After an unusual winter break, the Premier League is back, and it’s Brentford against Tottenham to kick things off on Boxing Day (12.30pm Monday December 26). Can Antonio Conte’s men get back into the swing of things at the Brentford Community Stadium? Or will it be the hosts who hit the ground running?
Of course, it’s been a while since either team got down to business competitively, but prior to the World Cup stoppage, the Brentford boys were in rather good form. Following their defeat to Aston Villa in late October, they drew against both Wolves and Nottingham Forest, before causing a huge upset at the Etihad, beating Manchester City, thanks to a dramatic late winner from Ivan Toney, who converted from close range after a swift counterattack in the 98th minute of the contest.
There was also late drama for Tottenham before the break, as they were behind at home to Leeds, not once, not twice, but thrice, though that didn’t stop them coming out on top, as Rodrigo Bentancur scored twice inside the final ten minutes to secure all three points. That result meant that Spurs went into the World Cup lay-off in fourth position, and they’re only a point behind Newcastle in third, not to mention three points behind Man City in second.
Bees hard to beat
At times this season, Thomas Frank’s men have struggled in the final third, failing to score in a rather chunky 27% of their games. They’ve scored more than once on eight occasions, so they can pack a punch, don’t be fooled, but they’ve done so in just two their last five.
On the other hand, they’ve been hard to beat, and that’s key. Whatever happens offensively, this Brentford team does not lose many games, that’s for sure. Their defeat to Villa back in October is their only loss in their last six league games. They’re without a clean sheet in four, which is perhaps a worry, but Frank’s side can certainly stay in the fight, so Monday’s visitors will need to have their wits about them.
Visitors making life tough for themselves
Everybody knows the quality in this Tottenham side. With Harry Kane and Heung-min Son, they’re always going to carry an offensive threat, even in games when they don’t create much, but what they haven’t done this term is keep teams at bay.
In fact, prior to the World Cup, they’d developed a habit of giving far too much away, as well as a habit of going behind in games. Each of their last five league opponents have taken the lead, and each of those five have scored two or more goals. Fortunately, they’ve scored in most of those games, notching four last time out, though they will need to tighten up and stop putting themselves on the backfoot if they want to lock down a top four position once again.
Not much for hosts to shout about in this fixture
Since January 2021, this pair have played each other three times. Once in the League Cup and twice in the Premier League. Brentford are without a win, while two of those three games have gone the way of Spurs, who are yet to concede against the Bees. When the teams met at this venue in April of this year, they drew 0-0, and it was probably the Brentford boys who left the pitch more disheartened with the result after creating the better scoring opportunities.
Sting in the tail from the Bees
As the team sitting inside the top four, Tottenham come into this game as quite sizable favourites, despite being away from home. However, at the early odds, they’re quite easy to oppose.
As touched on in this match preview above, the Tottenham boys have not covered themselves in defensive glory, that’s for sure. They’re without a clean sheet in five in the league, while they’ve not shut out their opponents in any of their last eight in all competitions. Alarmingly, they’ve conceded two or more in each of their last three domestic games, as well as in four out of five in all competitions, plus six out of their last eight. Such numbers are worrying.
In contrast, the Bees have only conceded more than once in two of their last seven in all competitions, while they’ve developed a healthy habit of avoiding defeat in the league. We saw last time out that they’ve got the ability in their team to cut it against top sides, so we shouldn’t be surprised if they really make life tough for Tottenham, who much to their manager’s annoyance have some key players who’ve only just finished playing at the World Cup. Brentford don’t really have that problem, and punters can profit by siding with the hosts in the ‘Draw No Bet’ market.
At the early prices, bettors shouldn’t be put off ‘Brentford to Score Over 1.5 Goals’ either. As mentioned, this Spurs team doesn’t keep many clean sheets, while they’re no strangers to conceding multiple goals, even in games where they’re heavy favourites. On the road, they’re without a clean sheet in four matches, three of which they’ve conceded twice in.
Moreover, this Brentford side knows how to both create chances and hurt teams. We saw that against Man City before the World Cup, while at home this term, they’ve scored multiple goals against the likes of Brighton, Leeds and Manchester United. So these are our two betting tips:
- Brentford Draw No Bet @ 9/5 with BetVictor.
- Brentford to Score Over 1.5 Goals (on the ‘home goals’ betting market) @ 2/1 with William Hill.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.