A quite remarkable weekend of Premier League action concludes with the Monday Night Football which this time comes from the Gtech Community Stadium as Brentford host the champions Manchester City in a crunch clash.
Brentford don’t appear to be panicking but they go into the match just three points from the relegation zone, albeit with two matches in hand, although both are against Manchester City. After the weekend results if City do the double over Brentford this month and match Liverpool results in the meantime they will soon be top of the table.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on the Monday Night Football programme which will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League. The show begins at 6.30pm ahead of an 8pm kick off in the capital.
This always looked like it would be a difficult campaign for the Bees when they were missing Ivan Toney until the middle of last month but a whole raft of injuries on top of that has made life very tough for Thomas Frank’s men and the progression they had made in previous campaigns has stalled somewhat. What they now have to ensure now that Toney is back is that they get some results quickly because with teams below them finding some points they could soon be where they don’t want to be.
Brentford actually going into this clash with the champions having lost eight of their last 10 matches and although they won their first game with Toney back they slipped up at Tottenham last week and will be hoping home advantage comes into play here. The big thing for the Bees to cling to is that they did the double over Manchester City last season, although whether they just adds fuel to the City fire remains to be seen here.
Manchester City have watched on this week and already seen their title credentials significantly enhanced with Liverpool losing to Arsenal on Sunday. That means if they win this game and the other one in hand of the Reds, which is also against Brentford, then the champions will be back on top of the table and very much looking like the team to beat once again. You get the impression that City were just looking to hang around in the title race until the big guns returned and now they’ll turn it on and move clear.
It will be interesting to see how they go about their business here though because City do have something of a London hoodoo. They lost both games to Brentford last season and already this term they have drawn 4-4 at Chelsea so this is very much an evening where they are going to need to be ruthless. City have won five of their last six Premier League matches either side of the Club World Cup and they were 2-0 up in the other one so they have clicked into a groove.
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Brentford will be able to welcome Tottenham loanee Sergio Reguilon back into their squad but they are still going to be without the likes of Aaron Hickey, Rico Henry and Bryan Mbeumo. Ivan Toney is available once again though.
Manchester City could give a first start to Erling Haaland since he returned from his foot injury. He came back against Burnley as a substitute in midweek and the natural progression is for him to start. Manuel Akanji has been passed fit to feature.
I think there has to be goals in this game. Brentford have conceded two or more goals in six of their last seven matches with the anomaly in that time being against Sheffield United who don’t look to have the capacity to score two goals against many teams at present, while Manchester City have conceded a goal in 10 of their last 11 in the Premier League, with the one clean sheet coming against the aforementioned Sheffield United.
City are regular scorers in this league and even though their record against Brentford isn’t the best they have scored two or more in 11 of their last 13 with Liverpool and Aston Villa the sides to stop them. Brentford aren’t at that level defensively but to be fair to Thomas Frank and his charges they have only failed to score in one of their last eight in the Premier League and were without Ivan Toney for much of that time. He is back now and Brentford will fancy it as a result so I like over 3.5 goals in this one.
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