Fresh from a comfortable win over Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening, Manchester City continue their three-pronged assault on domestic honours today when Brentford visit the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League. The Cityzens beat the Bees to nil twice last season and a similar outcome would put the champions top of the table this afternoon.
You know the drill by now. Below, you can find our stats pack for today’s fixture which is laden with all sorts of interesting statistical nuggets that can be used to power your bet builders for the game. Not only that, I’ve got a Stats Pack Guide which you might find useful too.
Kyle Walker is still out injured for City with a groin issue, though Kalvin Phillips made a welcome return off the bench against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.
Joao Cancelo is available again following his recent suspension and the Portuguese start should slot back in at full-back.
Brentford are a little injury-stricken at present, particularly at the back where Kristoffer Ajer, Pontus Jansson and Aaron Hickey are unavailable. Janelt returns in midfield and Roerslev starts at right back.
Manager Thomas Frank fielded a relatively strong XI in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening, though the Bees were still dumped out on penalties by League Two’s Gillingham.
Man City have had to make base camp in second spot at the moment while Arsenal enjoy life at the summit of the Premier League, though Pep Guardiola’s defending champions are leaders in a number of other metrics.
No team can match City for goals (3.00), shots on target (6.92) and xG (2.26) lodged per 90 minutes, while no side has conceded fewer corners (2.15 p/90) or collected fewer cards (0.85).
Brentford are safely nestled away in midtable after 14 games despite dropping points in 11 separate fixtures and the Bees’ underlying stats for the campaign so far seem to favour their opponents.
The scales are tipped against Brentford in the shots, shots on target, goals, corners and xG departments, where the Bees have deficits to overcome across the board. Only struggling Everton, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest have been conceding more attempts per 90 (14.86).
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Erling Haaland was given the night off in midweek as some of his understudies took centre stage, though the Norwegian goal-getter, who has been hitting 4.54 shots per 90 in the Premier League, should reprise his starting role today.
Phil Foden (2.20) and Ilkay Gundogan (2.15), who have started ten and nine Premier League fixtures each, look like strong candidates in the shot markets from deeper positions, though Kevin de Bruyne trumps them both (2.76). The Belgian has had at least two attempts in each of his last three Premier League starts.
A dynamic front three of Bryan Mbuemo (2.15 shots p/90), Yoane Wissa (2.30) and Ivan Toney (2.46) have only been fielded as a trio sporadically by Thomas Frank this season, though all three attackers deserve attention in the shot markets today.
Mbuemo and Wissa had two attempts each in the suspended Toney’s absence against Nottingham Forest last weekend, though 26-year-old Toney has had at least one shot in 100% of his top-flight appearances since the summer.
Player Goals and Assists
Erling Haaland scored the 16th goal of his maiden Premier League campaign when he netted a late winning penalty against Fulham last weekend and the Norwegian freight train will appear on thousands of coupons again today as a prime pick to score first, anytime and in multiples.
With two goals in his last three Premier League starts, Kevin de Bruyne is starting to clamber up the charts for City, though the Belgian is still the assists king at The Etihad Stadium and he needs to create just one more goal to break the double-figures barrier there.
Phil Foden has gone off the boil a little in terms of raw numbers and the England star has scored just once in his last ten matches in all competitions.
Bryan Mbuemo and Youane Wissa both bagged their third Premier League goals of the season in Brentford’s 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest last weekend, though Ivan Toney remains the Bee with the most-potent sting so far.
Toney has scored eight times overall in 2022/23, though three of his efforts were notched from the penalty spot and his five-goal haul from open play puts him alongside the likes of Leicester’s Harvey Barnes and Brighton’s Pascal Groß in the charts.
The England hopeful is a consistent provider of clutch moments, however and four of Toney’s eight Premier League strikes this term were deadlock-breakers.
Manchester City Cards
If Manchester City are threatened at all today, then it’s likely to be on the counter-attack and impetuous tacklers Joao Cancelo, Rodri, Manuel Akanji and John Stones all look like possible card candidates.
All four of those defence-minded options have already been carded in the Premier League this season and Rodri, Akanji and Stones should all have to defend in awkward one-on-one situations against rapid-breakers, Brentford.
While only Ivan Toney is listed as one of the most-fouled Brentford players in our table, the players likely to be positioned either side of the 26-year-old this afternoon, Bryan Mbuemo and Yoane Wissa, are also worth watching.
Toney likes to drop deep to offer a passing option for his teammates and a drift in that direction should put him on Rodri’s radar. Mbuemo and Wissa meanwhile, will both be keen to utilise their pace to stretch City on the counter and Ajanji and Stones might need to ‘take one for the team’ if the Bees’ flanksmen threaten too much.
Match-Ups to watch
Rodri vs Ivan Toney
Manuel Akanji vs Bryan Mbuemo
A number of forward-thinking players have been dominating the card and fouls metrics for Brentford this season, though it makes sense to look a little further back for caution possibilities today with the Bees expected to be under the cosh throughout.
The big bruiser Janelt returns in midfield and I’d expect him to anchor the side. He’s worth a look to add to his 1 card this season.
At the back, stand-in right-back Mads Roerslev could be worth tracking against foul magnet Jack Grealish while former City youngster Ben Mee (one card) lacks pace and could be troubled by the champion’s rapid attackers.
Phil Foden is an expert at fooling defenders into thinking they have a chance to make a clean tackle and the wide attacker has been drawing 1.32 fouls per 90 in the Premier League this term. Foden can have Brenford’s Roerslev on toast today if the former starts.
Kevin de Bruyne (fouled 1.03 times p/90) has the ingenuity to put Nørgaard into positions of panic while Erling Haaland’s (fouled 0.85 times p/90) pace off the shoulder of the last man should unnerve the static Ben Mee.
Match-Ups to watch
Christian Nørgaard vs Kevin de Bruyne
Mads Roerslev vs Phil Foden
Ben Mee vs Erling Haaland