Bees and Clarets prepare for mammoth relegation clash at Brentford Community Stadium


Following a crucial win at relegation rivals Norwich, Thomas Frank’s Brentford side will face off with a Burnley side who are looking to claw their way out of the drop zone.

Brentford started the season as one of the league’s must see teams, engaging in some thrilling encounters and picking up some crucial wins in the process. However, 2022 did not start in a similar fashion, and the Bees went winless in eight Premier League games following their win over Aston Villa on 2nd January.

The once turgid Brentford defence went on to concede 22 goals across nine games in all competitions. Conceding at a rate of over two goals a game is always going to make winning football matches difficult, and as such The West Londonders have seen themselves slide down the Premier League table, and subsequently into trouble.

Burnley have proven themselves a reliable outfit in the English top flight, surviving season upon season with extremely limited resources. However, recent seasons have seen survival become more and more difficult by the season, with teams around them improving all the time.

Whilst the Clarets ended the 2020/2021 season 11 points clear of the drop zone, the start of the campaign saw them spend prolonged periods of time in the bottom three, and were it not for three teams below them all on under less than 30 points, there may have been some more concerned faces come the Spring of 2021.

This season, it was yet another slow start for Sean Dyche’s side, with an aging squad mixed with injuries resulting in some poor results. Furthermore, the departure of their star striker Chris Wood for Newcastle has certainly hit the Clarets for six. However, the acquisition of Wout Weghorst from VfL Wolfsburg has proven a prudent one, with the big Dutchman earning three goal contributions in his first eight games and proving a real presence up top.

Victories over Brighton & Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur as well as points against Manchester United and Crystal Palace have unquestionably breathed life back into Burnley’s season, but the Clarets still find themselves sat in the bottom three.

Whilst the Lancashire outfit have games in hand on Leeds United and their forthcoming opponents, there is no doubting amongst those with Claret & Blue at heart that Burnley are still very much in a predicament.

As such, it is not outrageous to state that this game is a classic ‘relegation six-pointer’.

Back in October, a rampant first half performance saw Burnley run out 3-1 in the reverse fixture at Turf Moor.

However, Brentford will be rejuvenated by a clinical victory at Carrow Road over Norwich City, in what was undoubtedly a must win encounter. That being said, recent form will still favour Burnley, who despite their two recent losses have claimed points in six of their previous nine league games.

Brentford will be without Josh DaSilva, who is still serving a suspension following his dubious red card against Newcastle United. Meanwhile, Tariq Fosu remains out with a thigh injury whilst long term absentee Julian Jeanvier remains on the sidelines.

The Bees could also be missing two key players as Kristoffer Ajer and Christian Norgaard are both questionable for tomorrow’s huge encounter.

On the other hand, Burnley will greatly miss the ever present Ben Mee, who will miss his second consecutive game without injury. Johann Gudmundsson, Erik Pieters and Matej Vydra. Dale Stephens is also likely to be absent from the squad.

In an encounter with so much riding on it, one would be forgiven for expecting a closely fought and cagy encounter. However, with both sides potentially missing key defensive players, this game could pose an opportunity for attacking threats such as Brentford’s Ivan Toney and Burnley’s Wout Weghorst to have their impact on the game.

Victory for Brentford would take them to 30 points, and 3/4 of the way to the magical 40 point safety mark. Meanwhile Burnley will seek a win that would momentarily haul them out of the relegation zone, as well as hauling them to within just three points of the Bees.


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