Brentford Season Preview | Premier League Analysis & Betting Pick
Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images. Pictured: Yoane Wissa.
Welcome to Action Network's Premier League team previews, where our soccer experts will break down each and every Premier League team ahead of the season, which starts on August 11. It's time to evaluate Bournemouth.
Premier League Season Preview – Brentford
The Bees have taken the Premier League by storm achieving a top half finish last season that they deserved every bit of. Brentford are an analytically run club and may be the best in the Premier League in that aspect. They haven't really lost anybody significant in the transfer market so all signs point to another great season for the Bees.
Brentford are a different type of club than the rest of the middle tier of the Premier League. The Bees are built on being solid in their low block, being effective in transitional opportunities and being one of the best set piece teams in the Premier League.
Last season, when Brentford were out of possession defending in their own final third, they allowed the second-lowest final third to penalty box conversion rate, highlighting how good they are defending in and around the 18-yard box. Brentford finished the season averaging 1.56 xG per 90 minutes. That was better than Tottenham, Chelsea and Aston Villa. They also did it while only holding an average of 43.3% possession. Since the Bees don’t hold a lot of possession, they put a massive emphasis on set pieces and it’s done wonders for them as they had the best xG per set piece mark in the Premier League and also scored the most goals off of set pieces.
Been watching some set piece routines over the past few days and really enjoyed this one from Newcastle against Brentford earlier in the season pic.twitter.com/2gfwNBIyKU
— Mohamed (@MoeSquare) January 20, 2023
The problem for Brentford heading into the season is their world class striker Ivan Toney – who bagged 20 goals last season – is suspended for most of the campaign. He is massive to them offensively because of his elite finishing and ability to play in the air. He will be replaced by Kevin Schade, and this is going to be a huge season for Schade after coming over in the January transfer window from Freiburg.
Schade's best ability is his aerial presence. With Brenford last season he was winning 4.42 aerial duals per 90 minutes on average. That’s in the 99th percentile among Europe’s top five leagues for strikers.
Brentford have established themselves as the 10th-best team in the Premier League, but the market doesn't really suggest that.
One of the better prices out there is another fade of West Ham, who somehow are more highly rated than the Bees, despite Brentford being better in every single underlying metric. So, I love the price on Brentford to finish above West Ham.
Pick: Brentford to finish above West Ham (+150 via bet365)