Brentford v Fulham: Bees can gain revenge on their west London rivals

Brentford boss Thomas Frank Carabao Cup
Brentford boss Thomas Frank has called on his players to make their new home a fortress

Brentford and Fulham meet on Thursday evening with a place in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals at stake. Alan Dudman previews the game and is backing the hosts to progress...

The Bees have a decent record against their west London rivals, as they have lost just one of their last six meetings with Fulham in all competitions.

Back Brentford to beat Fulham @ 2.407/5

Brentford v Fulham
Thursday October 1st, kickoff 17:30
Live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event

Frank wants Brentford's new home to be a fortress

Brentford welcome Fulham to their new west London home on Thursday with the Bees looking to reach the League Cup quarter-final for the first time in their history. The fact they have progressed from two of their last three ties in this competition against Fulham certainly backs up a bet on the hosts here.

Of course revenge will be at stake as Brentford lost out to their rivals in August during the Championship playoff final, but a lot has changed since then - notably Fulham's complete inability to defend.

The Bees have already played three games in the Carabao Cup and have got to this stage with two penalty shootout wins against Wycombe and West Brom, so another round of penalties shouldn't faze the home team. Their best performance so far has been the 0-2 victory at Southampton - a game in which they counter-attacked impressively, albeit against a team that has priorities elsewhere.

Home boss Thomas Frank has won 42 of his 95 games in charge of the club, and his rallying cry of making their new stadium a fortress is very much in play here.

Lookman a great addition, but Parker needs a defender

Following vice-chairman Tony Khan's tweet apologising for the performance against Aston Villa on Monday, Khan concluded a transfer deal to sign RB Leipzig winger Ademola Lookman on a season-long loan. The 22-year-old hasn't quite progressed in Germany following a fast start, and whilst it's a good signing, Fulham really need to focus on bringing in defenders to shore up the backline.

Whilst the frail defence has been a problem in the Premier League (conceding 10 so far), they have remarkably kept two clean sheets in the Carabao Cup so far in their victories against Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday.

However, Ipswich thwarted Scott Parker's team quite easily and were able to soak up pressure comfortably in that 1-0 result, with Aleksander Mitrovic's goal the only difference between the two

The Cottagers haven't reached the League Cup quarter-final since 2004/5, and the market isn't exactly with them to do so.

Match Odds

Tuesday's Spurs and Chelsea match was a prime example of how team news, or speculation relating to team news can alter a match price quite drastically.

Jose Mourinho had painted such a desperate picture beforehand with a lack of players, that their match odds price had moved out from 3.814/5 to 4.47/2, and that's a fairly huge swing without a ball being kicked. Likewise, Chelsea were supported into 1.8810/11 from 2.1211/10 - but the market on that occasion was incorrect.

The prices here could revolve around what sort of team Fulham field. Top flight survival is number one priority, so it's not exactly a seismic shock that Scott Parker's team are the bigger of the two. Wednesday's price at 3.1511/5 might change a bit before kickoff, but it's hard to make a case for backing them.

The Bees have a decent record against their west London rivals, as they have lost just one of their last six meetings with Fulham in all competitions.

Brentford were very aggressive in terms of pressing high up the pitch against West Brom in one of the previous rounds, and if they can reproduce that sort of intensity, the price of the hosts at 2.407/5 is more than acceptable and is my one to side with.

Under 2.5 Goals surprisingly shades favouritism

Team news dictates To Score wagers, as I found out last week by tipping Luton's James Collins only to find him left out of the starting 11. I didn't quite anticipate Hatters' boss Nathan Jones fielding a weakened team against Manchester United!

Brentford backers will hope that Aleksander Mitrovic could be handed a breather to sit out, as he scored in the early round against Ipswich but didn't feature against Sheffield Wednesday.

Whether Said Benrahma features is another potential headline-grabber. He was one third of the famed "BMW" last term, but with Ollie Watkins gone, Benrahma could be the next wheel to come off. He did make his first appearance of the season from the bench last week against Millwall.

The fact he is 3.45 To Score and Ivan Toney is 2.427/5 suggest he might not start, and Toney is a player I have plenty of time for following a brilliant season with Peterborough. Toney also takes penalties.

Whilst the Bees have scored in every match bar one this term, I would lean towards the Under 2.5 Goals bet at 1.845/6 with the evidence of Fulham's lack of penetration against Ipswich in the second round.

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