Championship side Brentford travel to take on Tottenham of the Premier League on Tuesday evening. The pair lock horns in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (7.45pm; TV: Live on Sky Sports).
Under the shrewd ownership of Matthew Benham, Brentford have fast become a club moving in the right direction. With an approach that focuses on finding value where others may necessarily not, over the last few seasons, The Bees have transformed into one of the most entertaining and effective Championship teams. It now only seems like a matter of time before they propel themselves into England’s footballing elite.
After the draw for the semi-finals of this competition was complete, Spurs’ boss Jose Mourinho wasted little time in saying that he thought Brentford had the quality of a Premier League outfit. Not one to shy away from mind games, Mourinho may have been attempting to get in the head of his opponents, but it’s not exactly difficult to see where the Portuguese manager is coming from.
Huge game for both
A cup semi-final for any club outside of the top division is always huge, but this is particularly colossal for Brentford, who are very much a club that wants to be fighting among the big boys of English football in the not-so-distant future. This gives a talented group of players the opportunity to show what they’ve got against top opposition. Moreover, this will be the first major semi-final that the club have ever been involved in.
This may be the Carabao Cup, which is generally accepted as being the secondary cup competition in England, but for Spurs, this really is massive. Tottenham have made no bones about where they want to be and what they want to achieve in recent times, but in terms of hard evidence, they’ve fallen short. It is now over 12 years since a Spurs captain trotted up Wembley’s famous steps before holding silverware aloft. A cup semi-final against opposition from the league below represents a big chance for Tottenham to move one step closer to achieving something that they crave.
Visitors won’t be overawed
Facing Premier League opposition can be a daunting prospect for lower-division sides, even those that play their trade in the Championship, though Tuesday’s visitors aren’t likely to hold many fears, especially after beating no shortage of top-tier opposition to reach this stage of the competition. In the second round, Brentford made reasonably light work of knocking out Southampton, while they got the better of West Brom after that. They’ve since seen off both Fulham and Newcastle. OK, none of those sides quite match up to the challenge of facing Spurs, but four Premier League scalps have certainly given the Bees a sturdy platform from which to build.
What happened in the previous round?
In the previous round, Brentford faced Premier League opposition, while Spurs came up against a Championship side. The former secured a 1-0 victory over Newcastle, though their performance, even without a couple of their most important players, was a strong one, especially in the final third. Similarly, Tottenham, without running riot, showed their quality when scoring three times en route to victory in The Potteries.
Both teams to get on the scoresheet?
The early match betting shows Tottenham as big favourites at odds of 4/9, which is hard to argue with. Brentford are certainly no mugs and those who do fancy the Championship outfit to upset Mourinho’s men can take advantage of a 6/1 price-tag, though from a real value point of view, the best option appears to be ‘both teams to score’ at odds of 4/5. The away team are 20/1 outsiders to actually win the EFL League Cup trophy.
Scoring goals on their own patch is something that Spurs have made light work of this season. In all competitions, The Lilywhites have notched in 11 out of 13 at home, scoring a total of 30 goals. Against Championship opposition in the previous round, not only did Tottenham score three goals, but they fired off 13 shots, six of which troubled the opposing keeper. If we consider that in conjunction with their general attacking record at home, alongside the fact that as they go in search of trophies, a full-strength side will almost certainly be deployed, home goals should be on the menu. Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min head the bookies’ goalscorer betting.
Much like the hosts at home in general, Brentford have done particularly well on their travels in terms of goals scored this season. The Bees have found the net in 11 of their 13 away matches in all competitions, scoring a total of 22 goals. Their scoring record in this competition is particularly pleasing, especially given that four of their five opponents have been from the Premier League. In the Carabao Cup, Thomas Frank’s attack-minded team have scored a total nine goals, scoring eight of those against top-tier teams. So the betting tip for this Spurs vs Brentford preview is:
- Back both teams to score @ 4/5 with Bet365.
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