Premier League Promotion – Looking At Brentford’s Chances

Following Brentford Football Club has been a rollercoaster ever since Matthew Benham bought The Bees back in 2012.

His exotic job title – the millionaire owner is a professional gambler – made him a firm favourite with the media, and Brentford received plenty of column inches as a result.

However, the main man is also a shrewd investor, implementing the Moneyball system seen in baseball (Source – The Guardian) to great effect. It was all looking rosy, particularly as the London-based outfit were on course for automatic promotion this season.

However, the team has hit a bump in the road, leading fans and pundits to question whether they have blown their chance. 

An Imperfect Storm 

At this delicate stage of the season, the clubs pushing for promotion hope they can peak at the ideal time to propel their chances of either securing automatic promotion or landing in the playoffs. Sadly, for Brentford, they are going the other way as a run of bad form has seen them draw three very winnable games before finally ending their poor run with win over Preston North End

With a run-in that includes rivals Cardiff City, Bournemouth and Watford, there could be more trouble on the horizon as the fixture list hasn’t been good to them. It gets worse for The Bees since their top players are attracting interest from Premier League outfits such as Southampton (Via The Standard). 

The recent poor results will have panicked fans. The Championship betting makes them 66/1 to win the league outright. This suggests that the team’s main avenue is via the dreaded play-offs, a tournament where anything can happen. 

Bad Memories 

Speaking of The Championship play-offs, Brentford doesn’t have positive memories of the competition. The last time they played was in 2020 when they were thirty minutes away (BBC Match Report) from a penalty shootout. Unfortunately for them, Fulham struck twice to land the most lucrative knockout tournament in world football. 

Being only last year, the scars are still bound to be raw for everyone involved. It’s not often you get the opportunity to play in the Promised Land, only for the dream to fade away in front of your eyes. This Brentford squad has experienced the feeling and will need plenty of resolve to make it all the way to the final. 

Considering the side were nailed on to avoid the round-robin a few weeks ago, it will only make the post-season more challenging. 

New Players 

One thing they do have in their favour is the arrival of new players. Ollie Watkins left for Aston Villa, leaving a massive hole in the forward line. Thankfully for Brentford FC, Ivan Toney has done it with aplomb. 

With twenty-nine goals in thirty-seven games, the striker is a deadly finisher who will give The Bees the type of threat that most teams in The Championship would kill for. The fact Toney has ten assists – joint third on the list (Stats Via WhoScored)– makes him even more valuable as he’s a clinical goalscorer who can also provide. Holding the league’s current top goalscorer mantle, Bees boss Thomas Frank will be hoping he remains fit for the remainder of the campaign. 

They might not win the league outright, yet Brentford still have the safety net of the playoffs on which to fall back. But that’s still a very nervy way to earn that final Premier League spot.

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