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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

2-1
27 February 2021 Venue Brentford Community Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Brentford vs Stoke City

The Potters head to TW8 this afternoon

27 February 2021

This afternoon's Sky Bet Championship action sees us host Stoke City at the Brentford Community Stadium. The Potters are one of a clutch of sides in the hunt for the Play-Offs after winning two of their last three while we returned to winning ways in midweek against Sheffield Wednesday. Get all the build-up to the big game below.

THE OPPOSITION

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Michael O'Neill continues to do a fine job in The Potteries with Stoke City well in the Play-Off hunt heading into the final quarter of the season. 

Having saved them from relegation last term, despite inheriting a side that took just eight points from their first 15 games, City have taken big strides forward this campaign, heading into tomorrow's game in tenth, just four points off the top six. 

That being said, it has been a very lean 2021 for O'Neill's side; last week's back-to-back home wins over Sheffield Wednesday and Luton Town are their only wins in any competitions since mid-December. A Carabao Cup Fifth Round exit to Tottenham Hotspur and an Emirates FA Cup Third Round defeat to Leicester City went alongside six points from nine winless games to begin the New Year. 

Stoke have only netted more than once in two league games since November but have only conceded 17 times in that same 19 game period, seven of those goals against coming in two games against Norwich City and Rotherham United. 

The Potters have the sixth best away defence in the Championship, conceding 16, and have lost just four of their 16 away games this term, drawing eight of the remaining 12. 

Nick Powell (above) has ten league goals to his name with Steven Fletcher on eight but no other player, aside from the injured Tyrese Campbell, has found the net more than twice this term. 

TEAM NEWS

There's good news on the injury front as Ivan Toney and Emiliano Marcondes both featured off the bench on Wednesday night, as did Josh Dasilva. Christian Norgaard (ankle) and Marcus Forss (concussion) are both very close to returning while Pontus Jansson (ankle) is targeting a return around the next international break. Rico Henry (hamstring), Shandon Baptiste (knee), Luka Racic (back) and Charlie Goode (illness) are the longer-term absentees. 

Stoke have issues up front ahead of today's game with Steven Fletcher limping off in midweek with a groin injury. Tyrese Campbell (knee) is already out for the season while James McClean was pictured in an air boot having picked up an injury in training on Tuesday. Sam Clucas also missed Wednesday's game while Rabbi Matondo remains a week or so away. Morgan Fox (hamstring) and Nathan Collins (foot) will also play no part tomorrow as will Ryan Shawcross whose 14-year association with The Potters ended last Friday when he left to join MLS side Inter Miami.    

THE MANAGER

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Michael O’Neill made more than 450 appearances, scoring 72 goals, in a playing career that saw spells at 12 clubs in four countries. He played in the English top flight for Newcastle United and Coventry, won the Football League Trophy with Wigan Athletic in 1999, and did a domestic treble at Glentoran in 2003. He also earned 31 caps for his nation, scoring four goals, before retiring in 2005.

He then moved into management with Brechin City before a hugely successful spell at Shamrock Rovers. In 2011, he made history by being the first League of Ireland manager to guide his side to the group stages of a European competition. His impressive record caught the eye of the Northern Ireland national team and he took charge later that year. He guided the nation to its first ever European Championship in 2016, eventually bowing out to Wales in the Last 16. Following his appointment at Stoke, O’Neill intended to continue with Northern Ireland for the remainder of UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying. However, the postponement of Euro 2020 due to the Coronavirus Pandemic led to his resignation as Northern Ireland boss in April 2020. 

PRE-MATCH VIEWS

🆚 Pete Smith from Stoke-on-Trent Live previews The Potters

⚖ John Brooks will be the man in charge this afternoon

MEMORABLE MEETING

HOW TO FOLLOW

Today's game is only available on iFollow Brentford. 

Frozen Season Ticket and Premium Seat Holders have VIP access to this game, meaning you can watch by simply logging in to your iFollow account.

With all profit going to us, match passes are also available for only £10 each (£7 International fans).

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Match Reports

Brentford 2 Stoke City 1

Bees recover from early set back to take home win

27 February 2021

Brentford recovered from conceding a goal inside 30 seconds to beat Stoke City. The game had barely begun when the visitors went ahead, and they held that lead towards the hour mark. But Vitaly Janelt smashed in an equaliser before Ivan Toney grabbed his 25th of the season to complete the comeback and give The Bees a 2-1 win.

It was probably a win that Brentford just about deserved over the course of the 90 minutes. Stoke had the better of a first half of few chances but The Bees ended it with the upper hand and took control after the break. They scored two very good goals and created other chances while defending well at the other end and doing enough to take the points.

The game could barely have started in worse fashion for The Bees, conceding inside the first 30 seconds. Brentford had possession in their own penalty area when David Raya tried to play the ball to his left to Mads Bech Sørensen. Tommy Smith intercepted the pass and as Raya rushed out to try and make good on his error, the ball was squared to Jacob Brown to tap home.

Stoke had kicked off but had barely touched the ball before they scored and the first possession for any Brentford attacking player was kicking off a goal down. The early goal affected the pattern of the game. Stoke sensed they could win the ball in Brentford territory and worked hard out of possession to try and force mistakes. Brentford had most of the ball in the first period but mostly played in front of Stoke and had few good chances.

