Brentford vs Aston Villa – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 22nd April 2023
GTech Community Stadium
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Aston Villa’s trip to Brentford. Villa are 2nd in the form table over the last 15 games; Brentford have lost their last 3 – away win? Read on with our Brentford vs Aston Villa prediction.
Brentford vs Aston Villa Match Preview
After an excellent second season in the Premier League, Brentford have just started to hit a rocky period. Indeed, the Bees have not won in the last five; this run includes defeats to Man United and Newcastle and draws with Leicester and Brighton. We are unsure what could account for this run of form, but Thomas Frank’s men don’t have the deepest squad, and perhaps they’re just running out of gas after a long season. Their physical, intense style is also not conducive to doing well at the business end of the season. Last weekend they lost 2-0 to Wolves – they were pretty unlucky as they had several shots and a higher xG.
At home, Brentford have been good this season – they have won seven of their 15 games at the Gtech Community Stadium, attaining 27 points and scoring 29 goals. Therefore, they are averaging almost two goals per game at home. They have only won three from 16 on the road – clearly, they are significantly better at home. However, they have won only one of the last four on home soil – a 3-2 victory over fellow Londoners Fulham. Despite this, they will feel they can get something in this match. Their season had been excellent until recent weeks, and with 43 points from 31 games, they are safe and will hope to finish the season strongly.
Aston Villa travel south in dreamland. Indeed, the Midlands club have been brilliant in 2023, and new coach Unai Emery has worked wonders in turning them around. They have won ten league games in 2023 – only Man City have won more with eleven. They are currently on an eight-game unbeaten run – winning seven of those – and hammered a Newcastle side enjoying a great season at Villa Park last weekend.
Away from Birmingham, Villa have been decent too. They sit sixth in the away table, with six wins from 15 games. These six wins have all come in their last eight away games, highlighting that Emery is perfecting Villa’s threat on the break away from home. With four clean sheets in their previous five Premier League games, Villa are also looking increasingly solid – being excellent at both ends of the pitch results in points. Indeed, sitting in sixth, this surge of form could be the catalyst for possible qualification for the Champions League or Europa League.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Janelt
Will Not Play: Jansson, Lewis-Potter, Ajer
Might Not Play: Cash, Coutinho, Kamara,
Will Not Play: Steer, Bailey
Brentford vs Aston Villa Lineups (Predicted)
Brentford (4-3-3): Raya; Henry, Mee, Pinnock, Hickey; Dasilva, Norgaard, Jensen; Schade, Toney, Mbeumo
Aston Villa (4-2-3-1 /4-4-2): Martinez; Moreno, Mings, Konsa, Young; Dendoncker, Luiz; Ramsey, Buendia, McGinn; Watkins
Brentford vs Aston Villa Analysis
Brentford’s Sticky Patch and Balls From The Back
As stated, Brentford are finding things difficult right now. This situation can happen to the ‘non-elite’ clubs (we are reluctant to use that phrase as it sounds condescending). Consistency is difficult given a long season and smaller clubs having smaller squads. However, Brentford can get back on track at home here. They are good at home, and despite coming up against an excellent team that are bang in form, Brentford have a real chance.
Hence, we expect Brentford to line up in a 4-3-3 – though they might go three at the back to combat Villa’s attacking threat. Mee and Pinnock must be defensively solid at centre-back and ensure no gaps for the Villa forwards to exploit and play through. Raya and Mee’s passing from the goal or deeper areas will also be vital in releasing the forwards – so much of Brentford’s game is counter-attack, physicality and aerial duels.
Brentford’s Midfield And Attacking Areas
In midfield, Norgaard, Jensen and Dasilva must work as a unit and try to win the ball in dangerous areas where they, too, can release the attackers. Jensen is good at joining the forwards. Dasilva, like Damsgaard, is a tricky, inventive playmaker in the midfield area; his ability to change direction, turn in small spaces and carry the ball could be crucial in exposing Villa by breaking down their shape.
When the ball reaches the final third, Henry and Hickey must supplement the attack and try to provide crosses. Toney is Brentford’s best player, and his and Mbeumo’s running of the channels will ensure they give the Villa defence no peace. Schade is a tricky sort of wide-left player, and his ability to get crosses in or shots on goal will be crucial. Young is a more defensive full-back on that side, and their battle should be interesting. In general, we expect Brentford to have less of the ball, play a physical game and seek to find Toney and Mbeumo from crosses or balls down the wings on transitions. Set pieces, as always, will also be a crucial weapon for Brentford.
Villa’s Building Of the Play
Like Brentford, Villa are a direct side at their best using their pace on the counter-attack. Despite being away from home, the Birmingham side have been in such excellent form that they’ll arrive in London full of confidence. They’ll likely take the game to Brentford and attack them early. This situation will suit Brentford, who like conceding the ball and breaking. We anticipate both teams having spells of dominance. However, we expect Villa to have more possession and be the team pressing for a goal more.
Hence, Luiz and Dendoncker must be industrious in the middle and ensure that they don’t lose the ball in dangerous positions against the frenetic Brentford press. They must be comfortable on the ball and use incisive passing to get it forward. The same is true of Konsa and Mings at centre-back – Mings especially can be vulnerable in tight spaces. However, Villa will likely do much of what Brentford do and get it forward and up the sides early when they can. Hence, we think Moreno at left-back will be critical at getting up and down the pitch to make the play and support the attack.
Villa’s Threat From Transitions
While Villa will try to make the play sometimes, we expect them to lull Brentford in to counter at others. Hence, this could be an end-to-end game in spells. McGinn will likely play as a wide-right midfielder – the Scotsman’s industry, ability to mix it with the opposition, and crossing will all be good weapons at Villa’s disposal. Down the left, Villa have attacking impetus, with Moreno, Ramsey and also Watkins drifting to that side. This link-up on the left-hand side is a serious danger, and Hickey will need help on that side for Brentford (Pinnock, Norgaard and others moving across when the play tilts to that side).
Indeed, Ramsey’s close control and ability to get into the box both as a dribbler and as a finisher will be helpful for Villa. In the number 10 role, Buendia has the dribbling ability and ingenuity to create chances and find gaps where there are none. Of course, Watkins is Villa’s star man right now. The striker has been involved in 14 league goals in 2023; his pace, dribbling and ability to shoot on either foot will be massive weapons for Villa, and he should pose no shortage of problems for the Brentford defence. With Bailey likely out, Traore (if fit) is the best reinforcement on the Villa bench and may be introduced in the second half against tired legs, depending on how the game transpires.
This game is challenging to predict. Brentford have gone off the boil recently, whereas Villa have been brilliant in 2023, and Emery deserves massive credit. However, Brentford remain a challenge at the Gtech Community Stadium, and we don’t imagine Villa will run riot. Still, given Brentford’s issues, Villa should maybe be considered favourites for this game.
Both teams like to play on the counter, and, for us, Villa will be more dangerous in attack. Toney and Watkins are both dangerous forwards and each side’s respective talisman. However, we feel that Villa have more threats in attacking areas and more danger out wide right now.
It would be typical of football as a sport for this high-flying Villa team to lose against a relatively struggling Brentford side. Despite this, we will go with the form side in this instance. Brentford could undoubtedly sort their issues out here and end Villa’s undefeated run. However, it is sensible to predict a narrow Villa triumph. We are going to go for an exciting, end-to-end three-goal game.
Brentford 1-2 Aston Villa
Aston Villa vs Newcastle Betting Tip – Draw Odds:
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