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Match Previews

Match Preview: Brentford B v Manchester City U23

Brentford B prepare for Manchester City match at Griffin Park

10 May 2017

The B Team take on Manchester City at Griffin Park on Monday 15 May, kick-off at 7pm, entry is free for spectators.

Brentford B finish their season against Manchester City on Monday. Kevin O'Connor's side play their 39th official fixture, excluding behind closed doors friendlies, of the season under the lights, and the players and staff have been gearing up for the season finale in West London.

Previous Encounters

The Bees have played City twice already this season. On 30 July, in what was only the fifth game for Brentford's new B squad, they lost 1-0 at the Etihad Campus. New City boss at the time Pep Guardiola was watching on from the stand as Flemming Pedersen set about trying to get his first win against an English club.

Snatching the only goal of the game in the first half, City emerged victorious despite Brentford putting up a good fight. Both Manny Onariase and Justin Shaibu had chances to level the game but were denied after some outstanding defending by the hosts.

More recently, City once again hosted The Bees in the North West and secured a narrow victory. Zain Westbrooke and Chris Mepham scored in a game that saw a very clinical home side take their chances early before O'Connor's team fought their way back into contention.

When giving his thoughts on the last game of the season, centre-back Mepham mentioned the previous tie between the two sides. He said: "It was a difficult game because in the first half I thought we played really well, then I thought their quality came through in the second half. In the end they got the win so it would be good to beat them in front of a good crowd."

The Teams

Brentford B don't have too many injury concerns heading into the final game, and O'Connor will have most of his squad available for selection. Manny Onariase, who has spent the second half of the season on loan in League Two with Cheltenham Town, has returned and will be raring to get back into the matchday squad.

The three players with the most minutes for Brentford B this season are captain Zain Westbrooke, as well as fullbacks Lukas Talbro and Ilias Chatzitheodoridis. Westbrooke made his first team debut at Craven Cottage against Fulham in April, while Greek left-back Chatzitheodoridis made the bench when Brentford travelled to Wolves in September.

Other B team players who could make the squad are fellow First Team debutants Reece Cole, Chris Mepham and Justin Shaibu. Shaibu is the team's top marksman this year with 10 goals, followed closely by Herson Alves on nine. Brentfordfc.com announced this morning that Alves has just put pen to paper on a one-year contract extension.

From City's perspective, their last fixture of the Premier League 2 season was a 4-2 win over Southampton. The Sky Blues went 2-0 down before launching a comeback in the last half an hour.

This put City into second place in the league at the end of the campaign, finishing just three points behind Everton. The win also confirmed that they also finished higher than Brentford's previous opponents at Griffin Park, Liverpool and Manchester United.

Most of their matchday squads this season have included young Frenchman Thierry Ambrose, as well as Dutch captain Rodney Kongolo in midfield. This end of season match could also see them dip into their Academy squad to play the likes of Jadon Sancho or former Bee Ian Carlo Poveda.

Head Coach's View

B Team Head Coach O'Connor gave his thoughts ahead of the match last week alongside B Team Analyst Ben Chadwick. During the interview, which can be found here, Kevin said: "We've played them a couple of times, we've given them a good game. We're looking to win the game, we've run them close twice. I'm just looking for us to get that little extra yard and hopefully finish the season on a real high.

"We've had two or three really good games at Griffin Park with big crowds for us. We're hopefully going to get a decent crowd for that game."


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