When Toney picked up a loose ball, he exchanged passes with Tariqe Fosu, but the eventual shot lacked power and was blocked. Saman Ghoddos pulled a shot wide when he found space 22 yards from goal and Fosu missed his kick when a Sørensen long throw dropped to him on the edge of the penalty area. Ghoddos also diverted a Henrik Dalsgaard cross wide later in the half.

Stoke were mostly content to paly the game without the ball but could have doubled their lead from a set piece. The ball was played to the left side of the Brentford penalty area and Harry Souttar won the aerial challenge, James Chester got a touch to it and Nick Powell looked set to score before Raya smothered the shot. The ball dropped loose but Brown could not force it in.

The best Brentford chance in the first half came from a corner on the right from Ghoddos, who looked the most likely to create something for The Bees. He delivered a ball on to the head of Winston Reid 12 yards out, but he could not get over the ball and his effort flew too high. Brentford ended the half on the front foot but went in at the break behind and without forcing Stoke goalkeeper Angus Gunn in to a save.

The Bees could, however, have been level seconds after the interval. A clever pass from Toney put Bryan Mbeumo away in the inside left channel and he darted away from the defence, he cut the ball back behind Fosu but in to the path of the arriving Josh Dasilva. Unfortunately for Brentford, the shot from Dasilva clipped the heels of Fosu and was diverted away from goal.

Josh Tymon had a shot blocked for the visitors before a deep free kick caused Brentford difficulty. Souttar won the first header, which was blocked, and then looped the next wide of the far post. But Brentford were much improved after the break. They were playing with a higher intensity, were more combative in the challenge in midfield and the game was taking place in Stoke territory.

Brentford equalised 11 minutes after the restart with a fine goal, and one that was coming. The Bees attacked on the right and Fosu challenged for the ball just inside the penalty area. It broke to Janelt and he took a touch, steadied himself and smashed a shot in to the top corner from 22 yards. Gunn was left absolutely helpless as the ball ripped past him in to the next and The Bees were level.

There was a chance for Powell straight after the goal as a cross dropped to him on the left side of the penalty area, he tried to swivel and volley in from a tight angle, but fired over the crossbar. It was The Bees, however, that had the initiative. Stoke were being pulled across the pitch as Brentford moved the ball quickly, ran powerfully and switched the play to great effect.

Dasilva got on to a Toney pass on the right and darted in to the penalty area before cutting the ball back but the shot from Fosu flew over the crossbar. Toney then had a deflected shot saved after good work by the increasingly impressive Ghoddos before substitutes Mathias Jensen and Sergi Canós combined on a breakaway. Canós was inside the area on the left but was unable to either shoot in to the far corner or find Toney for the tap in and the chance was gone.

Ghoddos had a pair of shots blocked after a Sørensen long throw dropped to him before he won a challenge in Stoke territory and let fly with a superb shot that Gunn had to tip acrobatically over the crossbar. Mbeumo then blasted a free kick over the crossbar from a narrow angle as Brentford pressed. Jensen released Dalsgaard in to space on the right with a great pass that looked set to create a goal for Ghoddos, but his shot was deflected over the crossbar.

The game’s defining moments came inside the final 15 minutes. Stoke had a couple of great chances to take the lead that they did not take. And when Brentford got their opening with 11 minutes left on the clock, it fell to Toney and he made it count.

Stoke went close when a cross bounced up to Jordan Cousins at the far post. He looped a header over David Raya, but a combination of Reid and the crossbar stopped it crossing the line. Janelt then got back to head away as Brown lurked. The visitors broke away seconds later and Cousins headed down to Powell, he swivelled inside the penalty area and let fly but blasted high and wide.

Brentford were not so profligate at the other end. After a spell of possession, Dalsgaard chipped a ball forward on the right and Mbeumo rose brilliantly to flick it on. Toney got on to the dropping ball and steered a shot first time across Gunn and in to the far corner. A 1-0 deficit had become a 2-1 lead with ten minutes remaining thanks to two brilliant finished and Stoke now had to fight back.

The visitors tried to press on but struggled to switch from their defensive outlook to try and chase the game. Powell had a late chance when a free kick was half cleared but he lashed it well over. Brentford continued to play, continued to push on and looked for a goal that would have sealed it.

Toney lashed over the crossbar after getting on to a Mbeumo lay off. Mbeumo then darted in to space on the left and found Toney with a cross, but the Brentford striker could not force it in. Dalsgaard found Toney with another cross soon after, but he couldn’t direct the header and Mbeumo had a late shot blocked. With Stoke running out of ideas and, eventually, out of time, Brentford had done enough to take the win.

Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard, Reid, Pinnock, Sørensen; Dasilva (sub Jensen 59 mins), Janelt (sub Nørgaard 77 mins), Ghoddos (sub Marcondes 86 mins); Fosu (sub Canós 59 mins), Toney, Mbeumo

Subs (not used): Daniels, Bidstrup, Roerslev, Forss, Žambůrek

Bookings: Dasilva (18 mins) (second of season)

Stoke City: Gunn; Souttar, Batth, Chester (sub Clarke 83 mins); Smith, Allen, Mikel, Thompson (sub Cousins h/t), Norrington-Davies (sub Tymon h/t); Powell, Brown (sub Vokes 83 mins)

Subs (not used): Davies, Oakley-Boothe, Forrester, Coates, Norton

Bookings: Thompson (25 mins), Norrington-Davies (34 mins), Allen (68 mins)

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