Saturday’s Premier League action rounds off at the Gtech Community Stadium as ‘giant slayers’ Brentford encounter out-of-sorts Bournemouth.
A 1-0 FA Cup home defeat to West Ham United last time out interfered with the Bees’ eye-catching run of six unbeaten league matches (W3, D3), but it’s fair to say Thomas Frank played an understrength line-up.
Brentford’s recent Premier League life has been nothing short of a fairytale. After beating Manchester City and drawing with Tottenham Hotspur, they’ve added Liverpool to a growing list of scalps.
Despite lacking standout striker Ivan Toney to injury, they swept the Reds aside with a remarkable 3-1 home triumph to get 2023 off to the hottest possible start and reignite their faint European hopes.
Languishing only two points below sixth-placed Liverpool, Frank’s men are no longer an idle threat to long-term top-six tenants, which cannot be said about visiting Bournemouth.
In stark contrast to their hosts’ ever-growing ambitions, the Cherries face a season-long battle against the drop as they head into proceedings harbouring a slim one-point lead on 18th-placed Everton.
A 3-0 demolition of the Toffees on the stroke of the World Cup break proved nothing more than a one-off, with Gary O’Neil’s team losing all three league games since the Premier League resumption in December.
Like losing three straight top-flight fixtures by 2+ goals ‘to nil’ wasn’t embarrassing enough, Championship leaders Burnley added insult to injury by trouncing Bournemouth 4-2 in last week’s FA Cup action.
Brentford are on the cusp of making history as avoiding defeat on Saturday would see them go unbeaten in seven consecutive top-flight outings for the first time since 1938.
While their recent performances against Premier League heavyweights massively fancy them for success, the Bees have failed to win any of their last three league clashes against promoted sides (D2, L1).
That run includes a tepid goalless draw with Bournemouth in their maiden Premier League showdown in November, which should serve as a warning for Frank’s lads not to take their visitors lightly.
Bournemouth’s lacklustre post-World Cup form of five defeats from as many competitive matches is just the tip of the iceberg, with the visitors’ problems stretching far beyond those five poorly-managed fixtures.
A fragile backline has been at the core of the Cherries’ problems as they’ve conceded 29 goals across their nine Premier League road trips in 2022/23, the joint most after nine away games in a top-flight season.
Given that backdrop, it is no wonder Bournemouth have lost 18 of their last 23 Premier League away outings (W3, D2), including four in a row in the lead-up to this trip.
Brentford vs Bournemouth Potential Line-ups
Brentford (3-5-2): David Raya; Ben Mee, Ethan Pinnock, Mathias Jorgensen; Rico Henry, Vitaly Janelt, Christian Norgaard, Mathias Jensen, Mads Roerslev; Bryan Mbeumo, Ivan Toney.
Bournemouth (4-4-2): Mark Travers; Lloyd Kelly, Chris Mepham, Marcos Senesi, Adam Smith; Ryan Christie, Philip Billing, Jefferson Lerma, Lewis Cook; Dominic Solanke, Jaidon Anthony.
How to Watch?
Brentford vs Bournemouth, alongside all other fixtures in England’s top flight, is available to watch online via live Premier League streams.
Brentford vs Bournemouth Prediction
Brentford should welcome Toney back to their starting line-up on Saturday, which will significantly derail Bournemouth’s hopes of walking away from west London unbeaten.
The Englishman has had his hand in 50% of the Bees’ 30 goals in the Premier League this season, tallying 12 goals and three assists, so his return will only add to the team’s confidence.
Optimism is in short supply in the Bournemouth camp, so we expect the visitors to relinquish points in the capital.
Brentford 2-0 Bournemouth
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