ENGLAND: Premier League
Time: 9:00 PM
Venue: Brentford Community Stadium (London)
It’s a battle of ‘Bees’ vs ‘Hornets’ this Friday in the Premier League (PL), as Brentford welcome Watford. While Brentford have won just one of their last eight league matches (W1, D2, L5), they enjoy the relative safety of a mid-table berth, but the newcomers will need to build up a head of steam to avoid being sucked into a relegation scrap.
Brentford’s top-scorer Ivan Toney tested positive for Coronavirus during the week, and will subsequently miss their next two games. Yet, Brentford aren’t known for overreliance on a talisman – their first eight PL home goals this season all came from different players, and should another new one score their next goal, it will equal a PL record.
A tough season continues unabated for Watford, who have won just two of their last ten games (D1, L7) and they remain the only side yet to keep a clean sheet in PL action. A change of manager has hardly stemmed the flow, as no side has conceded more goals than relegation-threatened Watford’s 19 since Claudio Ranieri’s arrival.
If there is any mitigation for Watford, it’s that each of their last five games have all been against former PL champions (W1, L4). This match should therefore be easier on paper, although the visitors have experienced mixed fortunes in Friday night PL away games so far (W2, L2), but can take confidence from the fact their biggest ever PL away win came on a Friday night against promoted opposition (5-1 vs Cardiff).
Players to watch: In the absence of Toney, Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo (PL: G2, A1) could be the focal point – five of his last eight goals have acted as match openers. In contrast, none of Watford top scorer Ismaïla Sarr’s five goals this season have served to open the scoring, with three coming beyond half-time.
- Brentford’s form in last 5 matches: DLWDL.
- Watford’s form in last 5 matches: LLLWL.