Brentford vs Crystal Palace – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 18th February 2023
GTech Community Stadium
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we preview Brentford against Crystal Palace. Brentford are in superb form and pushing for a European spot – can Palace spoil their afternoon? Read on with our Brentford vs Crystal Palace prediction.
Brentford vs Crystal Palace Match Preview
Brentford enter this game in imposing form. They sit first in the form table over the last eight games, which is fantastic for a club promoted just last season. They have won five of the last eight, scoring fifteen goals. Indeed, they are undefeated in the previous ten. Wins over Southampton, Bournemouth, Liverpool, West Ham, and Man City have given the Bees and coach Thomas Frank much to shout about.
Brentford have been strong at home, having won four and drawn three of the last seven at the Community Stadium. Their previous game was impressive, too – obtaining a 1-1 draw at the Emirates against Arsenal. Sitting in eighth place with 34 points from 22 games, Brentford have an outside chance of Europe. Though they have drawn their last three fixtures with Palace, they will be confident.
In contrast to Brentford, Palace come into the game in wretched form. Having improved to play a more expansive style under Patrick Vieira, they have reverted to type somewhat in recent weeks and are playing poor football again. Indeed, they have registered three draws and three defeats in the last six. In fairness to them, they have been playing some of the best sides in the league – this six-match run includes games against Spurs, Chelsea, Newcastle, Brighton, and Man United (twice). They have only lost by more than one goal in one of their three defeats, so their results have been tight.
Palace have had a few good results away from home. In the last ten, there have been draws against Newcastle, Leicester, and Liverpool, and victories over West Ham and Bournemouth. However, Palace will have to be careful. Sitting in 12th, they have a seven-point gap to the relegation zone and 25 points from 22 games. They should attain enough points to be safe. They may continue to get poor results, however. In that case, they will likely finish lower down the table. That would be disappointing for a side well-established in the Premier League now.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Jansson, Toney
Will Not Play: Onyeka, Strahoska
Might Not Play: Andersen, Richards, Hughes, Ferguson
Will Not Play: Ward, Zaha
Brentford vs Crystal Palace Lineups (Predicted)
Brentford (3-5-2): Raya; Mee, Pinnock, Ajer; Henry, Jensen, Norgaard, Dasilva, Hickey; Toney, Mbeumo
Crystal Palace (4-2-3-1): Guaita; Mitchell, Guehi, Richards, Clyne; Schlupp, Doucoure; Eze, Olise, Ayew; Edouard
Brentford vs Crystal Palace Analysis
Brentford’s Pressing and All-Action Style
Under Frank, Brentford’s style of play has been that of a physical, all-action, powerful side which gets in opposition teams’ faces and doesn’t give them any room to breathe or play their football. This all-action, tenacious style has seen them beat sides such as Liverpool and Man City this season. Brentford will likely do much the same against Palace. They will press the Palace players in midfield, with Norgaard, Jensen, and Dasilva closing down Doucoure and Schlupp at every opportunity.
The pressing starts from the front, though, where Toney and Mbeumo will harass the life out of the Palace back four. Palace’s defenders are weak when approached. The London side will likely play it long on several occasions to escape from the Brentford press and release the stress. Both these teams rank low for possession and passes completed, so we see a game which won’t be pretty or one for the neutral. This match will be a fight, and Brentford will use their energy to try to win this game. How can Palace escape the Brentford pressure?
Palace Must Stem the Brentford Onslaught
One way Palace might look to find their way out of trouble is with the previously mentioned long balls. As Brentford press them in dangerous areas, Guehi, Richards, and the two full-backs can dink long balls into the central and wide spaces and hope that the Palace forwards can hold the ball up and relieve pressure. Eze, Elise, and Edouard (Zaha is out) are technically gifted pacey players. If the ball is played up to them, they can try to hold on to it to give the Palace midfielders and defenders some respite.
Occasionally, Palace may attempt to play out from the back and make their way through the Brentford press. Vieira will know just how aggressive Brentford can be. Palace are good at intercepting and stealing the ball from the opposition. Hence, they will try to nick the ball in midfield. Brentford are excellent in the air, so Palace will likely have to defend an aerial onslaught at times. This situation is where their centre-backs must be aggressive in the air.
Attacking Areas for Both
As stated, Brentford are a physical team. They do have some technically gifted players, but they enjoy playing a long ball and crosses too. Indeed, they are fifth in the table for most attempted long balls in the league. They will try to play these long balls up the sides and into the channels for their tricky forwards, Mbeumo and Toney, to chase. Both players are powerful, talented dribblers and dangerous on transitions and finishing off chances. Toney has fourteen league goals this season; he has been a revelation since Brentford were promoted. If he is fit we see him being a massive threat, with Mbeumo and Dasilva supporting him. Set pieces will also be vital for Brentford.
Palace will target counter-attacks as their primary means of getting into attacking areas. They will find it challenging to gain a foothold in the game early as Brentford will come out at 100 miles per hour. Therefore, Palace must ease themselves into the match. Then as Brentford attack more, Palace can break with the trickery, speed and passing ability of Eze and Olise. Palace have good ball carriers in their team, which in addition to relieving pressure (as stated earlier) could be helpful in wide areas. Brentford can be vulnerable defending one-on-one, so if Palace can break, the wingers can get into wide positions in the Brentford defensive third. They can then beat Henry and Hickey and make their way into the box for shots and cutbacks.
This game is between two teams who are not traditional Premier League powerhouses. However, do not be fooled by the name – Brentford are one of the most impressive and dangerous teams in the league right now; their excellent scouting network and running of the club are paying dividends. Alternatively, Palace have still not won a game in 2023. With being at home and in much better form, Brentford are the sensible bet to win this game.
Indeed, this likely will be a victory for Brentford. If they are on song, they could destroy Palace with their physical style and an aerial bombardment against which Palace could struggle. It is also hard to see Palace scoring, given that they have only registered seven goals in their last ten games. Therefore, we think Brentford will do enough to make this a relatively comfortable victory – though Palace may well have their moments in the match. Much will depend on if Palace can capitalise on these occasional advances. We think Brentford will contain them well, however.
Brentford 2-0 Crystal Palace
Brentford vs Crystal Palace Betting Tip – Brentford Odds:
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