Brentford a tough nut to crack
Ten games gone in all competitions and Thomas Frank’s newly-promoted side have suffered just two defeats.
The only frustration for their excited fans is that both came at home – a pair of 1-0 reverses to Brighton and Chelsea.
Give that some context though. Those two sides currently occupy first and fourth in the table and both are yet to suffer defeat on the road. In other words, only the higher performers have stung the Bees this season.
The 3-3 draw against Liverpool shows that Brentford are capable of getting something from these games and, let’s be honest, they were mighty unlucky not to get a draw – or perhaps even a win – against Chelsea after a swashbuckling finish.
Despite that Chelsea defeat, Brentford start the weekend in the top half of the table and two points above Leicester.
Foxes starting to flourish
Leicester have been slow to come to the boil this season. Normally, they’re the team getting in among the usual giants.
But things could be starting to turn.
While 11th place in the table highlights some early-season consistencies, in their last two games Brendan Rodgers’ side have plundered eight goals, scoring entertaining victories over Man Utd (4-2) and Spartak Moscow (4-3).
There’s an obvious question that needs to be answered though: Leicester played away in Moscow on Thursday night so how do they perform after Europa League ties?
So far, their results after being in action on Thursday nights were a 2-1 loss at Brighton and a 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace.
However, last season they won five out of seven on the back of European ties so their post-Europa League disappointments so far this term are more indicative of their wider indifferent displays.
This is virtually a pick’em. Brentford are ever so slight favourites at 2.747/4 while Leicester are 2.829/5. The Draw is 3.55/2.
Despite Brentford being out of the top flight since 1947, there is some recent head-to-head form to peruse.
This pair have drawn each other in the FA Cup for the last two seasons. Two campaigns ago Kelechi Iheanacho’s early strike gave Leicester a 1-0 win while last term, three Foxes goals after the break secured a 3-1 win. Both matches were played at Brentford.
It’s that latter result which I can see a repeat of this Sunday.
Their encouraging results after Europa League ties last season persuade me that the current Leicester revival can continue. But recent scorelines suggest it won’t come with a clean sheet.
So, rather than taking the basic win price, I’m going to boost that by backing Leicester win and Both teams to Score at 5.39/2.
Rodgers’ men have managed just one clean sheet in their last 11 games while they’ve shipped seven in their last three. In other words, their upturn is due to scoring goals, not keeping them out.
The above bet also implies I’m expecting at least three goals which makes me a fan of Over 2.5 Goals at 1.9210/11. Unders is 2.0421/20.
Leicester’s strikers are in a rich vein of form.
Jamie Vardy has blasted five goals in his last four Premier League games, Kelechi Iheanacho has two in his latest three away games while Patson Daka followed up his goal against Man Utd with an incredible four-goal display in Moscow.
Vardy was rested for the Spartak game so he’ll be fresh after an eight-day gap since scoring in the 4-2 win over Man Utd.
He carries the most pedigree so I’ll back Vardy to score anytime at 2.427/5.
On the Bet Builder, Vardy and Daka to find the net in a Leicester win and Both teams to Score is just over 109/1.
Ivan Toney is around the same price to score as Vardy and yet the Brentford striker has zero goals at home so far. It’s clear who represents the best bet.
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy has scored in each of his last four Premier League games. A goal here would see him become the eighth player to have three different runs of scoring in 5+ consecutive Premier League matches, after Sergio Agüero (7), Alan Shearer (5), Ruud van Nistelrooy (4), Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane, Michael Owen and Robin van Persie (all 3).