International football can now be packed up and placed to one side until the new year with Premier League and Champions League action the focus for Arsenal once again.

The Gunners went into the November break sitting third - behind Liverpool (by virtue of an inferior goal difference) and Manchester City in the league table - whilst they are very much on course to seal a place in the knockout stages of European football's elite competition following a 2-0 win over Sevilla.

With the festive period almost upon us, Arsenal are scheduled to play 10 times across the two aforementioned competitions in the space of five weeks and trips to places such as Villa Park and Anfield will certainly provide a better indication of the side's title credentials

First up is a London derby away at Brentford on Saturday evening. The Gunners have already won at the Gtech Community Stadium this season - a 1-0 win in the Carabao Cup courtesy of Reiss Nelson's goal - but, unfortunately, Mikel Arteta will not have a fully fit squad to choose from for the Premier League encounter.

Jurrien Timber and Thomas Partey are long-term absentees so will not feature against the Bees. Furthermore, the game comes too soon for Emile Smith Rowe to make a return from a knee injury, although the hope is that Martin Odegaard and Ben White will be back in contention after missing the 3-1 win over Burnley.

Having said that, Premier League rules confirm two more Arsenal players who are guaranteed to be unavailable for selection this weekend and it's nothing that will catch Arteta by surprise as he will have factored in these absentees as soon as the final whistle blew against the Clarets.

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Firstly as per loan rules that prevent a player from featuring against his parent club, David Raya will be ineligible and this means Aaron Ramsdale is assured - provided he's available for selection - to be in goal against Brentford thus marking his first Premier League appearance since the 3-1 win over Manchester United at the beginning of September.

Meanwhile, Fabio Vieira is suspended after being shown a straight red card against Burnley. Because the playmaker's offence was considered serious foul play, rules state his punishment will be to miss Arsenal's next three Premier League matches, thus ruling him out against Brentford, Wolves and Luton Town. Arsenal WhatsApp channel

Mikel Arteta celebrates Arsenal's recent Premier League victory over Manchester City

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