The visit of Liverpool to the Community Stadium will provide Brentford's biggest test to date, and Alan Dudman can't see anything other than an away win...
"His press his excellent, and with 12 shots attempted this term and chances created (seven), this will be a good opportunity to test himself against the best."
Frank's fine start, and more to come
If ever there was a blueprint to be a successful, well-run club that operates in their means with a philosophy and a gameplan, then Brentford should be held as a shining example. Their position in the top flight of English football is thanks to a long-term plan, and a system they rigidly stick too. In the current climate of seeing the mess that Barcelona are in, and clubs in the Championship chasing the dream, Brentford owner Matthew Benham should be sought out for advice.
Look at Nottingham Forest. They have appointed a new manager every year since 2010, and none of them have lasted over 60 games. That sort of wild approach would be anathema to Benham, who is steadfast with Thomas Frank in their thinking.
Indeed, it was the owner who handed Frank a "positive thinking" book over the recent international break, although on the outside, the Dane is hardly downbeat, but he might need some of those positive vibes as their biggest ever test awaits in the shape of Liverpool, and their first appearance in the Premier League on Sky this Saturday teatime.
A 7-0 thrashing of Oldham in the midweek Carabao Cup is completely irrelevant, as is the 3-0 for Jurgen Klopp's kids against Norwich, and if Brighton provided Brentford with their toughest test of the season, the stakes are about to raised.
A price of 7.613/2 on the hosts is tempting in the Match Odds market with the start they have enjoyed. Few can forget the superb atmosphere in the opening 2-0 win against Arsenal, although with hindsight now, the Bees would be strong favourites.
They produced their best performance of the season against Wolves last weekend according to Frank, in a classic game of two halves. They dominated Wolves in the first 45 in terms of possession, but they had to defend as a pack and hold firm when down to 10-men following the red card of Shandon Baptiste. It also highlighted their strength of character following the last-minute to Brighton in their previous fixture.
The Dane wants more building from the back in their 3-5-2, but they deserve praise for how mature they have appeared.
The progress in west London is reflected in the Relegation prices at the moment on the Exchange. Fellow promoted side Norwich are 1.42/5 in that market. Established PL team Burnley are 2.26/5, yet the Bees are 6.05/1 to back.
Red juggernaut rolls on, but can we back at odds-on?
Thirteen points from five games and a place in the top three alongside Chelsea and Manchester United represents a superb start for Klopp's team. The only point dropped was the 1-1 against Chelsea and they are unbeaten in all competitions across the Champions League and Carabao Cup. The German has had to juggle a fairly chaotic fixture list with Saturday's trip to west London their sixth in the space of two weeks.
He'll welcome back Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino. Neco Williams is set to travel with the squad, although Naby Keita suffered an injury against Norwich on Wednesday and will be missing. James Milner has excelled in an attacking right-back role and recent heat maps show how Liverpool's sorties are majoring down that side.
I can understand the price at 1.511/2 for Liverpool to win, and the first reaction is to explore ways of boosting this. I personally don't like playing in the HT/FT with Liverpool/Liverpool, as I've come unstuck before with that way of thinking. Although Liverpool have scored in the first-half in every match so far this season.
The Draw/Liverpool makes some sense too at 4.77/2, as I can see Brentford keeping the opening exchanges tight and their gameplan of trying to dominate possession won't be easy.
If you like historical facts, Liverpool's last fixture against Saturday's opponent came in 1947, a year the Reds won the title and the Bees were relegated (never to return until this campaign), although placing faith in a 1.511/2 shot on a game 70 years ago is not the wisest.
Can Liverpool keep Toney quiet?
Ivan Toney earned the praise and man-of-the-match award last weekend with a superb performance against Wolves. Since the start of last season, Toney has scored 33 goals, which is more than any other player in the top four tiers of English football. His all-round game is excellent, and I remember his days at Peterborough in League One when he'd often defend from the front and had a tireless work-rate. With Newcastle's lack of goals, it's astonishing they allowed him to leave. Even more surprising was that he could barely get a game in the north east.
His press his excellent, and with 12 shots attempted this term and chances created (seven), this will be a good opportunity to test himself against the best.
We can expect a price around 2.35/4 in the To Score market on the Exchange, and it could actually shorten up given the build-up and hype. However, Liverpool are keeping clean sheets for fun with shut-outs in four of their five matches. If we can lay the striker about 2.111/10, especially as he's coming up against Virgil van Dijk, that's a far shorter price than we should expect.
And a lay doesn't mean I don't rate the player! I'd love to see him at West Ham.
We can head to the Sportsbook in search of boosting the 1.511/2 odds on a Liverpool win, and it's wise to include Mo Salah and Sadio Mane in any combination. Mane hit his 100th goal for the club last weekend against Crystal Palace - joining Kevin Keegan in the process. They should welcome another member to that club on Saturday as Salah is on 99 for the Reds and has five in six this season.
A Liverpool win and the Egyptian to Score At Anytime pays out 1.981/1 on the Betbuilder, or To Score Two More combined with the away win is a healthy 5.08 double.
Liverpool also have a habit of winning 0-3 on the road, with a trio against Norwich (twice), and Leeds. Backing the 0-3 is a generous 12.011/1, and gives the chance to trade out.
Get a £5 Free Bet on Multiples - Every Day!
Place £20 worth of Multiples or Bet Builders over the course of a day, and, after the bets have settled, you'll get a free £5 bet to use on Multiples or Bet Builders. Bets must settle before 23:59 on the day they're placed. No opt-in required, T&Cs apply
And don’t forget that Match Odds punters across all major European leagues will enjoy No Cash Out Suspensions on their bets this season. T&Cs apply.
Alan Dudman's P and L