Brentford v Norwich: Bees look too good for sorry Norwich

Brentford manager Thomas Frank
Thomas Frank's Brentford are performing best of the promoted teams
  • Brentford vs Norwich City
  • Sat 6 Nov, 15:00

Andrew Atherley says Brentford have the attacking tools to dismantle the bottom side...

"It is encouraging that the Bees have created so many opportunities against high-level opposition and their attackers might well get an extra half-yard against Norwich's poorer defence."

Recommended Bet
Back Brentford off -1 on Asian handicap at 2.21

Chance to bounce back

Brentford have made a good start in the Premier League with 12 points from their first 10 games. That puts them in 12th place, part of the squeezed middle which stretches from Wolves in seventh to Leeds in 17th with just six points covering that group.

Thomas Frank's side are coming off a 3-1 defeat at Burnley, which was their worst result so far and something of a surprise given how competitive they have been against top teams like Liverpool (3-3 home draw), Chelsea (1-0 home defeat) and West Ham (2-1 away win).

This is an excellent chance to bounce back, although Frank will be looking for a better performance in defence after losing first-choice goalkeeper David Raya and centre-back Kristoffer Ajer to lengthy injuries.

Alvaro Fernandez will continue in goal behind a probable back three of Ethan Pinnock, Pontus Jansson and Mathias Jorgensen.

Bryan Mbeumo is likely to return in attack having sat out the Burnley match with a slight niggle.

Vitaly Janelt, a regular starter before picking up a thigh injury, is also ready again having come on as a second-half substitute at Burnley. Saman Ghoddos, who scored a consolation goal off the bench, is another option.

Right formula hard to find

Norwich, who as title winners in the Championship last season finished 10 points ahead of Brentford, are 10 points behind them already in the Premier League after a disastrous start.

With just two points on the board from a possible 30, Daniel Farke's side are eight points from safety and looking doomed to a quick return to the second tier. Norwich are 1.111/9 for relegation and 1.528/15 to finish rock bottom, as they did two seasons ago with just 21 points.


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Norwich City

  • W
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  • Liverpool 3 0 Brentford
  • Southampton 4 1 Brentford
  • Port Vale 1 4 Brentford
  • Brentford 2 1 Aston Villa
  • Brentford 0 1 Manchester City
  • Brighton and Hove Albion 2 0 Brentford
  • Norwich City 2 1 Everton
  • West Ham United 2 0 Norwich City
  • Charlton Athletic 0 1 Norwich City
  • Leicester City 0 0 Norwich City
  • Crystal Palace 3 0 Norwich City
  • Norwich City 0 5 Arsenal

Brentford vs Norwich City Saturday 06 November, 15:00

Full stats

Farke is still looking for the right formula and could stick with the 4-4-2 he used in last week's 2-1 home defeat against Leeds.

Centre-back Ben Gibson is available after missing the defeat to Leeds through suspension but fellow defenders Sam Byram and Christoph Zimmermann are still out.

Przemyslaw Placheta is a midfield option after making his first appearance of the season off the bench last weekend and it is possible Todd Cantwell could be fit enough to return after a six-week absence.

Bees can produce more

Before last week's heavy defeat at Burnley, Brentford's other three losses were all by a single goal and they came against Brighton, Chelsea and Leicester, who are all above them in the table.

Given that they have faced six top-half teams (and five of last season's top eight) in their opening 10 matches, it is possible for Brentford to push on in the next run of games and that could well start here.

The main criticism of Brentford would be that they have a poor conversion rate from chances created, having scored nil or one in six of their 10 games.

That is reflected in an expected league position of seventh on Infogol's ranking, which calculates the position a team 'deserves' to be in based on their performances.

It is encouraging that the Bees have created so many opportunities against high-level opposition (the most glaring example being their seven shots on target at home to Chelsea, who had only one but won 1-0) and their attackers might well get an extra half-yard against Norwich's poorer defence.

In a sign that Frank's side may well be capable of more, Opta point out that only Chelsea (15) and Man City (11) have had more different goalscorers in the Premier League than Brentford this season, with nine of the Bees' 12 goals coming from different players (excluding own goals)

Norwich were a better team than Brentford last season both in finishing position and the head-to-head results (a 1-0 home win and a 1-1 draw at Brentford) but they haven't adapted as well to the Premier League.

It was the same story in their previous top-flight season under Farke, whose tactical and personnel choices have to be questioned after taking the paltry total of 23 points from 48 games in two attempts at the Premier League.

Their only points this season were achieved with clean sheets (the goalless draws away to Burnley and home to Brighton) and they have conceded a league-high 25 goals in their other eight games.

Their attack is equally poor. The Canaries are goalless in five away games and even at home they have managed only three goals, losing on those occasions 2-1 twice (to Leicester and Leeds) and 3-1 to Watford.

It is difficult to build a case for Norwich given their figures in defence and attack, along with Brentford's chance creation rate, and a home win at 1.674/6 is a clear favourite.

To increase the odds, it is worth trying Brentford off -1 on the Asian handicap at 2.226/5, which is a successful bet if they win by two or more goals, with stakes returned if they win by one.

Home win to nil an option

Brentford's missed chances helps to explain why 60% of their matches have had under 2.5 goals, although the figures might be changing as four of their last five have had overs.

Norwich are higher in the goals standings (60% over 2.5 goals) but that is mainly through the efforts of their opponents.

All six of their matches with over 2.5 goals have come when the opposition has scored two or more (from seven times when that has happened).

With Norwich yet to score on the road, a Brentford win to nil at 2.427/5 is worth considering.

Opta Stat

Brentford have lost their last three league matches, their joint-worst losing run under Thomas Frank. They haven't lost four in a row since December 2016 in the Championship under Dean Smith. Norwich are 6.25/1 to extend that run with a surprise win.

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