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Brentford vs Everton: Preview | Premier League 2021/22

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Gameweek 13 of the 2021/22 Premier League season will bring us a few intriguing fixtures, and one of them is Brentford vs Everton. The newly-promoted side takes on the Merseyside Blues, as both teams come into Sunday’s fixture, desperate for a win.

Brentford had a bright start for their first-ever Premier League campaign, as the Bees put out a solid performance on opening day to defeat Arsenal and send a warning to the rest of the league. However, they did not look the same after that, as they failed to get a win for the next three games. With this being their first-ever campaign, some would say the Bees have done a fairly decent job, being 14th in the table. However, not many would disagree that their recent form has been a cause of concern for all supporters and the club as well. The West London club have been winless since the first week of October, and have been able to earn just one point from the last 5 games. Shock defeats to Burnley and Norwich was followed by a six-goal thriller against Newcastle United last week. The Bees were unlucky to have come away with just a point from St. James’ Park, after taking the lead twice in what was a hugely captivating game.

Everton, like Brentford, had a brilliant start to the new season, under new manager Rafa Benitez, winning 3 of their first 4 games. Their form took a nosedive after that, winning just one of the last 8 games. The Toffees have picked up just two points from the last 18 available, and Benitez has come under severe pressure as a result. Unless the Spaniard can inspire his team and improve their form, his position at the club will come under fire and he will certainly be wary of the fact. Everton were thoroughly beaten by Man City last time out, when the defending champions ran out 3-0 winners at the Etihad, a game in which they completely dominated the Toffees. That result left Everton in 11th position in the table, eight points behind 4th placed West Ham United.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Date: Sunday, 28th November 2021.
Time: 2.00 pm BST.
Venue: Brentford Community Stadium, Brentford, London.

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Darren England.
Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Peter Kirkup.
Fourth official: John Brooks.
VAR: Jonathan Moss.
Assistant VAR: Marc Perry

TEAM NEWS

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Brentford manager Thomas Frank will be without first-choice goalkeeper David Raya again on Sunday, with the Spaniard shot-stopper missing the last 4 games with a knee injury. Long-term absentee Josh Dasilva is also ruled out, with his return still a long way away. Defenders Kristoffer Ajer and Julian Jeanvier have also been ruled out against Everton by Frank. Fellow defender Mathias Jorgensen is a huge doubt for the game and is unlikely to be selected in the matchday squad. The manager confirmed in his press conference that forward Yoanne Wissa will make the bench on Sunday, but it remains to see if he will get any minutes.

Everton will be missing their main striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, with the Englishman still recovering from his quadriceps injury suffered back in August. There is a host of stars missing for Everton, with Tom Davies and Andre Gomes missing out with injuries, while Richarlison and Mason Holgate are unavailable due to suspension. Abdoualye Doucoure returned to full training and could be in line to feature against the Bees. However, Demarai Gray is a doubt after sustaining a groin injury against Man City last week.

MATCH ANALYSIS

CAN BRENTFORD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERTON’S INJURY WOES?

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Brentford and Everton face each other on Sunday, for the first-ever since 1954, and there is a hint of excitement as to how the game will pan out. It is no secret that both teams have been starved of league success this season and their forms have been pretty similar over the last few games. Both the teams are hungry for three points and to break this winless run. All this makes up for what is expected to be a very open and free-flowing game on Sunday.

Although the Bees have been astonishingly poor at home, with four losses and a draw in six games played there, they might stand a chance of improving that record this weekend. Everton are a severely weakened team as of now, with plenty of players missing from their squad. Both of their first-choice strikers in Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are ruled out from the game, which has depleted their attacking department. With Tom Davies, Andre Gomes and Demarai Gray set to miss out, and Doucoure just returning to fitness, it seems very difficult for the Toffees to win the midfield battle against a Brentford team that likes to play with huge numbers in the middle of the park. The Bees dominating the midfield could give them the upper hand against Everton, and that may give them a greater opportunity of finally getting the long-awaited three points.

However, Everton still have enough quality in the squad to put up a fight, and with a seasoned tactician at the helm, it could be a very tricky game for Brentford. Although the odds are with the hosts, the Toffees are not a light opposition and will make it difficult for the Bees.

MUST READ: How fullbacks are changing the Premier League: A breakdown!

KEY PLAYERS

Ivan Toney

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The Northampton-born striker had a brilliant season in the Championship last season, as his 32 goals and 10 assists propelled Brentford to the Premier League for the first time ever in their history. He raised many eyebrows with his performances, and he was linked with a few big clubs in the summer as a result of his clinical performances. He is still adjusting to life in the Premier League, having scored just 3 goals so far. However, he has been very crucial to Brentford’s style of play and their attacking play. Even though he has not scored many goals, he has been a thorn to the opposition defenders often dropping deep to hold up the ball and bring others into play. He will be hoping to build on yet another positive outing against Newcastle United last time out.

