Arsenal can’t afford to slip up at Brentford as top four rivals face-off

Arsenal is set to resume Premier League action this weekend with a visit to Brentford for a Saturday evening London derby clash at the Gtech Community Stadium.

Matchday 13 offers the Gunners a huge opportunity to establish themselves at the summit of the Premier League and further their title aspirations with top-four rivals facing off this weekend.

Defending champions Manchester City renew hostilities with Liverpool in a blockbuster showdown at the Etihad Stadium while a depleted Tottenham Hotspur side welcome Aston Villa to North London.

With the other top six sides battling for supremacy, Arsenal can ill-afford a slip-up against their London counterparts, although the game against Brentford is not expected to be a walk in the park for Arteta’s side.

Man City v Liverpool overview

Premier League action kicks off with a box office contest as table-topping Man City and second-placed Liverpool go head-to-head at the Etihad.

While it’s too early to tag this fixture as a title decider, this encounter will undoubtedly impact the title race, and such it’s a much-watch game. For any Arsenal fans living in Manchester and looking to pick up tickets to one of the best football games of the season, you can still buy Man City vs Liverpool tickets at Seatsnet.com leading up to matchday.

Pep Guardiola’s side picked up ten points from four games (W3, D1) heading into the November international break, including the 4-4 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The pulsating encounter saw the Cityzens set an unprecedented record, scoring and conceding four in the same match for the first time since Guardiola joined the club in 2016.

Settling for a share of the spoils forced the treble winners to relinquish their five-match winning streak across all competitions, but they will be eager to kickstart another run at home to Liverpool.

The status of Norwegian superstar Erling Braut Haaland, who was on the scoresheet twice at Stamford Bridge, remains uncertain after pulling out of the Norway camp due to an ankle injury.

Even without their talismanic striker, Man City will fancy their chances of getting the better of their title rivals as they bid to secure their 24th consecutive victory at the Etihad. 

The Cityzens dominated Liverpool in this corresponding fixture last April, running out 4-1 winners, but the Reds will be determined to avoid a similar fate at the home of the champions.

Man City’s run of form against Liverpool on home turf has left Jurgen Klopp without a league win at the Etihad since 2015, but the Reds will back themselves to set the record straight this time around.

Liverpool are going through a purple patch in the league and will be eager to take advantage of Man City’s injury crisis to snap their seven-match winless streak at the Etihad (D3, L4).

Klopp’s side took advantage of Man City’s slip-up in West London to reduce the gap to a single point with a thumping 3-0 home triumph against Brentford. 

The victory at Anfield snapped their two-match winless streak in all competitions. They were held to a shocking 1-1 draw at home to Luton Town before falling to a 3-2 continental defeat to Toulouse.

However, they responded to the consecutive setbacks with an emphatic victory over Brentford, extending their unbeaten streak to five Premier League games (W3, D2).

Except for the controversial 2-1 defeat at Tottenham in late September, Liverpool have gone unbeaten in their 11 remaining league fixtures this season (W8, D3).

However, their uninspiring form away from home doesn’t bode well for their chances of thwarting Man City, considering they’ve only won two of their six top-flight fixtures on the road (D3, L1).

Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa overview

Tottenham and Villa kick off Sunday’s Premier League action as both sides face off at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in a top-four six-pointer.

Villa arrive in North London knowing victory would see them leapfrog their hosts into the Champions League places with just one point separating both sides.

Ange Postecoglou would have been grateful for the international break, with his side crumbling under the weight of their injury crisis as they recorded consecutive defeats for the first time this season.

Having overseen Tottenham’s best start to a league campaign in decades following a ten-match unbeaten league start (W8, D2), the Australian manager has suffered back-to-back defeats to Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers. 

Postecoglou will need to whip up a special formula to get the better of Villa without a handful of key players, or Tottenham risk dropping outside the top four if they fail to secure a positive result.

Richarlison, James Maddison, and Micky van de Ven are all ruled out of action until 2024, while Cristian Romero will miss the clash through suspension.

Welcoming Villa to North London marks the beginning of a challenging four-game stretch, with Spurs facing Man City, West Ham United and Newcastle United next.

Unai Emery’s high-flying Villa head to the capital brimming with confidence after picking up back-to-back victories before the international break.

They recovered from an appalling 2-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest with a 3-1 win over Fulham on home turf, marking their 13th consecutive victory at Villa Park for the first time since 1983.

Emery’s side boast a perfect home record this season, winning all six of their Villa Park games for the first time since 1959.

However, their away form has been their achilles heel thus far after going winless in four of their opening six matches on their travels (W2, D1, L3).

Barring a 1-0 win at Chelsea in late September, Emery’s side have failed to win three of their last four away league outings (D1, L3), netting just a single goal in that sequence.

Tottenham’s injury crisis offers the Birmingham side a chance to correct their abysmal travel form, setting the tone for a potentially thrilling encounter.

Why Arsenal can ill-afford a slip against Brentford

Considering just one point separates Arsenal from the table toppers, victory against Brentford increases their chances of finishing the weekend at the Premier League summit.

The Gunners went into the international break on a high, shaking off a controversial 1-0 defeat to Newcastle by securing a comprehensive 3-1 victory over relegation-threatened Burnley at the Emirates.

Establishing themselves at the top of the table will be monumental for the morale in the dressing room as Arteta’s men continue their hunt for the Premier League title.

The importance of maximum points at Brentford cannot be overstated, but the trip to West London poses a tricky challenge for the Gunners.

However, they will back themselves to complete a hat-trick of wins at the Gtech Stadium, having emerged victorious in their last two trips.

Sunday’s showdown will see Arteta mark his 200th game in charge of the Gunners, and a victory – whichever way it comes – would be a perfect way to celebrate the milestone.

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