Martin Odegaard misses Arsenal’s trip to Brentford after picking up a minor knock in training, it has been revealed.
The Gunners make the trip across London for the rescheduled midday kickoff against Thomas Frank’s side, but will be without both their skipper Odegaard and new summer signing Oleksandr Zinchenko for their clash with Bees, with the Ukrainian also having picked up a small knock.
The Athletic report that “Odegaard suffered a knock in training last weekend and was not able to work as would have been liked ahead of the trip across London.”
Neither injury is thought to be serious, though Zinchenko has withdrawn from his national team setup for the upcoming international break in order to ensure that he is fully fit for Arsenal’s next domestic game, which comes against bitter rivals Tottenham at the beginning of October.
Emile Smith-Rowe is also sidelined after picking up an injury in the warmdown of their defeat to Manchester United a fortnight ago, while Mohamed Elneny is recovering from a hamstring injury and Reiss Nelson, though returned to training, is not fit enough to make the squad.
However, the return of Thomas Partey from a thigh problem comes as a relief for Arteta, who has limited options in the centre of the pitch with both Elneny and Zinchenko sidelined. It also offers opportunities, with summer Fabio Vieira afforded a place in the starting XI and 15-year-old Ethan Nwakeri handed a spot on the bench.
Arsenal know that a win will take them back atop the Premier League table, leapfrogging both Tottenham and Manchester City, but will face a tough test in Frank’s Brentford side led by talismanic figure Ivan Toney, fresh off the back of his first England call up.
They will be desperate to avoid a repeat of their last trip to the Community Stadium, where a personnel crisis saw them fall to a 2-0 defeat at the beginning of the season, while they will also want to prove that one defeat does not breed a second for this new look Arsenal side.