Thomas Frank responds to claim Brentford could ‘exploit’ Arsenal star | Football

Aaron Ramsdale has played just two games for Arsenal since the start of December (AFP via Getty)

Thomas Frank has dismissed suggestions that Brentford could exploit the absence of David Raya during their Premier League clash with Arsenal on Saturday.

Brentford travel to the Emirates Stadium for Saturday’s 5.30pm kick-off and are aiming to put a dent in Arsenal’s title ambitions.

Mikel Arteta will be without his first-choice goalkeeper Raya as the Spaniard is ineligible to play against his parent club due to the terms of Arsenal’s loan agreement with Brentford.

Aaron Ramsdale is set to deputise for Raya but lacks match practice having played just two games for Arsenal since the start of December.

But when asked if Brentford could ‘exploit’ Arsenal being forced to play Ramsdale instead of Raya, Frank said on Friday: ‘So last time I don’t think they changed their style of play.

‘They want to dominate, they want to control the game, they want to build from behind and they know when we can we will try to press high.

‘We will try to press as much as possible but most teams go a little bit longer, so they’ll probably go a little bit longer. I don’t think it’ll change that much.’

David Raya of Arsenal shouts instructions during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Arsenal

David Raya is ineligible to play against Brentford on Saturday (Getty)

Frank has also been impressed with Arsenal’s recent run of results as Arteta’s side look to go top of the Premier League with a win on Saturday ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday.

‘I think form-wise, momentum, they [Arsenal] are right up there,’ said Frank.

‘I think it’s clear Arsenal, Liverpool and [Manchester] City are ahead of the rest.

‘Right now, maybe Arsenal are performing to the absolute maximum, I’ve stopped counting the goals they’ve scored – 31 in the last seven? That’s more than four per game, wow, that’s impressive, we need to be very good to defend, 31 [goals]… very impressive.

Arsenal will go top of the Premier League on Saturday if they beat Brentford (Getty)

‘But we trust ourselves, we believe in ourselves, and we know what we are about and what we can do.

‘But of course, they deserve a lot of praise. Arteta, his coaching staff and players have it’s clear they have improved from last season.

‘I don’t know exactly how you do that but they managed to have an okay first part of the season but they look so much stronger now.

‘I know we are not in the run-in but they look so strong coming into it. I think that’s a combination of all of them learning, a young team, young squad, they’ve got more experience. Just on the performances they look very, very strong. The job they have done together is very impressive.

‘I said that to the players – the good news is we always give them a game, the bad news is they’ve never been better. So we need to put in a top, top performance out there to get something out of the game, no doubt about it. And they know they have to beat us.

‘I’m pretty sure they’re happy to take the pressure on them, they know they have to beat us to still be in the title race.’

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