Trossard in, Martinelli out? Arsenal team news and predicted XI vs Brentford

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Mikel Arteta has some big decisions to make when the Gunners host Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday

Premier League leaders Arsenal return to action against Brentford on Saturday looking to put their defeat at Everton behind them.

That 1-0 loss at Goodison Park was the first Mikel Arteta’s side have suffered in the league since they were beaten 3-1 at Manchester United in September.

But Manchester City’s defeat at Tottenham on Sunday ensured the Gunners maintained their five-point lead at the top of the table, an advantage they would stretch to eight points should they beat Brentford this weekend.

So how are things shaping up at Arsenal ahead of the game? GOAL takes a look.

  1. Arsenal team news

    Arsenal team news

    Gabriel Jesus has returned to Arsenal’s training ground this week to step up his recovery plan following knee surgery, but the Brazil International is still some way off being able to return to action.

    Emile Smith Rowe has missed Arsenal’s last two games due to a thigh problem and is not expected to be fit to face Brentford this weekend. Reiss Nelson is fully fit and available again after his hamstring issue, but Mohamed Elneny is sidelined for the season due to a knee problem.

    Thomas Partey was replaced after an hour against Everton last weekend, but that substitution was not believed to be injury related.

  2. Key man

    Key man

    Martin Odegaard: Arsenal’s captain had an off day by his high standards against Everton last weekend and the side suffered as a result.

    When Odegaard plays well, Arsenal play well, so the Gunners will be looking to their skipper to inspire them to a much-improved performance to the one they produced at Goodison Park.

    If Odegaard gets on the ball and finds space in the final third, it could be a long afternoon for the Brentford defence.

  3. Talking point

    Talking point

    There is plenty of debate ahead of the game about whether Saturday is the time for Mikel Arteta to shake things up a bit.

    The likes of Ben White and Gabriel Martinelli have been slightly off it in the past couple of weeks and could benefit from a rest, especially with Takehiro Tomiyasu and Leandro Trossard pushing hard for a place in the starting XI.

    Arsenal have their huge clash with Manchester City on Wednesday night looming large so if Arteta is ever going to rotate his starting XI, Saturday seems like the moment he will do it.

  4. What has Arteta said?
    Getty Images

    What has Arteta said?

    The Arsenal manager knew his side under-performed against Everton, but was quick to offer his players support ahead of this weekend’s crucial clash at the Emirates.

    “This is the moment I love my players more,” he said. “Now we stick together. This journey is going to be difficult and challenging, and there’s going to be bigger stones in the middle that we’re going to have to overcome that. And now we’re going to prepare really well in the week to get to Saturday in the right emotional level and right spirit to be perfect.”

  5. Arsenal predicted XI

    Arsenal predicted XI

    (4-3-3-): Ramsdale; Tomiyasu; Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard; Saka, Nketiah, Trossard.