Depending on the outcome of Manchester City and Liverpool's lunchtime encounter, Arsenal could potentially end the weekend at the top of the Premier League table with victory over London rivals Brentford on Saturday evening.
Burnley, Chelsea and West Ham United had all succumbed to Brentford's attacking superiority in the three games that preceded the Bees' trip to Liverpool's Anfield fortress, where Alisson Becker was called into action on a couple of occasions, but the visitors' powers ultimately waned.
A pair of Mohamed Salah finishes and a stunning Diogo Jota strike propelled the Reds to a convincing three-goal win over the Bees, whose head coach Thomas Frank wagged his finger in disapproval when Wataru Endo escaped a red card for catching Christian Norgaard with his studs, but the Dane could have had few qualms with the full-time scoreline.
On account of their first defeat of the month, the Bees were bumped down to 11th place in the standings by Chelsea owing to their West London counterparts' 4-4 draw with Manchester City, but they remain mathematically closer to the top four than the relegation zone.
A record of four wins, four draws and four defeats from their opening 12 fixtures defines the term mid-table mediocrity for Brentford, but their offensive qualities at the Gtech Community Stadium are not up for debate, as they are out to score for the 20th Premier League home game running this weekend.
Furthermore, only three teams have defeated the Bees at the Gtech in the top flight since the start of last term, although one member of that trio was Arsenal, who will also endeavour to replicate their recent EFL Cup success over their London rivals en route to a possible first-placed ranking.
As was the case after the Gunners' excruciating loss to Newcastle United earlier this month, head coach Mikel Arteta was immediately asked for his thoughts on a refereeing decision to go against his side, as Fabio Vieira's horrendous challenge on Burnley's Josh Brownhill warranted a straight red card.
However, the Spaniard stopped short of labelling the decision a "disgrace" this time around and was all smiles after witnessing Leandro Trossard, William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko produce the goods in a 3-1 victory for his side, even going as far to praise the officials - perhaps in a tongue-in-cheek manner - for dismissing Vieira in the dying embers.
By deepening Burnley's demotion woes, Arsenal snapped a two-game domestic losing run to sit pretty in third place in the table, behind Liverpool on goal difference and only one point worse off than Man City, so the throne will be theirs with a win if the lunchtime Etihad encounter ends level.
The Gunners are a far cry from the team that opened the season with four wins and four clean sheets in four away matches, though, as they have since prevailed in just one of their last five contests on enemy territory and could now lose three in a row on the road for the first time since December 2021.
As mentioned, though, Arsenal's last two trips to Brentford's turf have been worthwhile, as a 3-0 top-flight success in September 2022 preceded a 1-0 EFL Cup third-round win in September, although the Gtech will forever be remembered as the location of the Bees' first-ever Premier League win over Arteta's troops two years ago.
Amid incessant talk of a possible January switch to the red half of North London, Brentford talisman Ivan Toney will watch his admirers from the sidelines as he continues his lengthy suspension, while former Gunners youth player Josh Dasilva is one of a handful of doubts due to a thigh injury.
Keane Lewis-Potter (calf) and Mikkel Damsgaard (knee) are also on the touch-and-go list, but there is no chance of Rico Henry (knee), Aaron Hickey (thigh) or Kevin Schade (adductor) being available for the visit of the Gunners.
Frank's switch to a five-man defence did not pay dividends at Anfield, but by reverting to a four-man backline here, the door will swing open for Neal Maupay - Gooners' public enemy number one after the Bernd Leno incident in 2020 - to spearhead the hosts' attack.
Speaking of Arsenal goalkeepers, Arteta cannot deploy David Raya as the last line of defence this weekend as the Brentford loanee is ineligible to face his parent club, so Aaron Ramsdale will make his first Premier League start in over two-and-a-half months here.
Vieira is also beginning a three-match domestic ban but would not have started anyway, while Emile Smith Rowe (knee), Jurrien Timber (knee) and Thomas Partey (thigh) are known absentees, but Gabriel Jesus made a quicker-than-expected return from a hamstring injury in time to represent Brazil in World Cup qualifying.
It would be a shock to see Jesus thrown back into the Arsenal XI straight away, though, while Martin Odegaard (head), Ben White (knock) and Cedric Soares (illness) will need assessment closer to the time, but there is hope that the former will make his comeback in the London derby.
Brentford possible starting lineup:
Flekken; Ajer, Collins, Pinnock, Roerslev; Norgaard, Janelt, Jensen; Mbeumo, Maupay, Wissa
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Jorginho, Rice; Saka, Trossard, Martinelli
We say: Brentford 1-2 Arsenal
Arsenal have followed the recipe for defensive success during their last two trips to the Gtech, but attempting to keep Brentford quiet in front of their own fans may be a fruitless endeavour this time around, as it has been for a plethora of other revered teams.
Frank's troops have been prone to a defensive lapse this season as well, though, and with Odegaard expected to be given the all-clear to return to the fold, Arsenal should right their recent wrongs on the road and march to consecutive win number three.
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