Arsenal welcome Brentford to the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday lunchtime.

The Gunners have had two matches postponed since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II was announced during their Europa League victory over Swiss side FC Zurich last week.

While the powers that be shuffle the calendar around to find a slot for both fixtures, here’s the XI Mikel Arteta may deploy for the club’s trip to Brentford – which surprisingly escaped any postponement.

GK: Aaron Ramsdale – “Are you mad?” was the encouraging response Ramsdale’s dad delivered when his son revealed his desire to be a goalkeeper.

RB: Ben White – The £50m arrival endured a debut to forget at Brentford’s modern ground last year, getting singled out by pundits and the public as he admitted: “I didn’t play very well.”

CB: William Saliba – One of three bright prospects for the future and the present that Arsenal are trying to tie down to a longer-term contract.

CB: Gabriel – “I would say I have definitely improved a lot since arriving here,” Gabriel reflected in August. “That goes for my passing, my heading, and various other aspects of my game.” Incidentally, Gabriel completed more passes and headed shots than any other Arsenal colleague last season.

LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko – While he was waiting to join Russian side Ufa after terminating his contract at Shakhtar Donetsk amid a mess of legal wrangling, Zinchenko kept in shape by training with amateurs.

CM: Thomas Partey – Arsenal’s undisputed first-choice midfield pivot has been out for four weeks with a thigh problem.

CM: Granit Xhaka – “When I was younger, even though I had a big brother, my parents would give me the house key every day,” Xhaka explained when highlighting his leadership qualities upon his arrival at Arsenal.

AM: Martin Odegaard – Hans Erik Odegaard, Martin’s father and a former professional footballer, was given a coaching job at Real Madrid when his 16-year-old joined Los Blancos. Arsenal didn’t extend the same offer and Odegaard Sr is currently with Sandefjord in the Norwegian top flight. They are winless in seven.

RW: Bukayo Saka – Never one to forget his roots, Saka keeps a picture of himself playing grassroots football pinned on his fridge.

ST: Gabriel Jesus – In 2018, Jesus became the first Brazilian number nine since Zinho in 1994 to go goalless at a World Cup. At least the Palmeiras forward hoisted the trophy aloft that year.

LW: Gabriel Martinelli – The Olympic champion has a painting of himself biting and pointing to the gold medal he won representing his country but Martinelli hasn’t been selected for Tite’s final senior squad before the World Cup. In fact, none of Arsenal’s Brazilians will be in the travelling party this month.


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