We return to TW8 tomorrow to take on Burnley, fresh from our 3-1 victory over Norwich City last time out. The Clarets currently occupy the final relegation spot but do still have games in hand on those around them. Get all the build-up to tomorrow's Premier League action below.
Burnley have kept chipping away and chipping away as they seek to preserve the Premier League status they have held since 2016.
The Claret were rock-bottom in mid-January, not helped by being six games behind some sides due to weather and Covid-19 postponements. Since then, Burnley have lost just three of their last nine to cut the gap to safety to a point, still with a couple of games in hand on most of those around them.
It has been a season of fine margins for The Clarets. Sean Dyche's men have won the fewest top-flight games (three), recording a joint league high 12 draws, but their 11 defeats is fewer than ninth-placed Aston Villa and as many as Wolves in eighth. Until their 4-0 reverse against Chelsea last time out, Burnley hadn't lost a Premier League game this term by more than two goals.
The big bit of January business for The Clarets saw New Zealand international striker Chris Wood move to Newcastle United, his spot up front filled by 6' 6" Wout Weghorst. Summer-arrival Maxwell Cornet (above) leads their scoring charts with six.
Burnley average the second-lowest number of shots per game (10.2), netting the second lowest number of goals (22). Dyche's side enjoy the lowest amount of possession in the top flight (38.1%) while their position as the Premier League's most frequent crossers is coupled with winning the most aerial duels per game (23).
Writing for Hot Off The Press, The Athletic's Andy Jones, said: "It will be 4-4-2. One selection issue will be who they put up front with Weghorst (above), though Maxwel Cornet and Jay Rodriguez have rotated over the last two weeks. The difference for Burnley this time to the last time they played Brentford is that whipped ball round the corner to get in behind, which Burnley used really effectively at Turf Moor; there will still be an element of that, especially if Cornet plays up top or at wide on the left, but they want to play mixed football, so they will also look to play into and off Weghorst. They are going to be compact, defend the box well and force Brentford out wide because that is how Tarkowski and Mee love defending. You know what you are going to get with Burnley, it is just whether you can stop it and impose your own game on them."
It's as you were from Norwich City for The Bees with Josh Dasilva (suspended) and Julian Jeanvier (knee) the only players set to miss out.
Ben Mee (knee) has not recovered in time, The Clarets' captain joining Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Matej Vydra, Erik Pieters and Dale Stephens on the absentee list.
- Burnley are unbeaten in their last four Premier League matches in London, beating Fulham in May and drawing with Chelsea, Arsenal and Crystal Palace this season. The Clarets last had a longer unbeaten top-flight run in the capital between August 1965 and December 1966 (eight matches).
- Brentford's 3-1 win at Norwich last time out ended a run of eight league matches without a win, while they scored as many goals in that victory as they had in their previous seven league contests combined. The Bees are looking to secure consecutive Premier League victories for the first time.
- Since the start of 2018/19 (when he moved to Peterborough), Brentford's Ivan Toney has scored 93 goals in all competitions, with only Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane netting more for English league sides in that time. Toney has also produced five hat-tricks in that time, with no player netting more in all competitions.
- Burnley are looking to complete the league double over Brentford for only the second time in their history, though the other occasion was in the last campaign in which they met (2015/16 in the Championship).
Sean Dyche was a no-nonsense centre-back during his playing days, starting out in the youth system at Nottingham Forest. His professional debut came when he moved to Chesterfield in 1990. He made over 200 appearances for The Spireites, scoring as Chesterfield shared six goals with Middlesbrough in the 1997 FA Cup Semi-Final. He also played for Luton Town, Watford, Bristol City, Millwall and Northampton Town; earning promotion with each of the last three clubs on that list.
He retired in 2007, taking up coaching with the youth teams at his former club Watford. He had a brief stint as Manager at Vicarage Road, following Malky Mackay's move to Cardiff City in 2011. The Hornets finished 11th in his only season in charge, their best in four seasons, but still replaced him at the end of the season.
A month coaching in the England Under-21 setup was quickly followed by his appointment at Burnley in 2012. Dyche won them top-flight promotion in his first season but they were relegated back to the Championship at the first attempt. He guided the side back to the Premier League in 2016, where they have been ever since. He led them to the Europa League for the first time in 50 years after securing a seventh-place finish in 2017.
THE OPPOSITION VIEW
Sean Dyche told burnleyfootballclub.com: “[Brentford have] been open minded to the challenge that is being in the Premier League. They have been on a really tough run lately but came out of it with a win and an important win.
“They probably look at it as a mixed bag having started the season very well, but things have slowed down a bit for them now. A good win [against Norwich City] has calmed their situation down.
“They’re full of energy and effort and they’ve found a way that has affected the season enough to get to where they’ve got to.”
LAST TIME OUT
Referee: Paul Tierney
Assistant Referees: Constantine Hatzidakis and Neil Davies
Fourth Official: John Brooks
VAR: Lee Mason
Assistant VAR: Ian Hussin
268 fouls – 12th in Premier League
49 yellow cards – 8th in Premier League
0 red cards – Fewest in Premier League
Fans and players will come together in a show of support to the people of Ukraine affected by the Russian invasion. A yellow and blue card display has been organised for those in the North Stand. Fans there will be asked to raise their cards in the air shortly before kick-off for a moment of solidarity - we ask everyone attending the game to arrive early to join in.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Tomorrow's game will be shown around the world through the Premier League's broadcast partners. Click here to see if it is on where you are
There will also be live commentary on BBC Five Live. For the Brentford angle, Jonathan Douglas joins Mark Burridge on Bees Player.