Arsenal will be looking to bounce back from what could only be described as one of their worst performances of the season against Everton last weekend, which saw them lose for just the second time in the Premier League this season.

The Gunners face Brentford this afternoon, and a repeat of September’s 3-0 win in west London would certainly bring a smile back to Mikel Arteta’s face and rebuild the momentum they had gained since the turn of the year.

The Spaniard could make a few changes ahead of this afternoon’s clash, with a few players who underperformed against the Toffees dropping to the bench.

Ben White won just two of his six duels last weekend and made only one tackle, although the biggest disappointment was arguably Gabriel Martinelli, fresh from signing a new long-term deal.

Will Martinelli play against Brentford?

The Brazilian winger was rather wasteful against Everton, succeeding with just one dribble attempt, delivering one cross and losing possession a staggering 14 times, made even worse by the fact he was only on the pitch for 59 minutes before being substituted.

Before the World Cup break, Martinelli was in superb form for the Gunners, scoring five times and registering two assists. Since returning from Qatar, however, the winger has scored only twice and hasn’t netted so far in 2023.

The £90k-per-week star was dubbed the “talent of the century” by Jurgen Klopp in 2021, but it seems clear Arteta may need to give the 21-year-old a break for one or two matches in order to re-energise him for bigger tests ahead, especially with the Premier League title race approaching its apex.

The 40-year-old signed Leandro Trossard in January to give his team some much-needed cover across the front three, and there may be a chance for the Belgian to be unleashed this afternoon in place of Martinelli.

Across 18 league matches this term, the 28-year-old has registered ten goal contributions – seven goals and three assists – which is actually a better record than Martinelli’s, and Arteta will surely have no worries about throwing him in from the start for the first time in a league game since his move to the Emirates Stadium.

A break could do Martinelli the world of good, especially after his poor performance last weekend; and with the Gunners chasing a first league title since 2004, Arteta must do everything that’s necessary in order to achieve that goal.


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