PREVIEW | Brentford vs Everton

Everton will be looking for their first win in over two months when they make the journey to the Brentford Community Stadium. The Blues are looking to bounce back from last week’s 3-0 defeat to Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola’s side were dominant from the first minute and were deserved winners. Goals from Raheem Sterling, following a brilliant ball from João Cancelo, a thunderbolt from Rodri and Bernardo Silva sealed City’s win. The result left Everton in eleventh place in the Premier League with fifteen points. Manchester City moved back up to second in the table, only behind leaders Chelsea.

Despite making an impressive start to their debut season in the Premier League, which included a 2-0 victory over Arsenal and a 3-3 draw with Liverpool, Brentford sit fifteenth in the table. Their form has tailed off in recent weeks, with their last win in the League coming against West Ham on 3rd October.

Thomas Frank’s side were part of an entertaining fixture last weekend, a 3-3 draw with Newcastle, although they did lead at 1-2 and 2-3. Last weekends draw meant that the Bees have now gone five games without a win.

The West London outfits injury crisis is easing slightly; however, they are still without record signing Kristoffer Ajer, Josh Dasilva, Julian Jeanvier, and goalkeeper David Raya, who was arguably one of the most inform goalkeepers before his injury.

Despite the injuries, Brentford welcome back forward Yoane Wissa, who scored the winner against West Ham in the ninety-fourth minute in their last victory.

Everton’s injury crisis is also easing slightly; with the news that both striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin and midfielder André Gomes have returned to light training. Yet a big boost for the Toffees is that midfielder Abdoulaye Doucouré looks to have recovered from his foot injury and is in line to feature in some form tomorrow.

However, despite the news of Doucouré’s return, Rafa Benitez could be without up to eight first-team players for tomorrow’s clash. Demarai Gray and Allan both face late fitness tests, whilst Yerry Mina and Tom Davies are both still unavailable.
Mason Holgate is serving the second of a three-game ban and Richarlison is also suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season last weekend.

One to Watch – Brentford

Striker Ivan Toney was imperious last campaign, winning the Championship golden boot in the same season Brentford were finally promoted. The 25-year-old set a new record of 31 goals in a season, firing Thomas Frank’s side to the Premier League.

What many people wondered was if Toney could translate this form to England’s top division. The answer is yes. The striker has five goal involvements in twelve games (three goals, two assists), as well as having a number disallowed for offside.

Toney has a respectable average rating of 7.38 in the Premier League so far this season. And according to WhoScored his strengths include finishing, hold-up player and his heading ability.

However, one weakness that the Brentford striker has is his offside awareness. He has been caught offside the second-most times in the Premier League, with twelve. Everton could be tempted to play a high line to try and catch the forward out.

One to Watch – Everton

Winger Andros Townsend has been one of only a few Everton players to escape criticism in recent weeks. The 30-year-old has been impressive, despite the Blues poor form.

Regardless of the fact that he has not registered a goal or assist since the draw with Manchester United, the former England international has an average rating of 7 on WhoScored.

The Toffees winger has been very efficient out wide providing sixty-four crosses for his teammates, but he only has two assists. His service to the forwards has been excellent, however this has not been reflected in his record of assists.

As well as his crossing, Townsend’s strengths also include his set-piece taking and his defensive contribution, something which Evertonians have appreciated this season.

However, Townsend does have some weaknesses, including his aerial ability. This has been showcased in recent weeks, when teams have forced Everton to play long and Townsend has not won many aerial duels, three to be exact.

Tomorrow afternoon’s fixture sees two teams in desperate need of a win go head-to-head. Rafa Benitez’s side have gone six games without a win, whilst Thomas Frank’s side have gone five without a win.

The fixture also represents Everton’s best chance of victory, with upcoming fixtures against Liverpool, Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Chelsea, and Leicester.

The teams have met only seventeen times in all competitions, with a fairly even record. Brentford have recorded eight wins, Everton seven and two draws. The last time the teams met was in the League Cup in 2010. The result finished 1-1, with the Bees winning 4-3 on penalties.

The last time the two teams met in the League was in the second division in 1954, when Everton ran out 6-1 winners.

Brentford have hit the woodwork nine times already this season, with Bryan Mbeumo making up seven of these. The record is nine for a single player hitting the woodwork in the season.

Tomorrow’s 14:00 clash sees two teams in desperate need of a win but given Brentford’s style of play under Thomas Frank and Everton missing up to eight first-team players, it is hard to see how the Toffees will get any sort of result.

Prediction: 2-1.

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