On Friday night, there’s FA Cup action across the English capital, and in the west quarter, Brentford take on Wolves in a repeat of a recent Premier League clash (7.15pm). Can the visitors pick up another positive result? Or will the hosts improve? Read on for our full preview with betting tips.
Things went from bad to worse for Brentford on Saturday. Despite taking an early lead against fellow Londoners Crystal Palace, the Bees failed to sting their opponents, eventually losing by three goals to one. That defeat means that Thomas Frank’s men have now lost five on the spin and they have won just one of their last eight. Such form has landed them in a rather displeasing league position, one that sees them sitting just four points above the drop. This FA Cup game may be a welcome distraction, one that could help them turn a corner. At least that is what Bees fans will be hoping.
Wolves approach this fixture in contrasting form having won each of their last three. They warmed up for this with a convincing 3-0 win against Everton at home, a result that followed what was a very pleasing 1-4 win at Brentford. Less than a fortnight after that rampant display, Gary O’Neill’s men are back in West London looking for more glory, but can they get it?
The hosts, Brentford Bees, come into this game having scored with regularity of late, which is of course a positive. They have netted in each of their last three, failing to score in only one of their last six fixtures. Unfortunately, they have been conceding at a much more rapid rate, rendering the goals that they have scored somewhat useless. The Bees have now conceded two or more in each of their last three games, conceding a total of eight during that time. They are also now without a clean sheet in nine matches and they have shipped multiple goals in six of those nine. Therein lies the problem.
Even at home, Frank’s men have been a little too generous in the defensive third, conceding at least once in each of their last five, shipping two or more in three of those five, most recently against Friday’s opponents.
Goals galore for Wolves
The visitors have enjoyed an upturn in fortunes of late and that’s largely down to an increase in offensive productivity. They have scored nine goals in their last three games, so it’s not hard to see why they’ve been picking up wins. Across the last five match-days in the Premier League, only Tottenham, the most in-form Premier League team right now, have scored more goals than Gary O’Neill’s men.
Thanks to having no shortage of offensive quality, WWFC will fancy themselves to once again sting the Bees, just as they did when Hwang Hee-Chan and Matheus Cunha, who have scored 16 league goals between them this season, ran riot at the Gtech less than two weeks ago.
Wolves on top in this one
In recent times, this fixture has been kind to Friday’s visitors, who’ve won each of the last two renewals, as well as three of the last four. They are also unbeaten against Brentford during that time. It is less than two weeks since their big win at the Gtech Community Stadium, and you would have to go back to 2017 to see the last time Brentford beat Wolves at home. The Wolves team have travelled to Bees’ West London home five times since then, picking up three wins and two draws.
Wolves’ bite can nullify Bees’ sting
The hosts come into this game as favourites. OK, they’re narrow favourites, but given their recent form, even odds of 11/8 look somewhat short. They have clear defensive issues, and there has been little evidence to suggest that they will either tighten up or start scoring lots more goals. In contrast, the visitors have been scoring for fun and after that recent display at this very stadium, Wolves look somewhat generously priced to get a positive result.
After all, in recent weeks, WWFC have been scoring goals at a much greater rate than Friday’s hosts. It was that superior offensive output that made all the difference in that recent game and that could be the decisive factor once again.
O’Neill really does have an awful lot of offensive talent at his disposal, with Pablo Sarabia, Jean-Ricner Bellagarde, Matheus Cunha and Hwang Hee-Chan all offering a significant threat in recent weeks. In addition Pedro Neto, who with seven assists is one of most creative players in the Premier League this season, is fit again, which only bolsters what is a strong attack. On the flipside, home boss Thomas Frank seems to be lacking options as Ivan Toney continues to be suspended, while Bryan Mbeumo and Kevin Schade are both out injured. Those absentees leave Brentford’s forward line looking light, which is far from ideal ahead of a game against a team that is bang in offensive form.
Given how the hosts have struggled in the league of late, they are also in quite serious danger of being dragged into the fight for survival, so an FA Cup run may not be their biggest priority right now. In contrast, with the way things are going at Wolves, O’Neill may fancy his team to go deep into this year’s competition. All in all, the visitors look overpriced with the leading bookies.
- So the betting tip for this preview is visitors Wolves to win at best odds of 2/1 with Bet365.
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.