Preview: Brentford vs. Crystal Palace – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Premier League clash between Brentford and Crystal Palace, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

A third consecutive London derby awaits Brentford in Saturday’s Premier League clash at the Gtech Community Stadium, where Crystal Palace will pay a visit in gameweek three.

The Bees put three unanswered goals past Fulham last weekend, while Palace’s Monday night affair with Arsenal ended in a 1-0 defeat.

Match preview

Brentford manager Thomas Frank before the match on August 13, 2023© Reuters

Many questions were asked about Brentford’s ability to continue their upward trajectory without Ivan Toney doing what he does best up front, but Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa have provided all of the answers so far, and Fulham were no match for the Bees’ superiority last week.

In similar fashion, the Cottagers were also adapting to life without a talismanic striker in the shape of Al-Hilal-bound Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Marco Silva could do with taking a leaf out of Thomas Frank‘s book, as Wissa’s first-half opener preceded Mbeumo’s calm penalty and late tap-in in a Craven Cottage romping.

With another two strikes to show from their opening draw versus Tottenham Hotspur, only eight-goal leaders Brighton & Hove Albion have netted more times than Brentford thus far in the 2023-24 Premier League season, and the Bees are sitting pretty in fourth place with 36 games to go.

Including the end of last season, Frank’s exciting crop have taken 13 of the last 15 Premier League points available to them and are aiming to score for the 15th top-flight home game on the bounce this weekend, further solidifying the Gtech’s status as a fortress.

Since the start of last season, only Arsenal and Newcastle United have beaten the Bees on their own patch in the top flight, although Frank also has a midweek EFL Cup showdown with Newport County to take into account ahead of the visit of the Eagles.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson before the match on July 19, 2023© Reuters

Not one team from the capital managed to get the better of Arsenal in the 2022-23 Premier League season, and the Gunners would draw first blood at Selhurst Park on Monday through Martin Odegaard‘s spot kick, although Palace huffed and puffed against Mikel Arteta‘s 10 men after a controversial red card for Takehiro Tomiyasu.

However, the tightly-packed Gunners backline proved impossible for Roy Hodgson‘s troops to penetrate, as Arsenal survived a nail-biting final 30 minutes to cling on for a one-goal success and bring Palace crashing straight back down to earth following their own 1-0 win at Sheffield United on the opening weekend.

Nevertheless, Hodgson can take satisfaction from the fact that Selhurst Park is evidently still a difficult place for visiting teams to come, and the Eagles travel to Brentford having only suffered defeat in two of their last six Premier League away matches, although the most recent of those beatings came away to a London rival in Tottenham Hotspur.

Furthermore, Brentford and Palace have truly defined the term evenly-matched since the Bees’ promotion to the big time, playing out a pair of 0-0 draws in 2021-22 before two 1-1 stalemates last season, but few may expect that pattern to continue with an entertaining four-goal draw here.

Brentford Premier League form:

Crystal Palace Premier League form:

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Team News

Ben Mee in action for Brentford on August 7, 2022© Reuters

The banned Toney is one of three names on Frank’s injury and suspension list at present, as Ben Mee failed to recover from his calf issue in time for their three-goal Fulham win, while Josh Dasilva was taken off in the dying moments with a hamstring concern.

Dasilva is unlikely to recover in time for Saturday’s affair, but there is more optimism surrounding the fitness of Mee, who Frank should provide an update on when he faces the media ahead of the derby.

The Bees switched to a four-man backline for the trip to Fulham, allowing Kevin Schade to join the red-hot Wissa and Mbeumo up front, and Frank may see little reason to change a winning team even if Mee is given the green light to return.

As for Palace, no fresh concerns have arisen from their loss to Arsenal, but the Eagles certainly missed the presence of Michael Olise, who is expected to be sidelined for another few weeks due to the thigh injury he picked up while playing for France’s Under-21s.

Fellow attacker Matheus Franca is also yet to be seen in Palace colours due to his lower back issue, while Will Hughes could also stay in the treatment room until the middle of September owing to the knee injury he sustained in pre-season.

Amid talk of a possible swoop for Manchester United’s Dean Henderson, current Eagles number one Sam Johnstone gave away the decisive penalty in Monday’s loss to Arsenal, but the ex-West Bromwich Albion man will act as the last line of defence once again here.

Brentford possible starting lineup:
Flekken; Hickey, Collins, Pinnock, Henry; Norgaard, Janelt, Jensen; Mbeumo, Wissa, Schade

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Johnstone; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Lerma, Doucoure; Ayew, Eze, Schlupp; Edouard

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We say: Brentford 2-0 Crystal Palace

Brentford and Crystal Palace may have shown an affinity for draws against one another in the past two seasons, but the Bees rightly enter Saturday’s game with the favourites tag and should snap that streak of stalemates in convincing fashion.

A clinical edge remains an issue for this Wilfried Zaha and Olise-less Palace crop, who should fall short at the Gtech as the Bees prolong their positive start to the campaign.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

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