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Brentford vs Newcastle United: Match Preview | Premier League 2021/22

Brentford-vs-Newcastle-United-Preview-Premier-League-2021-22

Brentford will go up against Newcastle United in a match-up between two sides in contrasting form in the Premier League. The Bees who are currently on a winless streak stretching to seven games in the league will go head-to-head against the Magpies who have put together a major turnaround in fortunes in recent games. Newcastle will be hoping to stretch their unbeaten run to seven games when they meet Brentford on Saturday afternoon, in a meeting of two sides touted to be heavily involved in the scrap to avoid relegation from the top flight of English football.

The hosts’ return to the top flight started strongly, but their intensity, as well as their results, have faded out in recent weeks. Brentford have lost six of their last seven games in the league, and have only picked up a solitary point in the same period. Thomas Frank’s men have not won in the league since the start of January and currently sit in 14th place with 24 points from 26 games – only four points above the relegation zone. However, their miseries can be properly put into context when it is considered that 18th-placed Burnley have three games in hand on the Bees.

Brentford’s form going into the business end of the season is a major concern for the west London outfit, who will be desperate to return to winning ways in order to maintain their hard-earned Premier League status – especially considering the recent resurgence of Burnley and Newcastle United. The Bees will go into the game off the back of a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in their last outing, and while home form continues to be a problem with seven league defeats at home this season already – they will go up against a Newcastle side with the second-worst away form this season.

The visitors, however, find themselves on the other end of the spectrum when it comes to recent form. Since the turn of the new year, the Magpies are unbeaten and have not lost for six games – while securing three wins and three draws in the same period. Their recent resurgence in fortunes has taken them out of the relegation zone to 17th position in the standings with 22 points – where they are two points clear of Burnley, but at the same time, are only five adrift of Leicester City at 12th – which stands testimony of the brilliant work Eddie Howe has put in since his appointment.

Newcastle United have looked like a refurbished side since Howe took over the reins, and the Englishman has been helped by his. My January reinforcements to plug a few holes in his team. However, away form remains a major concern as they have only picked up seven points from 11 games on their travels, and boast of the second-worst away record this season. History does favour Newcastle in this fixture, as the Magpies have not lost to Brentford in the league since 1948, but the reverse fixture earlier this season ended in a pulsating 3-3 draw at St James’ Park.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Date: Saturday, 26th February 2022.
Time: 3 pm (UK).
Venue: Brentford Community Stadium.

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Mike Dean.
Assistant Referee: Eddie Smart, Mark Scholes.
Fourth Official: Andy Madley.
VAR: Darren England, Derek Eaton.

TEAM NEWS

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The hosts will be boosted by the return of the talismanic Ivan Toney, who will be available for selection after a spell out, while Mathias Jensen and Mathias Jørgensen might also be set for a return to the squad. Their January signing Christian Eriksen is also likely to be in the Brentford squad for the first time after building up his fitness in behind-closed-doors games, while Vitaly Janelt and Shandon Baptiste can also return to the starting eleven. While Tarique Fosu and Julian Jeanvier are still out with injury, Yoane Wissa is likely to drop out for the returning Toney, with nailed-on starter Bryan Mbeumo starting alongside Toney upfront.

As for the visitors, Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin, Kieran Trippier, Isaac Hayden and Matt Ritchie are all unavailable through injury, but Javier Manquillo and Ryan Fraser could overcome issues to start. Howe selected a back four against West Ham and could do the same against Brentford, meaning that Jamal Lascelles might have to accept a spot on the bench once again, with Fabian Schär operating alongside Dan Burn in the middle. Bruno Guimaraes is still waiting to make his first Premier League start for the Magpies, but the Brazilian is expected to continue on the bench due to the form of Willock, Joelinton and Jonjo Shelvey in midfield.

MATCH ANALYSIS

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Brentford’s form in recent weeks has been extremely worrying, and they will hope to return to winning ways against Newcastle – although it will not be easy by any means. The Magpies have been in commendable form, having switched between a back four and a back five with comfort depending on their opposition. The signings of Burn and Matt Targett have revitalized their back line which has conceded only four times in their last six games – a major contrast from the 11 goals that they conceded in their previous three games. Joelinton has found new life in his new position in midfield, alongside the ever-dependent Jonjo Shelvey and Joe Willock who scored in their last outing. Upfront, Chris Wood will look to make life difficult for Brentford’s back three while Ryan Fraser and Josh Murphy will hope to feed him.

Hence, it will not be an easy task for a team that has looked as out-of-sorts as the Bees have looked in recent weeks. Defence has been a major concern for Brentford who have conceded 16 goals in their last seven league outings, while scoring only four times in the same time period. The absence of Ivan Toney through injury has made things substantially worse for the Bees in front of goal – Brentford have scored only once in the league in four games since Toney last netted for them in the loss to Wolves in January. A lean spell for his strike partner Bryan Mbuemo has also contributed to their lack of goals, as the Nigerian has not scored since the Bees’ win against Watford in December. However, Christian Nørgaard’s performance in midfield has been a rare positive – the Dane scored in the Bees’ last league outing against Arsenal.

KEY PLAYERS

Ivan Toney

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The hosts’ key to bounce back to winning ways is none other than their talisman Ivan Toney. The returning Englishman has not been in action since he netted in January’s defeat to Wolves, and his return will pose as a boost to the Bees who have looked devoid of any threat upfront in recent weeks. Ivan Toney was in good form before he got sidelined through injury, having netted in his last two games for Brentford – and Toney will hope to pick up from where he left off against his former side, in order for the Bees to get anything from the game.

Joelinton

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As for the visitors, in the absence of Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Kieran Trippier, their key for the Brentford outing is Joelinton. The Brazilian has been a revelation in his new position in the middle of the pitch, as he has proven to have enough composure as well as ability on the ball to be a key progressor of the ball for Eddie Howe. Likely to go up against a midfield five on Saturday, Joelinton will be important if Newcastle are to have any control of the middle third against a Brentford side who are comfortable in possession – and he will be buoyed by his strike against the same opponents when the sides last met in a 3-3 draw in November.

PROBABLE LINEUPS

Brentford (3-5-2): Raya; Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock; Canós, Baptiste, Nørgaard, Janelt, Henry; Mbuemo, Toney.

Newcastle United (4-3-3): Dubravka; Manquillo, Schar, Burn, Targett; Willock, Shelvey, Joelinton; Fraser, Wood, Murphy.

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