Premier League Picks, Predictions | Brentford vs Crystal Palace Preview (Feb. 18)
Rhianna Chadwick/Getty. Pictured: Mathias Jensen.
Brentford vs Crystal Palace Odds
Crystal Palace Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+110 / -135)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-110 / -115)|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Red hot Brentford host a reeling Crystal Palace in a crucial match that could decide who finishes in the top half of the table.
Brentford are flying high out of the World Cup break, as they are unbeaten in the Premier League after their 1-1 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates last Saturday. The Bees are quickly moving up the table and are getting dangerously close to a European spot. So, this match is vital for their quest to potentially finish inside the top six.
Crystal Palace were able to get a draw with Brighton at home last weekend, but it was yet another lackluster performance from the Eagles. Crystal Palace have won just one match out of the World Cup break and are now only seven points above the relegation zone.
Brentford Peaking in Premier League
Two weeks ago, Brentford hosted Southampton and were -115 on the moneyline. They demolished them 3-0 created 2.2 xG and held Southampton to just 0.7 xG on 14 shots.
Brentford’s formation changes when they face lesser competition. If you look at their match against Southampton, it was a 4-3-3 where they bring off a center back as opposed to the 3-5-2, which eventually becomes a 5-3-2 low block against Arsenal.
The Bees have been awesome all season long if you look at what they’ve done against lesser competition. They have a +3.8 xGD against the bottom half the table. They also play incredibly well at the Brentford Community Stadium, where they have lost just one match all season long (vs. Arsenal) and have a +5.1 xGD in 11 matches.
Brentford are very reliant on set pieces, but they are incredibly efficient when they do get them. The Bees have the second-highest xG per set piece and are top six in percentage of aerial duals won, while Crystal Palace is 15th in xG allowed per set piece and 16th in percentage of aerial duals won.
Crystal Palace Need to Sort Out Problems
Since the World Cup break, Crystal Palace have created just 6.7 xG in eight matches. In their last match against Brighton they were throughly dominated at home, allowing 2.5 xG. It could have been more if Pervis Estupiñán’s goal in the first half hadn’t been wrongly ruled out by VAR.
Crystal Palace did create 1.3 xG in the match, but 0.82 of that came off a set piece where Robert Sanchez inexplicably dropped the ball around the six-yard box, allowing James Tompkins to tap it in.
For the season, they have been very poor in the final third, as Palace are only averaging 0.94 npxG per 90 minutes, have created just 13 big scoring chances.
Crystal Palace have also been really bad on the defensive end this season, allowing 1.46 npxG per 90 minutes, which is 13th in the Premier League. The Eagles are also 17th in big scoring chances allowed, 18th in box entries allowed and 19th in xThreat allowed. With that bad of a defense on top of the fact that they struggling to defend set pieces, it’s hard to see how they are competitive in this match.
Additionally, Crystal Palace are dealing with a lot of injuries in their defense as Joel Ward is out and Chris Richards and Joakim Anderson are both questionable.
Brentford vs. Crystal Palace Pick
We’re now looking at a situation where Brentford are at the exact same price as they were against Southampton two weeks ago and Southampton have a better xGD than Crystal Palace.
Brentford’s advantage on set pieces and their tactical flexibility against lesser competition should allow them to break down Crystal Palace’s below-average low block.
I have Brentford projected at -153, so I love the value on them at -115.
Pick: Brentford ML (-115)
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