London Derby in EFL Cup
While Arsenal has been a force in English soccer for decades, Brentford has burst onto the scene over the last few years. The Bees have put together a genuinely competitive side in the Premier League and just barely missed out on European competition last season. On Wednesday, the two sides will meet in the third round of the EFL Cup in a London Derby. We’ll check out the Brentford vs Arsenal odds for what should be one of the round’s best matches.
Arsenal and Brentford last met in the EFL Cup in 2018, when Brentford was still playing in the EFL Championship. Arsenal won that match 3-1 to advance to the fourth round. In last season’s Premier League, Arsenal won 3-0 at Brentford and drew 1-1 with the Bees at the Emirates. In the latter match, the Brentford vs Arsenal odds priced the Gunners as -235 favorites. Arsenal are 3-1-1 in their last five matches vs. Brentford, in all competitions.
Brentford Drop Two in a Row
Brentford are one of the more difficult Premier League teams to beat but they’ve lost each of their last two matches following a four-game unbeaten streak to start the season. On Saturday, Brentford hosted Everton at the Gtech Community Stadium and Abdoulaye Doucoure opened up the scoring for the visitors. Mathias Jensen equalized before halftime but the Bees capitulated in the second half.
James Tarkowski scored a header off of a corner to put Everton ahead once again and Dominic Calvert-Lewin doubled the Toffees’ lead. Brentford fell 3-1 even though the pre-match soccer lines priced the bees as -110 favorites. They also lost 1-0 to Newcastle the weekend prior. In the second round of the EFL Cup, in late August, coach Thomas Frank named a squad of mostly reserves.
In that match, vs. fourth-tier Newport County, Brentford drew 1-1 and ended up with a victory in penalties. It’s likely Frank will name a much stronger squad to face London rivals Arsenal. Even though the Bees are missing star striker Ivan Toney until his suspension is lifted in January, they have scored nine goals in the EPL this season. Bryan Mbeumo has accounted for four of those and he was nominated for the Premier League’s August Player of the Month.
Arsenal Survive Tough North London Derby
While Wednesday’s match is certainly a London Derby, Arsenal would have much rather won on Sunday. In the North London Derby, vs. arch-rivals Tottenham, Arsenal drew 2-2 at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners struck first, as Bukayo’s first-half shot was deflected by Spurs’ Cristian Romero into his own net. Not long after Arsenal’s David Raya made an incredible save, Tottenham’s Son Heung-Min equalized from a James Maddison pass.
In the second half, Saka converted a penalty but Son equalized once again from another Maddison assist. Jorginho, who replaced the injured Declan Rice, was at fault for Arsenal on the Spurs goal. Both teams had their chances but the North London Derby finished all square. The Arsenal odds to win Premier League are now below Manchester City’s and Liverpool’s, at +800.
In the span of a week, three Arsenal players have gone down injured and none of Rice, Leandro Trossard, or Gabriel Martinelli are likely to be risked here. Thomas Partey and Jurrien Timber remain out for the Gunners. The Gunners lacked a cutting edge going forward in the North London Derby and Eddie Nketiah didn’t offer much going forward for Arsenal. It remains to be seen whether either Saka or Martin Odegaard will play on Wednesday, as they’ve been Arsenal’s biggest offensive threats this season.
Match Analysis & Odds
EFL Cup matches can be difficult to predict. Coaches vary in their willingness to take the second-most important domestic cup competition in England seriously. Undoubtedly, both teams will want to advance to the next round, but there figures to be a lot of personnel changes on both sides. Regardless, the Brentford vs Arsenal odds list the Gunners as even-money favorites for this London Derby.
While former Brentford keeper David Raya has taken Aaron Ramsdale’s place as Arsenal’s number-one goalie over the last few matches, Ramsdale could play here. Even though Arsenal are dealing with a bunch of injuries, they do have a deep squad for the 2023-24 season. Brentford also has some EPL players on the sidelines, including Rico Henry, Mikkel Damsgaard, Shandon Baptiste, and Josh Dasilva.
Brentford +0.5 comes in at -120 odds as the Bees look to avoid a third straight defeat. Thomas Frank’s side are also +250 home underdogs and they haven’t won any of their four matches at the Gtech Community Stadium this season. A draw (+255) means the match will end in a penalty shootout and the last matchup finished all square. Arsenal are unbeaten in seven 2023-24 matches and the Gunners -0.5 displays -110 odds. Four of Arsenal’s last five matches have finished with four or more goals and over 2.5, 3 goals show -115 odds for this one.