct score & goalscorers

Arsenal vs Aston Villa Full time result
Arsenal
10/11
Draw
13/5
Aston Villa
11/4
Arsenal vs Aston Villa Result/Both teams score Yes No
Arsenal 11/4 12/5
Aston Villa 6/1
Draw 15/4 10/1
Arsenal vs Aston Villa Correct Score
Arsenal
Aston Villa
Arsenal vs Aston Villa Goalscorers First Last Anytime
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang15/8 15/8 11/10
Alexandre Lacazette12/5 12/5 11/8
Danny Ings11/4 11/4 15/8
Eddie Nketiah3/1 3/1 7/4
Folarin Balogun3/1 3/1 15/8

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Chelsea FC 8 13 19
2 Liverpool FC 8 16 18
3 Manchester City 8 13 17
4 Brighton & Hove Albion 8 3 15
5 Tottenham Hotspur 8 -3 15
6 Manchester United 8 6 14
7 West Ham United 8 5 14
8 Everton FC 8 4 14
9 Brentford FC 8 3 12
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 8 0 12
11 Leicester City 8 -1 11
12 Arsenal FC 8 -5 11
13 Aston Villa 8 0 10
14 Crystal Palace 8 -3 8
15 Southampton FC 8 -4 7
16 Watford FC 8 -8 7
17 Leeds United 8 -8 6
18 Burnley FC 8 -8 3
19 Newcastle United 8 -9 3
20 Norwich City 8 -14 2

Premier League 21/22

Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 7
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 7
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 5
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 5
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 4
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 4
Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 4
Sarr, Ismaila Watford FC 4
Greenwood, Mason Manchester United 4
Townsend, Andros Everton FC 3
Ings, Danny Aston Villa 3
Benrahma, Said West Ham United 3
Gray, Demarai Everton FC 3
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 3
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 3
Lukaku, Romelu Chelsea FC 3
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United 3
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 3
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 3