The unbeaten run to the season is over! A frustrating loss away to Blackburn Rovers sees the run come to an end as the Bees struggled to make their chances and possession count. Blackburn knew the Brentford game plan and countered it effectively, with their one shot on target being enough. Perhaps this is the sign of more frustration to come with Neal Maupay still out and a tough test coming to Griffin Park on Saturday.
Firstly though, we had the matter of Cheltenham in the Carabao Cup to contend with, which again provided some frustration in front of goal. Brentford ran out 1-0 winners thanks to a Julian Jeanvier tap in after a goal mouth scramble. That makes it two in two cup games for the centre-back as he looks to push for a league starting spot.
Though Cheltenham were very limited in terms of chances, Brentford failed to really punish the opposition and make their 27 shots amount to more than the solitary goal. Marcus Forss, though promising, has yet to net since being given the starting striker role which will be of concern to Dean Smith and many Bees fans.
All of this comes before a stern test in Nottingham Forest as they head to Griffin Park this Saturday (15:00 GMT). Forest have had a rather frustrating start to the season, with five draws coming in their opening seven matches (including Cup games).
That being said, they are a team that pose a significant attacking threat, as Newcastle found out on Wednesday night when Forest eventually put them to the sword and won the cup tie 3-1.
Signings such as Costel Pantilimon, Joao Carvalho and Lewis Grabban had many believing Forest would be real contenders for promotion this season, but they’re yet to really get going which will certainly give Aitor Karanka something to think about before the weekend.
However, before the weekend there is the small matter of the loan window closing, with plenty of rumours flying around as to who Brentford may sign. The departure of Ryan Woods to Stoke City last Saturday (on loan but they will buy in January for around £7 million) did not come as a surprise, though the destination seems a bizarre one looking at the current form of the teams, but money talks.
Brentford have signed Josh Da Silva as a likely replacement after the defensive midfielder turned down a contract with Arsenal (his former club) in the summer. He’s played for Arsenal U-23’s and was also part of the England U-19 squad who won the European Championship last summer.
Rumours also circulate (once more) around Crystal Palace winger Sullay Kaikai who has had a spell with Brentford before but proved fairly lacklustre, with only his performance in the 2-2 draw against Cardiff on Boxing Day 2016 a standout. Smith has however stated that he does not believe there will be any signings before the loan window closes.
Lastly, some stadium news. Brentford will now be moving to the Brentford Community Stadium (still hopefully of a name change) at Lionel Road at the end of the 2019-2020 season rather than mid-season. This will mean less disruption and one more full season at Griffin Park (hopefully a Premier League one!).
Brentford likely line-up: (4-2-3-1)
Clarke – Konsa – Mepham – Barbet
Yennaris – Macleod
Benrahma – Sawyers – Watkins
The lineup I expect to be largely the same that played against Blackburn, however Smith must realise by now that Henrik Dalsgaard needs a rest after another lacklustre performance. Some more creativity was needed in the middle of the park, so Lewis MacLeod or Josh McEachran will likely come in for either Kamelo Mokotjo or Nico Yennaris. I do think Smith will stick with Marcus Forss up front with the absence of Maupay still continuing, if he keeps plugging away the youngster certainly has a goal in him.
Expect an end to end game with a lot of chances on Saturday as both teams look to get back to winning ways.
Brentford 3 – 2 Nottingham Forest
Up the Bees.