Andros Townsend

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The Englishman was signed in the summer to boost their attacking options and give Everton some quality and experience in the final third. So far, the free signing has proved to be a good deal, with Townsend proving to be a crucial part of the team. His passing ability and long-range shooting is lethal weapon to have in the armory, and he has proved that on a few occasions. He has quickly become a very instrumental piece in the Everton attack and has been named in the starting lineup in every game bar one. With untimely injuries in the team, he has been forced to play in different positions every game, but has adapted quite well to each position. With both the main strikers out and Demarai Gray also unlikely to play, it seems Townsend will have to fill in for either of them, and it remains to see how the 30-year-old fares against what is a tough opposition.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Brentford predicted lineup: Alvaro Fernandez; Mads Rasmussen, Pontus Jansson, Ethan Pinnock; Sergi Canos, Vitaly Janelt, Christian Norgaard, Mathias Jensen, Rico Henry; Ivan Toney, Bryan Mbeumo.

Everton predicted lineup: Jordan Pickford; Seamus Coleman, Ben Godfrey, Michael Keane, Lucas Digne; Anthony Gordon, Allan, Fabian Delph, Alex Iwobi; Andros Townsend; Salomon Rondon.

         












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Premier LEague

Burnley vs Watford: Match Preview

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Burnley will be back in Premier League action for the first time since January 2, hosting Watford at the Turf Moor on Tuesday, January 18.

Just like Burnley, Watford are also struggling upon their return to the Premier League, as they find themselves without a win in their last eight matches across all competitions.

The Hornets held Newcastle to a 1-1 draw over the weekend  Joao Pedro scored late in the game to salvage a point for Claudio Ranieri’s men.

Burnley are rocked-bottom of the league table after taking just 11 points from their opening 17 games in the top-flight. Sean Dyche’s side has won just one game all season, coming against Brentford back in October.

Since then, the Clarets have struggled to find a good run of form as they only managed four draws since that win over Brentford.

A game against Watford could be the opportunity Burnley so much need to pick up their best run of form with interesting fixtures lined up for them.

After the game against Watford, the Clarets face Norwich City, West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion in their next three games.

Watford’s draw over the weekend means they are just a point above the relegation zone and Ranieri would have a lot of work to do if he does not sort out the challenges in his team.

WHERE AND WHEN?

Venue: Turf Moor
Date: Tuesday, January 18
Time: 19:30 GMT

TEAM NEWS

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If Burnley are struggling, it’s quite understandable as Dyche’s team have had some notable injury concerns. Going into the game against Watford, the team could be without Johann Gudmundsson, Nathan Collins, Dwight McNeil, Charlie Taylor, Erik Pieters, Connor Roberts and Matej Vydra. Maxwel Cornet’s absence is due to the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations while Ashley Barnes will also sit out.

Watford on the other hand also have injury concerns in their team. Kwadwo Baah and Ismaila Sarr are out due to injuries while the AFCON has taken the attention of William Troost-Ekong, Adam Masina and Imran Louza.

MATCH ANALYSIS

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Burnley may have won their last three games against Watford across all competitions with the Hornets winning only one (one draw as well), but Tuesday night’s fixture is far from the past games we have seen. Both teams seem to be struggling but Watford have fared better as compared to the Clarets.

Watford have failed to score a goal in the last three games against Burnley but that could be about ending following the likely involvements of Joshua King and Emmanuel Dennis with Pedro supporting them in the attack. The trio have been directly involved in 24 league goals already this campaign and have been the driving force for Watford. Pedro was in sight against Newcastle but the game against Burnley will need all three firing if Ranieri’s side are to walk away with the maximum points.

Burnley losing Chris Wood is a huge blow but it would now be the turn of the defence to help the team considering the departure of a key goalscorer for the rest of the season until a replacement can be brought into the team in time.

POSSIBLE STARTING XIs

Burnley: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; McNeil, Westwood, Cork, Gudmundsson; Rodriguez, Lennon

Watford: Foster; Femenia, Cathcart, Samir, Kamara; Sissoko, Kayembe, Kucka; Dennis, King, Pedro

MATCH PREDICTION

Burnley 1-2 Watford












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Aston Villa January Transfer Window 2022: Analysis

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Aston Villa fans are getting their hopes high for all the right reasons, it seems. As the new Villa manager, Steven Gerrard, has gone all guns blazing in the winter transfer window so far.

The Liverpool Legend is slowly making his way back into the Premier League. This time as a manager of an out of confidence Villa side. The early days have not been that telling for Gerrard though. But for sure it is looking a development in progress from Villa’s perspective. The Claret and Blue faithful are pretty much accepting the style of play that their new manager has brought with him.

Although, all of the developments were ongoing. Gerrard was still looking to add some fresh new faces to his squad through this transfer window. And so far as it turns out it has been a saving grace for the Lions. And the Villa fans could be hopeful for some more signings as the team looks to get back on track.

Coutinho returns to the PL

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In the blink of an eye it happened, and it is the dream duo back together! Coutinho and Gerrard reunite, but this time for a new outfit. Gerrard has made his intentions clear, after signing Coutinho on loan from Barca till the end of the season. The deal saw the Villa fans, as well as the Liverpool faithful around the globe appreciate the move. Although, it had been 4 years since the little magician left Premier League for Spain.

