Examining Brentford's first six fixtures in 2021/22
Photo by Getty Images/Catherine Ivill

13th August – Arsenal (H)

Friday night football at the Brentford Community Stadium is the perfect way to kick off your debut Premier League season as Brentford welcome a transitioning Arsenal side. Under the guidance of Mikel Arteta the Gunners have shown mixed signals, with their FA Cup win in 2019/20 being followed up by a shaky 2020/21 season which saw them miss out on European football altogether for the first time since 1995.

With a raucous home support behind them, there is no reason why the Bees can't catch Arteta's men cold and earn a point. Targeting a renewed Arsenal back-line may be Brentford's priority here, and the potential sight of Ben White lining up for the visitors could make for a tasty battle with Ivan Toney.

21st August – Crystal Palace (A)

The team then have a welcome eight-day break until Thomas Frank's men go on the road for the first time, and it is only a short trip over to South London to face Crystal Palace. New manager Patrick Vieira comes in with lots of expectations and ambition but also with an awful lot to remedy. The Eagles have let many experienced players go at the end of their contracts, including Gary Cahill and Andros Townsend.

Palace seem to be focusing on promoting youth within the club alongside a recruitment strategy focusing on young rising stars, so it is hard to know what to expect from Vieira’s men. Brentford should aim to pressure this young group and earn the win.

28th August - Aston Villa (A)

A second away game on the trot sees Brentford travel to the Midlands to take on the ever-improving Aston Villa and in all actuality, their toughest test of the campaign to date. If Villa can hold onto superstar Jack Grealish, then they will be aiming to improve on last season’s 11th place finish. A former Brentford favourite will possibly come back to haunt the club in the form of England international Ollie Watkins who scored an impressive 14 goals in his debut season.

The sternest test yet for the Brentford defence, so a draw would be considered an excellent result, however this may be ambitious given the attacking talents Villa have in their armoury.

11th September – Brighton & Hove Albion (H)

After the international break Brentford return home to entertain Brighton & Hove Albion. The Seagulls will come to play passing football as they have done under the tutorship of Graham Potter, receiving high praise for the way they construct attacks from the back. However, if the impending transfer of White does take place that will leave a big hole at the centre of their defence which could be unlocked by creative duo Sergi Canos and Bryan Mbeumo.

Should Brentford find a way to get through Brighton’s well-structured set up and press well from the front they could earn plenty of possession and therefore play for a win rather than sit back and allow the away side to dictate play.

18th September – Wolverhampton Wanderers (A)

Possibly another unknown entity will be Brentford’s third away game in four as they take on Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux. After an emotional farewell to long-serving manager Nuno Espírito Santo the club have also lost another key player in the form of goalkeeper Rui Patrício. How will the Midlands side respond this season under the management of Bruno Lage? Wolves will at least be buoyed by the return of prolific striker Raúl Jiménez, and they continue to rely on the strong defensive core of Conor Coady and Willy Boly.

Underestimate this side at your peril with their proven Premier League quality and the return of exciting forward Pedro Neto. However, if Brentford arrive at Molineux with points in the bag, they will use this confidence to attack a side under new leadership. Expect a tetchy affair with both sides scrambling to get early points on the board.

25th September - Liverpool (H)

Out of the frying pan and into the fire, as Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are the first real measure of top-quality opposition Brentford will face in their opening six fixtures. Stacked with talent and proven winners this Liverpool side will be out for revenge after - by their lofty standards - an average season last time out and will be boosted by the return of defensive duo Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.

With a packed home crowd behind them, Brentford will certainly give it their all. However, a gulf in quality may well be the difference and mean the Merseyside club return home with all three points.