Finally, it’s here. A Premier League game, at Selhurst Park, in front of a full house. Simply put, it has felt like an eternity since this last happened.
Last week turned out to be something of a damp squib, as Chelsea ruined our opening game by sticking three goals past Vicente Guaita.
However, up against a newly promoted Brentford side, we should start to see signs of what Patrick Vieira has been working on.
Here’s the XI we think Vieira should deploy against the Bees…
Two changes in defence
In our view, we felt there was a hugely positive shift once Joachim Andersen came on at Stamford Bridge – we looked much more threatening with the Dane.
As a result, he deserves a start alongside Marc Guéhi.
As always, Tyrick Mitchell starts at left-back, while we think Nathaniel Clyne’s attacking qualities will be more beneficial against Brentford than Joel’s Ward vast defensive abilities.
Debut for Conor Gallagher
Sadly, Conor Gallagher couldn’t face Chelsea at all, as he’s on loan from the Blues.
However, Vieira confirmed on Friday that the 21-year-old trained superbly, and he’s looking forward to giving him his debut against Brentford.
Alongside him in a 4-3-3, we think James McArthur and Jaïro Riedewald should start, with Jeffrey Schlupp on the bench.
The Ghanaian doesn’t really deserve to be dropped, but we felt he looked a little off the pace against Chelsea in comparison to McArthur and Riedewald.
Vieira would probably agree, as he withdrew Schlupp in the 57th minute in west London.
Christian Benteke and Jesurun Rak-Sakyi in
Yep, that’s right. We think Vieira should make two changes in attack, and five in total from the XI who started against Chelsea.
To be blunt, Jordan Ayew offered nothing last week, whereas Jesurun Rak-Sakyi looked bright when he came on.
The 18-year-old is also left-footed, so he can naturally cut in from the right and threaten Brentford, whereas Ayew often ran down dead-ends.
Lastly, Jean-Philippe Mateta also offered very little, and the £13m man should be dropped in place of Christian Benteke. Wilfried Zaha must start alongside him.
Predicted lineup: Guaita; Clyne, Andersen, Guéhi, Mitchell; Rïedewald, Gallagher, McArthur; Zaha, Benteke, Rak-Sakyi