Brentford vs Fulham – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Monday 6th March 2023
GTech Community Stadium
As part of Monday’s Premier League predictions, we look at the London derby between Brentford and Fulham. Both sides have an outside chance of qualifying for European football next season, who will prevail? Read on with our Brentford vs Fulham prediction.
Brentford vs Fulham Match Preview
Brentford come into this match on the back of three draws in their last four Premier League games. While they are undefeated in the Premier League in 2023 and indeed, since late October’s defeat away to Aston Villa, Brentford will feel perhaps that a little bit of momentum has been lost after missing chances to defeat struggling Leeds and Crystal Palace in recent matches. The Bees have been superb at home in the league this season, with 23 points from 12 matches and just a single defeat to Arsenal early in the campaign.
Their excellent form this season has ensured that Brentford are firmly in the hunt for a European place next season, most likely the UEFA Conference League. While they currently sit in 9th position, they have a game in hand or two over some of their rivals and while Fulham will provide a stern test, they will be hoping to use home advantage to make the most of one of those games in hand and keep the pressure on the likes of Brighton, Fulham, Newcastle, Liverpool and even Spurs who have played three additional matches.
Fulham are in much the same position as their London rivals. While the newly promoted side may have lost eight Premier League matches to Fulham’s four, Marco Silva’s men have managed to win an impressive 11 matches from 25 and as such they sit four points ahead of their opponents today in seventh position albeit having played two extra games. Their away form has been good, seventh in the Premier League away table in fact, and as such, they’ll be visiting the GTech Community Stadium with the explicit aim of achieving a positive result.
Much like Brentford, Fulham are also vying for European qualification along with teams down to 11th position (Aston Villa). A truncated fixture calendar due to the winter World Cup in Qatar and multiple domestic and European competitions are causing an element of chaos throughout the league as fatigue, rotation and injuries are all playing a part. This is not to say that Fulham haven’t earned their lofty position in the Premier League table, more that it may account for some of the inconsistency of those around them.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Strakosha
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Cairney, Kebano, Kurzawa, Palhinha
Brentford vs Fulham Lineups (Predicted)
Brentford (3-5-2): Raya; Mee, Pinnock, Ajer; Henry, Norgaard, Jensen, Janelt, Hickey; Toney, Mbeumo
Fulham (4-2-3-1): Leno; Robinson, Ream, Diop, Tete; Reed, Lukic; Willian, Pereira, Solomon; Mitrovic
Brentford vs Fulham Analysis
Pressing and Counter-Pressing
While we wouldn’t describe either of these sides as being deficient at retaining possession, neither side prioritises retaining possession over generating a more immediate attacking threat and the statistics bear this out. Brentford have averaged 43.7% possession this season with Fulham at 46.5%, and both sides are in the bottom seven for completed passes, with Brentford in last and Fulham in 14th. For long passes, they are 5th and 10th, and for backward passes 20th and 15th. Therefore, we don’t anticipate a controlled spectacle.
We can envisage a match in which whoever gains the upper hand in the middle of the park has a significant advantage. Isn’t that always the case? Perhaps not to this extent. While Fulham in particular may be tempted to slow the game down and control the ball in midfield, they need to be wary as Brentford specialise in breaking at pace and with numbers when they regain possession. While the eye test is all the evidence you need for Brentford playing in this manner, the fact that they’re 10th for completed through balls while being last for completed passes attests to their direct approach in transition.
Are Fulham Too Passive Away From Home?
On initial inspection, Fulham’s away form is good. Results have been excellent – they’ve won three of their last five, and have 10 points from those matches. So why are we talking about Fulham’s away form like this? Well, their 1-0 victory over Brighton, as impressive as the result was, was the epitome of a smash-and-grab victory. Brighton generated far more chances, and it took seven saves from Leno to keep the south coast side out before Solomon grabbed a late, unlikely winner.
To continue the theme, while Fulham did earn a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge, they didn’t really look like winning the match. Away to Newcastle, they failed to have a shot on target besides a freak Mitrovic penalty accident. Newcastle had 20 shots to Fulham’s five, although Fulham to their credit did manage to block eight of them. The 1-0 victory over Leicester was also achieved against the run of play somewhat, with two shots on target to Leicester’s six as they held on in the second half where they were outplayed. This may seem like a harsh assessment, but sometimes in football due to variance the scoreline only tells a partial story.
Brentford are one of the most impressive home teams, and while Fulham have been getting results away from home recently, there seems to be an element of fortune at play. There are those who would dismiss such claims and announce that the final score is the only one that matters, and when it comes to results obviously this is true. However, we’re in the business of predicting the outcome of football matches, and as such we have to try to take all of the circumstances surrounding those results into account.
Therefore, we anticipate that Brentford may finally hand Fulham an overdue away defeat. It’s unsustainable to continue to win away from home with few shots on target and relying on blocked shots and saves – something is bound to go awry for the Cottagers, and Brentford with their directness and chance conversion rate which is the highest in the Premier League at 12.5% can hurt a Fulham backline that has held firm but been under a lot of pressure away from home lately.
Brentford 3-1 Fulham
Brentford vs Fulham Betting Tip – Brentford Odds:
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