English Premier League

Brentford v Man City: Count on De Bruyne to star in a City win

Man City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne
Mike fancies Kevin De Bruyne to play a pivotal role against Brentford

Brentford host Manchester City in the Monday Night Football and Mike Norman strongly fancies an away win with the now fully-fit Kevin De Bruyne playing a starring role...

Brentford v Manchester City
Monday, 20:00
Live on Sky Sports

Contrasting fortunes for Bees and Ctiy

These are worrying times for Brentford. Just a few months ago they were sat comfortably in mid table, but a run of eight defeats in 10 Premier League games has seen the Bees drop to 15th, just three points above the drop zone.

They haven't been helped by a long injury list that still includes Rico Henry, Aaron Hickey, Kevin Schade and Bryan Mbeumo, while Ivan Toney missed the first half of the season due to suspension.

And they'll also be without Yoane Wissa, Frank Onyeka and Saman Ghoddos for the visit of Manchester City on Monday night due to internationa duty.

Toney's return is a huge plus however, and with the striker scoring two goals in his two games to date Thomas Frank will be hoping his star man can stay fit and shoot his side to safety.

Matters couldn't be more contrasting at Manchester City. The team is in flying form with eight straight wins in all competitions, and Pep Guardiola literally has a fully fit squad at his disposal.

City don't have a single player away on international duty, Kevin de Bruyne has returned to the team in scintillating form, and in the midweek win over Burnley Erling Haaland ended his own injury absence with a second half substitution appearance.

Impossible to oppose an away win

You won't be surprised to learn that Man City are the odds-on favourites at 4/111.36 in the Match Odds market, and while that is never a price I'd put up on its own as a bet, I have to be honest and say that price looks pretty generous to me.

Considering that City have been as short as 1/16 this season - admittedly at home to Sheffield United - I was expecting to see them at around the 1/41.25 mark here given their form, squad status and that Brentford are very much out of form with lots of players missing.

Match Preview

Brentford - Man City
  1. L
  2. W
  3. D
  4. L
  5. W
  6. W
Man City
  1. W
  2. W
  3. W
  4. W
  5. W
  6. W
Full Stats Powered by Opta

True, Brentford amazingly did the double over Man City last season, but their 1-0 victory in this corresponding fixture was largely helped by having an almost full strength starting XI while City fielded a much-changed side, with the likes of De Bruyne, Haaland, Rodri, Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish not playing a single minute of the game with City having already won the title.

You can back Brentford at 13/27.50 for a repeat victory on Monday night (the Draw can be backed at 4/15.00) but I'll be all over the Ma City win in a Bet Builder.

De Bruyne to play a starring role

I was a bit surprised at how long it took for De Bruyne to return to full fitness given that videos of him training were leaked around six weeks ago, and I was even more surprised that Guardiola waited until last week to give him his first start since returning from injury.

But that's why the only success I'll ever have as a football manager is on my laptop. It appears that the Man City boss has used KDB perfectly, and he's now reaping the rewards of waiting until he was fully fit and 100% match-ready.

De Bruyne has been quite brilliant since his return. In his three substitute appearances and one full start - approximately 150 minutes of action - he has four goal involvements to his name (three assists, one goal).

He's just 10/111.91 to register an assist on Monday night, but by his own admission he gets more enjoyment from assisting goals than he does scoring them, and in a game where I can easily see City scoring at least three goals I fancy De Bruyne strongly to get another assist.

It's nto the biggest Bet Builder price in the world, but at just shy of 2/13.00, Man City winning the game, a KDB assist, and Over 2.5 Goals will be my only bet.

Back Man City Win, De Bruyne to Assist & Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.9215/8

Bet now

City do tend to concede

If you want to get involved in a bigger-price Bet Builder for your Monday night enjoyment then a chink in Man City's armor can be found just by looking at how many times they concede in games.

They have now conceded at least once in 10 of their last 11 Premier League games, and in all of their last five away games. In fact, they have fallen behind in their last three league away games before coming back to win the game.

And with Toney back and immediately among the goals, then it's not too difficult to envisage Brentford breaching City's backline again.

So backing both teams to score is an obvious candidate to include (though we can do that by including Toney to score), but I just have a hunch that City will win this game easily, so if Brentford do score then there's a big chance that we'll witness at least four goals.

The below Bet Builder pays out at around 10/111.00 and will give you a good run for your money if the game pans out how I expect it to.

Man City to Win, De Bruyne to Score or Assist, Toney to Score and Over 3.5 Goals @ 10/111.00

Bet now

Now read more Premier League previess and tips here.

Recommended bets

Mike's 2023/24 Profit/Loss

Staked: 30 pts
Returned: 15.8p ts
P/L: -14.2 pts

*Base on 2 pts win main bet (first listed or only bet), 1 pt win all other bets

New Customers can get £40 in free bets!

Available to new customers only. Place a £10 bet on the Betfair Sportsbook and you will receive £40 in free bets to use on Bet Builders and Accas! Opt-in here and T&cs apply.

Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.