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Brentford (H) - Sun 12th Nov 2023 (2:00pm)


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Work-rate. Incisiveness. Nous.


I don't ask for much.


This is how it's gonna be. Build from the ground up.


The anagram at the top has been conspicuous by its absence over the past couple of games as lethargy, carelessness and a general bluntness to our play have crept in. Bar the stoppage time periods in these games, the second halves have been a very poor showing from our players. Not just the ones that have made mistakes, but also from the ones we have come to expect better from. A 2:00pm Sunday kick-off is something we've have to contend with the further we go in the Europa League.


Last season's game saw us dominate without really hitting our stride, winning it 1-0 thanks to Mo who bundle in from virtually on the goal-line after Virg headed a ball down across the six yard box to the unmarked Egyptian. Darwin and especially Cody had great chances to extend our advantage but miscued at the opportune moment to make the afternoon nervier than it need be.


Torben Frank's team are well-organised and physical. Not quite in a "defend the six yard box and hope to nick a goal off a set piece" way like a Sean Dyche side, but a stubborn challenge due to being a side that is tough to play against, is direct, and can be surprisingly skilful up front. Mbuemo has been the main man for them in the absence of Toney, who was pivotal to their attacking play.


For us, Macca will be serving a suspension after he accumulated his 5th yellow card of the season at Luton. Curtis is out with a 'minor' (Jurgen's word, not mine) hamstring issue. Robbo, Thiago and Baj are long-term absentees. Grav might be back after sitting out midweek due to a knee complaint. Jurgen has a good set of options, but he needs one or two or overcome their mini-slump and others to really step it up after looking off the pace this past week. The biggest poser is whether to use Joe at left back instead of Kostas. The former is doing pretty well at the moment and the latter is looking very poor. Joe's added pace and physicality is a good match-up against Mbuemo who likes to attack down the Brentford right, so that would be the obvious call. I hope we apply some attacking width properly too. Motivation, concentration, attitude and application need to be a country mile better than what we've seen this past week. 3 points heading into the international break please. Get it done!

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I'm not expecting much from this game, Brentford are a horrible side to play against. Very physical, very snidey, and with the players to make the most of our weaknesses.


If we play like we did against West Ham we have the quality to beat them, but we can't seem to be arsed playing football at the minute. I'm presuming Endo starts as the defensive midfielder. He has a lot to prove after that horror show last night so hopefully we see a good response from him. Jones will be out until the new year, Elliott is useless against teams like Brentford, so the rest of the midfield picks itself.


I'd go:





Van Dijk








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