Brentford vs Arsenal: Carabao Cup Preview, Round 3, 2023
Brentford striker Ivan Toney celebrates a goal against Arsenal (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

One way or another, this fixture always seems to produce a good match - especially for neutral fans.

Before 1939, Arsenal had not beaten Brentford since changing their name from 'Woolwich Arsenal' and, even then, only did so once. Perhaps unsurprisingly, however, times have changed and, in their last five meetings, the Gunners have lost just once.

While this is the first round of the competition that Mikel Arteta's side have participated in this season, Brentford have already had to play a game to get to this point. That game saw them face SkyBet League Two side Newport County but, in what came as a shock to many, Thomas Frank's side could only beat the Welsh side on penalties, having drawn 1-1 in regular time. 

While it likely does not ease the mind of Brentford fans, it is also hard to ignore the fact that Arsenal are so far unbeaten this season. What is worse is that the Bees have failed to win in their last three games, with their last victory actually being against Newport County in the last round of the competition.

While these statistics make for grim reading among Brentford fans, and suggest a very one-sided contest, there is reason to be hopeful in west London.

Though results have been positive, Arsenal fans have been very critical of their team's performances so far this season - especially after a draw with fellow London side Fulham. These performance concerns, coupled with home advantage and some significant injuries for Arteta and his team to contend with, give plenty of reason for Brentford fans to be hopeful of a positive result from the game.

  • Team news


The Bees are set to be without several important first-team players through injury, which will no doubt dampen their preparations for the game.

It has been confirmed that German forward Kevin Schade will be absent for a prolonged period after suffering an adductor injury, and will undergo surgery later this week. Frank expressed his disappointment on the news by saying: 

"It’s a blow, of course it is. He’s a player we have big expectations for, and he was starting to show some of his fantastic abilities with a goal against Crystal Palace".

Ben Mee also remains absent with a muscular injury and is not expected to feature for at least a couple of weeks.

Another absentee is Mikkel Damsgaard, who is suffering from a knee issue. He is set to see a knee specialist this week, according to Frank, with more clarity on his situation expected after this.

The injuries do not stop there, with Rico Henry also on the sidelines, after enduring a severe knee injury. The English defender is expected to miss the rest of the season.

Shandon Baptiste joins the aforementioned quartet in the physio room, as he continues to recover from a dislocated shoulder, which has seen him miss a prolonged period of football, and no return date yet set for the 25-year-old.

The last injury-enforced absentee for the Bees is Josh Dasilva, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, with the Englishman likely to be sidelined for at least another couple of months.

The only other unavailable player is Ivan Toney, who is continuing to serve a long-term ban for multiple breaches of the FA's betting rules.


The Gunners' injury list does not make for much better reading, as they will also be without several key players ahead of this cup game.

Jurriën Timber, who joined the club in the summer from Ajax, remains sidelined after suffering a serious knee injury, though there have been a handful of reports suggesting that the Dutch defender is making positive progress in his recovery.

Thomas Partey will also miss the game as he continues his recovery from a groin issue, but there are hopes that the veteran midfielder is nearing a possible return.

Another big miss for Arsenal is going to be club-record signing Declan Rice, who had to be substituted at half-time against Tottenham last weekend. The 24-year-old is said to be suffering from a back issue, but Arteta is optimistic that it is not too serious.

"We are confident. He’s still uncomfortable, he had to leave the pitch and that’s never a good sign for a player like him, but hopefully he will progress in the next few days. It’s a tough one.”

Fan-favourite Bukayo Saka is a major doubt too after also being forced off early last weekend. The England international was seen limping off the pitch and has been unable to train so far this week, but no further details of his injury have been shared. Arteta conceded that he could miss the game against Bournemouth this weekend as well as the Carabao Cup game.

The Spaniard also confirmed that the Brentford game will come too early for Brazilian winger Gabriel Martinelli, who is continuing recovery from a thigh issue - though it is hoped that the 22-year-old is nearing a return to action.

Unfortunately for the Gunners, the most obvious replacement for Martinelli, Leandro Trossard, is also injured. The Belgian is suffering from a hamstring strain and will definitely miss this game.

  • Likely line-ups

With the game being in the Carabao Cup, and midweek, it is likely that we will see plenty of rotation from both teams. 


Strakosha; Roerslev, Zanka, Ajer, Hickey; Onyeka, Yarmoliuk, Ghoddos; Lewis-Potter, Mbeumo, Wissa


Ramsdale; Cédric, Saliba, Kiwior, Tomiyasu; Elneny, Jorginho; Smith-Rowe, Havertz, Nelson; Nketiah

  • Key players

Brentford - Bryan Mbeumo

Mbeumo has been a shining light in the absence of Toney, with the Cameroonian striker netting four goals already this season. His form has been exceptional and the 24-year-old has been clinical in front of goal.

He is not just a great finisher, though. He has proven already that he is more than capable of creating top quality chances for his teammates - which is bound to increase his side's chances in this and future games.

Arsenal - Aaron Ramsdale

When your 'backup' goalkeeper is an active England international, you know that your goal is in safe hands. The 25-year-old kept an impressive 14 clean sheets last season, which was the joint second-best in the league last season.

Following the acquisition of David Raya on loan this summer, Ramsdale has seemingly found himself as second choice at the club, which is why he is likely to feature against Brentford. While many clubs play academy goalkeepers in cup games, Ramsdale is an incredibly strong option for the Gunners to rotate with. 

  • Match details

Where is the match being played?

The game is being played at Brentford's home stadium, the Gtech Community Stadium.

When is the match?

The game is being played today, Wednesday 27th September 2023, and will kick-off at 20:00 BST.

How can I watch?

The game is not being televised in the United Kingdom. Highlights of the game will, however, be posted to both clubs' YouTube channels shortly after full-time.