Brentford’s Challenge Against Everton as Home Draws Pile Up
Brentford boss Thomas Frank remains optimistic despite his team’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Newcastle United last weekend. Frank believes his side did many things right, but the loss extended their somewhat sluggish start to the Premier League (PL) season, with just one win in their opening five fixtures, characterized by a series of draws (three). Home draws have become a recurring theme for the Bees, as they’ve accumulated ten draws at home since the start of the previous season, making them the team with the most home draws in the competition during this period.
Saturday’s defeat was compounded by the significant knee injury suffered by defender Rico Henry. It’s likely that Henry will be sidelined for the rest of the campaign, further complicating Brentford’s efforts to secure just their third clean sheet in their last 13 home matches. Nevertheless, their remarkable record of just one home PL defeat over the past 12 months underscores that such setbacks haven’t had a profound negative impact on their overall results (eight wins and nine draws).
Despite enduring off-field troubles, including a proposed takeover, Everton continues to struggle on the pitch. Their 1-0 loss at home to Arsenal on Sunday left them as one of four teams with one point or less this season after five matchdays. This start matches their joint-worst PL beginning since the 1994/95 season, raising concerns that this might be the season when the Toffees’ ambitions to avoid relegation come undone.
This concern is amplified if Brentford, heavily favored by many, adds to Everton’s woes. The historical record isn’t in Everton’s favor, as they have failed to secure a win against Brentford in the capital city since May 2021, with a dismal record of five draws and eight losses since.
Two players to keep a close eye on in this clash are Bryan Mbeumo and Dwight McNeil. Mbeumo has been prolific in front of Brentford’s home fans, scoring three goals in their last five home PL matches, two of which opened the scoring for his team. Everton fans will be pleased to see Dwight McNeil back in action, as he made his first start last week after recovering from injury. McNeil was Everton’s top PL scorer last season, finding the net seven times and even scoring the winner in their last head-to-head encounter.
In an interesting statistical note, Everton’s manager, Sean Dyche, has not won a PL match in August or September since 2019, with a record of four draws and ten losses during this period. This stat raises questions about Everton’s ability to start the season strongly under Dyche’s leadership.
As Brentford seeks to maintain their home dominance in terms of draws, Everton aims to turn their season around and avoid the relegation battle that looms if their struggles persist. This PL clash promises to be a captivating showdown between two teams with contrasting aspirations and records.