Brighton vs Brentford – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 1st April 2023
AMEX Community Stadium
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Brentford’s trip to Brighton. With both sides pushing for Europe, this has the makings of a six-pointer. Read on with our Brighton vs Brentford prediction.
Brighton vs Brentford Match Preview
Following the international break to begin Euro 2024 qualifying, Brighton host Brentford at the Amex Stadium. The home side are a good team and doing excellently this season. Indeed, they have gone from strength to strength since Graham Potter left for Chelsea to be replaced by Roberto De Zerbi. The Seagulls have only lost once in their previous nine league matches and have an FA Cup semi-final against Man Utd to look forward to.
Brighton’s victory in the M23 derby against Crystal Palace before the break was a game where they toyed with the London club. They should have scored more than once. Brighton have generally been good at home this season, having won seven of their 13 games there and collecting 23 points. They have played the fewest games so far in the division with 25. Given this stat and their FA Cup commitments, they will have a little fixture congestion later in the season. However, sitting in seventh place with 42 points, they still have a reasonably realistic chance of qualifying for Europe through the league (assuming they don’t win the cup).
London club Brentford travel south in excellent form themselves. Indeed, the Bees have only lost once in 15 Premier League games and have undoubtedly grown accustomed to life in the Premier League. There has been no second-season syndrome. A home draw against Leicester before the break will have disappointed them, especially since they only had an xG of 0.6. Goals have been scarce in general in Brentford games recently – in five of their last six league games, fewer than three goals have been scored.
Brentford’s away form could be better. They have only won three of their 13 games on the road this season. It is not an exaggeration to say that their success is predicated on their home form, as they have won 27 points at the Gtech as opposed to 15 away. However, the reverse fixture in October ended 2-0 to Brentford, so Brighton know they are in for a challenging game here against good opposition, having lost to the Londoners already this season. Brentford and Brighton have identical points (42), so if Brentford can win, they can go three points ahead (though Brighton will still have two games in hand).
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Lamptey
Will Not Play: Lallana, Moder
Might Not Play: Ajer, Hickey, Janelt, Roerslev
Will Not Play: Baptiste, Lewis-Potter
Brighton vs Brentford Lineups (Predicted)
Brighton (4-2-3-1 / 4-3-3): Steele; Estupinan, Colwill, Dunk, Veltman; Caicedo, Gross; Mitoma, Mac Allister, March; Ferguson
Brentford (3-5-2): Raya; Mee, Pinnock, Jansson; Henry, Damsgaard, Norgaard, Jensen; Hickey; Toney, Mbeumo
Brighton vs Brentford Analysis
Brighton Are A Possession Team Who Play Eye-catching Football
Brighton are a serious outfit this season. Their eye-catching and entertaining progressive football has been highly refreshing for the league. In different ways, they and their visitors in this match have upset the applecart somewhat by giving the ‘elite’ clubs bloody noses throughout the season. This is good to see, and Brighton operate well with their scouting system and analytics departments. We enjoy watching them play and rate many of their players.
Indeed, in this game, we expect Brighton to dominate the ball and Caicedo and Gross in midfield to try to control the proceedings. Brighton have had 59 per cent possession on average this season, while Brentford have had 44 per cent. This stat speaks volumes about the clash in styles, and both will be content to play their usual game and see if it can find them the win. As well as the midfield starting moves, Dunk at centre-back is a good distributor of the ball. Steele has recently taken Sanchez’s starting spot in goal and is expected to pass out from the back.
If the midfield can maintain the ball and win it back when they lose it, Brighton can keep the pressure on Brentford and find their impressive attacking players. What strikes us when watching Brighton is how technically sound and adept they are at escaping tight spaces through one or two-touch passing. There were several examples of this against Palace. Though Brentford represent tougher opposition, if the Seagulls can break through Brentford’s press, there should be space for the tricky and pacy Mitoma and March to find joy in the wide areas and come inside to feed Ferguson or get shots on goal. As always, Mac Allister’s work rate and cleverness in movement and possession will be crucial, too, as well as Estupinan’s raids from left-back.
Brentford, Alternatively, Are A Much More Physical And Direct Side
As we implied when focusing on Brighton in the previous section, there is an intriguing difference in style here. Brentford, while a good team technically, differ in how they play. Brighton are a side that prefer short passes on the ground and are easy on the eye, whereas Brentford like to use their power and physicality to make things happen. They are fearless in playing long or high balls down the channels for their forwards to chase, and they fare particularly well in aerial duels.
Indeed, like Brighton, Brentford have done things the right way and progressed through the divisions with intelligent planning and decision-making. It is exciting and pleasant for us that two traditionally smaller clubs can run themselves well and succeed in the Premier League. It is especially pleasing that they can do it with two completely different styles of football. Brentford, therefore, have a real chance here due to their excellent run stretching back to last year, as well as the fact that their chaotic, physical style could be kryptonite for a Brighton team which takes risks in defensive areas.
If Norgaard and Jensen especially can get through a monumental amount of work in midfield and relentlessly press Brighton high – alongside the forwards – Brighton might make mistakes that lead to chances on goal for Brentford. The Bees will look to Toney, Damsgaard, Wissa and Mbeumo to make things happen throughout the game in attacking areas. Toney is Brentford’s talisman – he has 16 league goals already this season and made his England debut during the break, so he should be in high spirits. His power and finishing ability present a real threat to the Brighton defence.
This game is a tricky one to predict. We make no apologies for saying that we have been looking forward to this fixture. These two clubs have been a breath of fresh air and are (alongside Fulham) the season’s surprises in just how well they have done in the league. Yet, both clubs have high standards and will want to progress even further. The two clubs’ different aesthetics and ways of playing highlight something important – no single correct way of playing this beautiful sport we all love exists. Brighton produce what more people would consider attractive football, but Brentford have shown that their way is equally effective.
Therefore, given the similar trajectories (coming through the divisions to do well in the Premier League), these are clubs we don’t expect to receive many hammerings. Both are generally competitive in most games. We envisage an intriguing tactical battle and a game where much will depend on the composure of Brighton’s passing and the effectiveness of Brentford’s pressing. Brentford will happily relinquish the ball and hit Brighton on the break. Alternatively, Brighton are also good in transitions and will try to pounce on occasions when Brentford expose themselves more.
A draw is a sensible prediction for this game. However, we will give Brighton a slight edge thanks to having home advantage and being more ball-dominant. Brentford will feel confident that they can get something in any case.
Brighton 2-1 Brentford
Brighton vs Brentford Betting Tip – Brighton Odds:
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