Southampton vs Brentford – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Wednesday 15th March 2023
St Mary’s Stadium
As part of our midweek Premier League predictions, we look at Brentford’s visit to Southampton. Southampton earned a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford, but Brentford lost at Goodison Park – can they win here? Read on with our Southampton vs Brentford prediction.
Southampton vs Brentford Match Preview
Southampton come into this match on the back of four points from two matches. While ordinarily, this wouldn’t be particularly remarkable in itself, when a team is in the middle of a relegation battle any unexpected points are welcome. The point they earned last weekend from the 0-0 draw against Manchester United would certainly qualify as an unexpected result. With Casemiro’s red card reducing the home side to 10 men, Southampton were understandably the better team for much of the second half but couldn’t find a way to capitalise as a depleted United side prioritised avoiding defeat.
This recent improvement in form has ensured that Southampton haven’t been cut adrift at the foot of the Premier League table just yet. While they remain in 20th position as a result of losing 16 out of 26 league matches, they remain just three points from safety behind 15th-placed Everton. Perhaps it’s fair to say that the Saints were unfortunate with results elsewhere, as all of the bottom six bar Leicester City achieved positive results on the weekend.
With Fulham and Liverpool both defeated at the weekend and Brighton failing to beat Leeds, Brentford will feel that they missed a golden opportunity to strengthen their claim for a European place after falling to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at the hands of Everton. Tasked with being the ball-dominant team as Everton are comfortable in ceding both possession and territory to achieve what they feel is their optimum playing style with this group of players, Brentford were probably unfortunate not to get anything out of the game but Everton emerged with their third 1-0 home victory in their last four home matches.
While Brentford are still well-poised to challenge for European football this season, it’s their poor away form that’s holding them back. Though it’s not terrible – just four defeats and 12th in the away league table for the season – they’ve surprisingly only won away from home twice all season in the Premier League, against Manchester City and West Ham. With Southampton holding the dubious honour of possessing the worst home record in the division this season, this match represents a golden opportunity for Thomas Frank’s men.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Maitland-Niles
Will Not Play: Larios, Livramento
Might Not Play: Roerslev
Will Not Play: Lewis-Potter, Strakosha
Southampton vs Brentford Lineups (Predicted)
Southampton (4-2-3-1): Bazunu; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Bella-Kotchap, Perraud; Ward-Prowse, Lavia; Sulemana, Alcaraz, A. Armstrong; Adams
Brentford (4-3-3): Raya; Mee, Pinnock, Henry, Hickey; Norgaard, Jensen, Janelt; Damsgaard, Toney, Mbeumo
Southampton vs Brentford Analysis
Southampton Will Play More Reactively
Both teams are similarly matched for overall possession, in 16th (Southampton) and 17th (Brentford) respectively. Excluding the match at Old Trafford where United were down to 10 men for most of the game, Southampton have had 40% possession or less under new boss Ruben Selles. While four games is admittedly a small sample size, this has allowed the south coast side to keep three clean sheets in their last four matches, as they look to keep things tight to give themselves the best possible chance of any kind of positive result in these matches.
We don’t anticipate this approach to change here. Southampton will be acutely aware of the threat that Brentford’s attacking unit brings, particularly in transition and also via intense pressing high up the pitch, and therefore we expect them to prioritise retaining their shape and ensuring that the likes of Lavia and Ward-Prowse are on hand to back up their defenders should the Brentford press prove effective. This will in turn affect their ability to launch attacks of their own, but we anticipate they’ll be looking to keep things tight for much of the match.
Brentford Need to Take Risks in Possession
Brentford’s two recent matches against Crystal Palace and Everton yielded one goal over the course of 180 minutes plus, and that was scored deep into injury time at home to Crystal Palace. The next challenge for the evolution of this Brentford team is to learn to create chances against sides who are happy to sit in against them knowing that Brentford’s primary attacking threat is moving the ball rapidly into space and overwhelming the opposition with numbers on the break.
Thwarted in not only these two matches but also against the likes of Leeds, Forest, Wolves, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Everton and Crystal Palace (reverse fixtures were both 1-1), it’s now incumbent upon Brentford to find a way to create chances without the space against teams who are now wary to play out from the back against them and will look to put themselves in a position to back the man losing the ball should Brentford’s press yield turnovers.
We’re backing Brentford for their third away win of the season. Though it won’t be an easy game by any stretch of the imagination, the fact that Brentford managed to combine for an xG of 2.23 en route to losing at Everton means that they are starting to create better chances against the low block – something they’ve struggled with all season including recently against Crystal Palace.
Southampton are better defensively than they were under their previous manager Nathan Jones, though this has come at a cost to their attacking output. Brentford do concede almost two goals per game away from home but haven’t conceded more than once in their last five away Premier League matches and we feel that Southampton aren’t the kind of team to change that run. Southampton will probably score with home advantage, but we back Brentford to create the better chances and emerge with their third away win of the season.
Southampton 1-2 Brentford
Southampton vs Brentford Betting Tip – Brentford Odds:
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