Hull v Brentford
Saturday February 1, 12:30
Hull rue lack of clinical edge
Hull head coach Grant McCann lamented the "wasteful" streak of his misfiring attack as Huddersfield condemned the Tigers to a damaging 2-1 loss at the KCOM Stadium in midweek. City fell to a third straight defeat in the Championship as Steve Mounie headed in a 96th-minute winner to snatch all three points for the relegation-threatened Terriers.
An own goal midway through the second half had promised to help mask Hull's failings in a first-half that saw them trail to Karlan Grant's deflected strike but a late defensive lapse ultimately proved costly. The current sequence now represents the worst run of results under McCann's watch and surrenders all momentum the Tigers had heading into 2020.
Hull now find themselves eight points adrift of the play-off places in 13th and in growing need of a response to revive their campaign. After Tuesday's tussle, McCann said, "What's deflating is how wasteful we were in the final third and probably have been in the league over the last three games. That's the reason we've lost all three. We had 19 opportunities."
Brentford suffer rare setback
Brentford lost vital ground in the race for Premier League promotion on Tuesday night as Joe Lolley's deflected strike was enough for Nottingham Forest to leave Griffin Park with all three points. A tense affair in West London saw Thomas Frank's men yield advantage to the visitors, who frustrated the Bees throughout a tempestuous encounter.
Despite Brentford dominating possession it was the visitors who looked the most threatening on the counter-attack. Falling behind inside the opening 15 minutes, sparked urgency into Frank's men, but sadly not composure with the famed BMW of Said Benrahma, Ollie Watkins and Bryan Mbeumo all failing to get in gear against a relentless Forest press.
Post-match, Frank admitted the Bees only themselves to blame for their 1-0 defeat, saying, "I need to say we can only blame ourselves; we need to do better. They're a really good side, they defend well, work hard and are well organised, but they came with one purpose - to make it scrappy, which is fair. We need to handle that better, we didn't do that today."
Bees can bounce back
Hull have enjoyed the upper-hand in their last 10 meetings with Brentford as the Tigers have taken top honours on six occasions (W6-D2-L2), which includes four successive triumphs in Humberside dating back to 1998. Meanwhile, the duo played out an enjoyable 1-1 draw when locking horns earlier in the current campaign.
Hull 3.45 ran Chelsea close at the KCOM Stadium seven days ago but were often flat, uninspired and underwhelming in their scratchy midweek defeat. The Tigers have looked alarmingly short on attacking ideas of late in league action and head into Saturday's showdown without Josh Bowler, Callum Elder, Jordy de Wijs, Matthew Pennington, Jon Toral, Kevin Stewart and Martin Samuelsen.
No Championship club has earned more points, scored more goals or conceded fewer goals than Brentford 2.226/5 since October's international break (W11-D2-L5), although the Bees have remained a little inconsistent on their travels in that time (W4-D2-L3). Thomas Frank's team have returned W14-D4-L7 when excluding the division's current top three teams.
Oppose goals at the KCOM
At least two goals have been scored in each of the last 12 meetings between Hull and Brentford with four of the past five head-to-head encounters seeing Both Teams To Score pay-out for punters.
However, Hull's frustrations in front of goal - it's now 299 minutes of Championship football since a Tigers player last found the net - suggest a goals-based play isn't the best avenue of attack on Saturday. The Bees have also fired blanks in three of their past five league outings and are also a more conservative side on the road under Thomas Frank's watch.
Under 2.5 Goals is a 1.9620/21 play at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday but adding Brentford Double Chance to the selection via Betfair Sportsbook's Same Game Multi market bolsters the price to a more appetising 2.40.