Aston Villa faced Manchester United in the Match day 22 of the Premier League. It is the 68th minute, Villa are 2 goals down and you can see some of the fans already leaving the Villa Park. On comes the Brazilian from the bench to mark his return in front of thousands of Villa fans, hoping for a masterclass from their main winter signing. What happened next is just football at its most beautiful.

But you just knew it had to be him. Coutinho returns the backing by an equivalent player of the match performance. Scoring and assisting upon his return to the English top tier football, and that too against Manchester United. You just cannot write such scripts.

If this return is anything to go by, then this is surely the beginning of something very major being about to happen at Villa Park. The Claret and Blue could be in for a treat if the Brazilian performs consistently throughout the rest of the season.

MUST READ: How will Coutinho fit in at Aston Villa

Digne, the answer to defensive woes?

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Digne in French means ‘worthy’. Lucas Digne was surely worthy of being handed his debut, just after getting transferred here to Villa Park. The Frenchman made the most out of the runout, and did not fail to impress his new gaffer. Steven Gerrard could take a big sigh of relief by his sudden signing, in this creative left back from the rivals at Merseyside. As per the recent changes are concerned, the signing of the French full back just increases the competition in the squad. Matt Targett’s position has come under an obvious threat, by the addition of the in-form Digne.

But at the same time it just ensures a healthy competition in the squad for the place in the playing XI. As a manager you want your players to give their best, game in game out. But you also need to make some strong changes to just let them know that their place in the squad is not invincible, even though they have not been performing up to the billing.  Luckily for the Villa fans the Frenchman comes in buffed with experience and a lot of skill-set to offer. Gerrard’s system requires a strong a flank play. That Villa were missing. Now with the addition of Lucas Digne, it looks all sorted. But we will still have to wait and see how this deal turns out in the long term.

In hindsight the transfer market for The Lions  have surely been eventful. Although, they will be watched keenly over the coming months, as to how things are shaping up. But given a good balance, and some terrific new signings, Villa could be a side to beat as we come to the business end of the Premier League season.












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Burkina Faso vs Ethiopia: Match Preview

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Burkina Faso were gifted a lifeline to stand a chance of qualifying from Group A after beating Cape Verde in their second group game in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.

The Stallions will now face Ethiopia in the last group game on Monday, January 17 as they looked to cement their place in the knockout stages.

Hassane Bande was the match-winner in the game against the Blue Sharks as Burkina Faso recorded a 1-0 win to earn their first three points.

Ethiopia’s tournament seems all over following a demolishing defeat to host nation, Cameroon in their last game. The Walyas were on the receiving end of the first four-goal scored in the competition as braces from Karl Toko Ekambi and Vincent Aboubakar ensured a 4-1 victory for the Indomitable Lions.

The last group game is crucial for Burkina Faso considering they are levelled on points with Cape Verde, who face Cameroon in their last game.

WHERE AND WHEN?

Venue: Kouekong Stadium.
Date: Monday, January 17.
Time: 16:00 GMT.

TEAM NEWS

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Burkina Faso have a number of injuries to worry about ahead of the important clash against Ethiopia. Captain, Bertrand Traore is yet to recover from testing positive for coronavirus. He missed the win over Cape Verde last week and will see out this game as well. Dango Ouattara, Saidou Simpore and Soumaila Simpore are doubtful for the game but their presence has not been ruled out.
Bande, who came in and scored as the replacement for Traore should keep his place in the team for the game against Wubetu Abate’s side.

The one-time  AFCON champions have no injury concerns for the upcoming game while Yared Baye, who received a red card in the opening game is set to return to the team after serving his game ban. With no chance left, Abate will look to give opportunities to some players who are yet to receive any appearance in the competition.

PRE-MATCH ANALYSIS

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Burkina Faso stands out as favourites in this game but they will have a lot to do to get past Ethiopia with ease. A tactically disciplined side, Ethiopia’s lack of goals has been due to their failure to take their created chances. Abate’s side have put on a good show in their opening two games, creating openings and clear cut opportunities but failing to take them.

Burkina Faso were clinical with their only big chance against Cape Verde, and if that feat will be followed, they could be gaining six points from three games. Traore’s absence may be a worry, but it should Kamou Malo’s team the needed confidence to play collectively on the attack.

PREMIER LEAGUE PLAYER FEATURE

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Aston Villa may not be missing Bertrand Traore after all following their return to Premier League action saw them record a dramatic 2-2 draw with Manchester United. However, on the path of the player, he may not be having a spot tournament. The 26-year-old has just one appearance and will miss the third group game due to testing positive for covid. With regards to goal contribution, Traore has just one assist and a knockout qualification could see him return to action.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Burkina Faso: Koffi; E.Tapsoba, Yago, Dayo, Kabore; Toure, Guira, Sangare; A.Tapsoba, Bayala, Bande.

Ethiopia: Shanko; Yusef, Tamene, Debebe, Hamid; Yohannes, Alemu, Dagnachew; Nesir, Hotessa, Gebremichael.

MATCH PREDICTION

Burkina Faso 2-0 Ethiopia












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