Brentford vs Bournemouth Odds, Picks, Predictions | Premier League Preview
Tom Dulat/Getty. Pictured: Mark Flekken.
Brentford vs Bournemouth Odds
|AFC Bournemouth Odds||+375|
|Over / Under|
-138 / +110
Brentford look to stay unbeaten when they host Bournemouth at the Brentford Community Stadium.
The Bees almost came away with three points against Crystal Palace at home but conceded late to draw 1-1. Brentford are once again showing themselves to be a perennial top half of the table club even without Ivan Toney and the betting market agrees too.
Bournemouth are going through some growing pains with new manager Adoni Iraola, losing their last two matches to Liverpool and Tottenham. The Cherries were busy in the transfer market, bringing in loads of young talent and players to fit Irola’s system. It’s matches like these that will tell how well Bournemouth are progressing towards becoming a top half side.
Brentford are looking every bit as good as they were last season when they finished in ninth place and had a +6.8 xG differential. Through three matches they have already created 6.8 xG, but have only conceded 2.5.
The Bees are an absolute brute to play against because they now have tactical flexibility when playing against lower sides. Typically, Brenford will line up in a 3-5-2 and play very direct against some of the top teams in the Premier League, but when it’s clear they’re going to be the ones controlling most of the possession, they’ll bring off one of their center backs, bring on an attacker and play a 4-3-3.
They’ve had tremendous success in doing this dating back to last season when Brentford has played out of a 4-3-3.
Brentford are also a team that puts a big premium on set pieces and attacking in wide areas. They were No. 1 in the Premier League in xG per set piece last season and third in crosses completed into the penalty area. Bournemouth allowed the second-most crosses, so Brentford will have an advantage there.
Another reason why Brentford are so difficult to play against is because they don’t let transition opportunities happen and they’re an elite team at defending their low block. Last season they were No. 1 in the Premier League in final third to box entry conversion rate allowed, which translated to being a top 10 defensive team. It’s going to be difficult for Bournemouth to get high quality chances against them, especially on the road.
Things are changing at Bournemouth and their ceiling just got raised with the hiring of Andoni Iraola from Rayo Vallecano. What it means is an immediate switch in how Bournemouth play. Iraola wants his team to press with outrageous intensity to disrupt an opponent's build up play as opposed to the passive 4-5-1 low block that the Cherries played under Gary O’Neill.
In La Liga last season, Rayo Vallecano finished third in PPDA, forced the second-most high turnovers and had the most shots off of those forced high turnovers. So what he is going to come in and do is emphasize the best part of Bournemouth over the second half of last season, which was their ability to play in transition.
Yes, Bournemouth finished with the worst xG differential in the Premier League last season and a lot of that was due to the fact that they made no investments in the squad to begin the season. Then there was a change in ownership in the middle of the season and in the January transfer window Bournemouth spent big money bringing in attacking players Dango Ouattara from Lorient and Hamad Traore from Sassuolo, which really improved their attack.
From January 21st until the end of the season, Bournemouth only had a -0.47 npxGD per 90 minutes and did average 1.30 xG per 90 minutes, which I know doesn’t sound impressive, but give where they were at the beginning of the season, it’s a massive improvement.
While all of that is well and good, you are seeing some of the growing pains that happen when you go from primarily a low block team to a high pressing team. Liverpool figured out their high press in about 25 minutes and ripped them apart from that point on. Tottenham were able to build up against them with relative ease. It will get better as the season goes along, but right now Bournemouth are leaving a lot of open space for transition opportunities, which is a dangerous game to play against Brentford.
Brentford vs Bournemouth
Pick & Prediction
The Bees were a bottom half of the table team at playing through pressure last season, but they were also one of the most deadly transition attacks in the Premier League.
With how good Brentford are defensively in not allowing transition attacks to turn into high quality chances and also being an elite team at defending their penalty area, it’s going to be really difficult for Brentford to generate anything of quality here.
On the flip side, Bournemouth’s high press is going to create space in behind for Brentford to play in transition and get the ball in wide areas where they can swing in crosses against one of the worst defenses at defending crosses last season.
I have Brentford projected at -160, so I like the price on them at -134.