Brentford have made their debut in the Premier League and nothing better than this they would have hoped for. After an impressive win against Arsenal in the opening week, 2 draws away from home against strong-looking Aston Villa and Crystal Palace definitely has set the mood in the dressing room for the Brentford Boys. They will return to their home stadium as they look to continue the short but solid undefeated run.
Finally, after a remarkable season in the Championship during the previous season, Ivan Toney has opened his account in the Premier League as well. Conceding just once in the three games played, Frank will be delighted with the team’s defensive line, and with Toney finding the net, he has players to rely on the other half of the field as well.
Brighton made an almost perfect start to the campaign but were short of quality and precision in the last gameweek as they faced defeat at the hands of Everton. After consecutive relegation escapes, many predicted Brighton to go down this season but Potter and his men have shown that they would not let things go down easily.
Both teams have to put in consistent performances so as to keep their stake in the Premier League and for the same, the game of this stature should be looked as an opportunity for all 3 points.
WHEN & WHERE?
Venue: Bretford Community Stadium
Date: Saturday, 11th of September 2021.
Time: Kick-off at 15:00 BST.
Referee: Graham Scott
Assistant Referees: Darren Cann, Mark Scholes
Video Assistant Referee: Dean Whitestone
Fourth Official: Lee Mason
Onyeka back in training for Brentford means that no new injury concerns or isolation concerns worry the Bees. But they will still miss Sorensen and Dasilva who both are in a recovery stage. While Jensen after playing for Denmark in the International break could make a place in the starting XI.
Marc Cucurella could wait for his debut as Solly March is back in training and ready to start on the weekend. Alongside him, Welbeck is fully fit and should claim a start-up top. Tariq Lamptey is closest to a return he ever was since December while Dan Burn remains a long absentee.
Both teams to sit back?
Both the managers have used a 3 at the back system which off the ball is a back 5. Both have shown some rigid defensive structures over the three gameweeks and something similar should be expected in this game. While Brighton have been seen holding the possession well, Brentford will love to sit back and set in counters with Ivan Toney and Mbuembo.
Thomas Frank has mentioned the Seagulls as ‘the toughest opponent’ yet despite playing against Arsenal, Crystal Palace, and Aston Villa, shows how well drilled Potter and his young guns look. However, Everton showed in the previous matchweek how to oppose the Brighton game even with bare minimum possession. A similar template will be necessary for the Bees to register their first 4 undefeated games which will be a record for the club.
While Potter and his boys have had enough time to recover after their loss to Everton and also be prepared tactically for the game. They have been brilliant in holding up the ball but clinical finishes in the final third are still missing. This can be proven by the fact that they are ranked among the top three Premier League teams this season in terms of 10+ pass sequences (61) and dribbles completed. However, they still have not netted enough times. Having being one of the best teams in the league to press and win tackles in the final third (11), the Seagulls will have to find a way to pave into defenses and look for opportunities in front of the goal.
The game looks like a good clash of horns but the closer we move towards the game, the more it looks like a draw.
Brentford- Ivan Toney
Ivan Toney is back on the scoring sheet and when he starts scoring the opposition also just can not stop admiring. After breaking the goal-scoring record in the Championship last season, everyone predicted him to thrive in the Premier League and now this could be the time to take his opportunity. The strength in his game is his positioning in the box and the spaces he stays up in. He will always be seen in a pocket of space between two defenders which keeps them on their toes and does not let them settle. His goal-scoring heat maps show how good he is around the penalty box area and is a perfect poacher in a game. His 3.3 per 90 stat to win aerial duels makes him a threat even in the air and could be a nuisance to defend against. A battle to reckon will be against Duffy who too is a player very difficult to against.
Brighton- Shane Duffy
Premier League’s player to take most shots this season is none other than a Brighton defender, Shane Duffy. Starting in a back 3, Duffy sets up very deep near his own box but is a major threat in the opposition penalty area as well. Brighton still remains the team who prioritize a lot on dead balls to score goals and no one other than Duffy is a bigger threat in such situations. Pascal Gross and his combination from dead balls will be the key over the game. But more than his offensive threat, Duffy will be on his toes against above-mentioned threat, Ivan Toney. This season Duffy has made 29 clearances, made 19 ball recoveries, has 5 shots blocked, and has won 19 aerial duels. This just shows how difficult will it be for Toney to register a shot and their battle in the air will be one to look out for this weekend.
Brentford: Raya; Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock; Canos, Jensen, Norgaard, Janelt, Henry; Toney, Mbeumo.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Sanchez; Webster, Dunk, Duffy; Gross, Lallana, Bissouma, Cucurella; Mac Allister, Trossard; Maupay.