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Two struggling teams meet at the Brentford Community Stadium for a Saturday night showdown. The hosts have lost their last five consecutive Premier League games and 7 of their last 8. For the first time in a while, some pressure is on manager Thomas Frank.
The visitors Nottingham Forest have actually won their last two Premier League outings but have been in the news this week for off-pitch dealings this week. They now have a dark cloud hanging over them with the prospect of a points deduction. The pressure is on both sides in West London.
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Brentford vs Nottingham Forest predicted lineups
Toney returns as captain
Brentford manager Thomas Frank confirmed that star attacker Ivan Toney will go straight back into the starting lineup following his 8-month ban. The Bees striker will also captain the team which is a major boost for a side who have been struggling for results recently. Brentford have three players on international duty; Saman Ghoddos, Frank Onyeka and Yoane Wissa. Bryan Mbeumo is ruled out for a couple more months due to injury. The hosts still have the likes of Rico Henry ruled out and Christian Norgaard doubtful. New left back loanee Sergio Reguillon is available for selection and could go straight into the XI.
Forest hit by international call-ups
Nuno Espirito Santo continues to be short-handed this month with as many as six players away on international duty. Key men include Serge Aurier, Moussa Niakhate and Ibrahim Sangare. Top striker Taiwo Awoninyi remains injured and on the sidelines so Chris Wood keeps his place upfront. It has been a tough period for squad selection with Forest and the manager has some decisions to make after going all the way to extra time in midweek vs Blackpool. A 4-2-3-1 system is expected with Callum Hudson-Odoi and Nicolas Dominguez set to start out wide.
Brentford vs Nottingham Forest team stats
Brentford underachieving at both ends
The home side have a healthy xG of 1.72 per match but only average 1.37 goals. They have not finished their chances well enough but that is where the return of Ivan Toney should help them. Brentford have also underachieved defensively. Their xGA is a reasonable 1.33 but they have conceded far more goals at a rate of 1.72 per game. Their shots for and against are numbers you’d expect from a mid table team and most of their other metrics are mediocre.
Brentford might look to exploit corner numbers
Forest have struggled for goals this season although they have definitely packed more of a punch since Nuno Espirito Santo took charge. Of greater concern has been their defensive performance, conceding a hefty 1.75 goals per game on average. The Tricky Trees have a knack of conceding a lot of corners at 6.40 per game. Brentford are the sort of team that play for set pieces so might try to take advantage. The cards are very much in the mediocre range for Forest fixtures.
Brentford vs Nottingham Forest shots and shots on target stats
Ivan to set the Tone
The return of Ivan Toney is what everyone is talking about and he will try to make an immediate statement. In the 2022/23 campaign he averaged 2.86 shots per game and you’ve got to think he will shoot quite freely here. Toney is 1.29 to have three or more shots which could be added to your Brentford bet builder. He is as short as 1.20 just to have a single shot on target which is another possible addition. Neal Maupay is another player who likes to chance his arm. He is not someone you can rely on to hit the target but the 1.62 on offer he has three or more shots could be worth backing.
Value on forest’s strongest shooters
Forest average less than 11 shots per game and are more of a counter-attacking side who don’t shoot that freely. The trio of Chris Wood, Nicolas Dominguez and Morgan-Gibbs White are the primary players to look at in the shots markets. Wood is as big as 1.53 just to have two or more shots which feels like a value price considering he will be the starting striker. Dominguez is 1.25 just to have a single attempt which should be within his range. Gibbs-White could play more centrally here and should be on set pieces so the 1.57 that he has two or more shots also has appeal.
Brentford vs Nottingham Forest goals and assist stats
All eyes on the Brentford captain
The most popular bet in this game might be Ivan Toney to score anytime. He is 2.20 to hit the back of the net which many will be looking at. He could be added as a single or as part of a bet builder. Brentford are in dire need of someone to step up and score more goals for them. The likes of Neal Maupay are far too unreliable. Toney scored 20 goals in 33 Premier League appearances last season and is the clear standout bet in the goalscorer stakes for the Bees.
Wood the best option for the Tricky Trees
In the absence of Taiwo Awoninyi the Forest goalscoring burden has been placed on Chris Wood. He has produced some inconsistent performances but when onsong he can be very dangerous, as Newcastle found out to their peril when he bagged a hat-trick against them. Wood can be backed at 3.75 as an anytime goalscorer which is a generous price in a game like this. Morgan Gibbs-White is probably their best technician and if he plays centrally he is more of a dual threat. The former Wolves man is 2.88 to score or assist which has plenty of appeal for those who fancy him to go well.
Brentford CARDS AND FOULS stats
Maupay makes a decent foul candidate
The Bees rank in the bottom half for cards obtained in the Premier League this season. They have only picked up one red card and are usually quite well disciplined under manager Thomas Frank. They are mid rank for fouls committed at 10.80 per game. Two serial offenders Saman Ghoddos and Frank Onyeka are both on international duty and Christian Norgaard is doubtful, so some other players will have to step up. Neal Maupay at 1.25 to commit one or more fouls could be a decent bet builder option as he tends to press wildly.
Forest are only fouled 9.50 times on average in each game which is the fifth-lowest rate in the Premier League. They tend to lack that many technical and tricky players although a couple do stand out such as Morgan Gibbs-White and Callum Hudson-Odoi. A lot depends where Gibbs-White plays as he could cause some problems for the more centrally positioned players.
Nottingham Forest cards and fouls stats
Mangala and Montiel to play dirty
Forest are mid rank for cards in the Premier League this season with 44 yellows and 3 reds. They are middle of the road for fouls at 11.30 per game. The two players who stand out for fouls are Orel Mangala and Gonzalo Montiel. The former is 1.22 to commit at least one foul which could be strong Forest bet builder material. Montiel is bigger at 1.36 and could represent some extra value.
Brentford are the seventh-most fouled team in the Premier League this season at 11.10 times per match. However, some key men who are foul magnets will not be available. The likes of Bryan Mbeumo, Yoane Wissa and Frank Onyeka are all tricky customers and will be badly missed for their trickery. Ivan Toney will, of course, be a huge physical handful for the Forest defence though, so it could be the central defenders who are most at risk.
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