The man that a section of Villa fans would like to take over from Steve Bruce brings his high flying, young and exciting Brentford side to Villa Park for a midweek clash that has the potential to be a classy game but that will be dependent if Villa can match the intensity Brentford will bring. The SBK app is offering decent odds on a score-draw this evening.
Brentford are currently sitting one place above Aston Villa in the table on goal difference in 5th place after picking up two wins and a draw in there opening three league games.
Brentford opened the season with a 5-1 thumping of Championship new-boys Rotherham and followed that up the following weekend with a respectable 1-1 draw at the Bet365 Stadium against title winning favourites Stoke. In the League Cup, The Bees put League One Southend United to the sword in a 4-2 away win. Dean Smith’s men then hosted Sheffield Wednesday who they swept away with a 2-0 win.
The biggest threat that Brentford will pose is the attacking duo of Ollie Watkins and Neil Maupay. The two top the goalscoring charts for the Bee’s on three goals apiece while the latter also tops the assist charts, again with three.
Brentford takes the third most shots at 15 shots per game compared to Villa who takes 12 with 8 of them being on target proving just how clinical they are. This shows that with Brentford being the highest scorers in the division of the teams who have played three games. The Bees like to get forward and pepper the goal so it could be a serious test for Orjan Nyland who hasn’t had the greatest of starts to his Aston Villa career.
At the other end of the field, Brentford has conceded the equal fewest goals with just two making there way past goalkeeper David Bentley. Dean Smith’s defenders aren’t just good at keeping the ball out the back of the net, they are very good ballplayers as well.
New signing Ezri Konsa, will keep Villa on their toes after his impressive start to the season. The England U21 centre-back boasts an impressive 89.9% pass accuracy. His partner Chris Mepham, isn’t too bad on the ball either with his 88.1% pass accuracy.
The Big Match
Currently, Jack Grealish is the most fouled player in the league getting fouled an average of 5.7 times per game. However, Aston Villa has played three relatively poor sides where the defence wasn’t at the highest standard and Villa had a lot of the ball with Grealish being allowed to carry the ball. It’ll be interesting to see the treatment that Grealish gets against a side more competent at defending that will allow him to see less time on the ball. As well as this, Brentford, along with Swansea have the best disciplinary record in the league picking up just one yellow card in there three matches.
Grealish along with John McGinn will be key for Aston Villa to break down the Brentford defence. Grealish makes an impressive 3.7 key passes per game, the equal most in the division, as well as the same number of dribbles. Villa’s new Scottish midfield workhorse, McGinn isn’t far behind with 3 dribbles and 3 key passes per game on average. These to midfield dynamos are key to Villa completing the second most dribbles in the league with 11.3 per game just behind Blackburn.
Brentford is notoriously a very good passing side that plays attacking attractive football. This has been no different this campaign with Brentford have the best pass accuracy in the division with 81% of there passes reaching their intended target. Due to their passing ability, Brentford plays at a high pace which means it may be a good opportunity for Bruce to move the younger Axel Tuanzebe to centre back to deal with that rather than Mile Jedinak.
This is enabled by Brentford’s excellent ball retention abilities. The Bee’s have had 4th most possession in the league with 56.6% of the ball compared to Villa’s 52.7%. When they are on the ball, Brentford like to keep it on the ground. The London side wins the least aerial duels per game in the division at just 17.3 compared to Villa who wins the 10th most, winning 31.7 per game.
Villa has the ability to match Brentford in this style of play if Bruce’s tactics permit them to do so and everyone is playing to the best of their ability. If this is the case, expect a very fluid and exciting game of football!
Scott Hogan, Keinan Davis and Callum O’Hare will remain unavailable following injuries. Davis’ injury doesn’t seem to be getting better while both Hogan and O’Hare are back in training.
There are rumours that Hogan could be loaned to Sheffield United also.
Brentford look set to travel to Villa Park missing Rico Henry and midfielder Emiliano Marcondes. Ryan Woods will also be looking to work his way back into the side after his proposed move to Swansea fell through.