Newly-promoted sides Brentford and Watford clash on Friday in what could prove to be a relegation six-pointer. Both sides are suffering from absences, with the Hornets having long-term injuries (but no new concerns), whereas Brentford will be without two key attacking players.
Brentford Injury Blow for Watford Clash
Watford Handed Boost as Brentford Lose Ivan Toney and Sergi Canos
The Hornets are yet to keep a clean sheet this season. However, Brentford will be without two key goal-scorers. Ivan Toney recently tested positive for COVID-19, ruling him out of contention for the clash. Sergi Canos picked up his fifth yellow card of the campaign following his celebration against Leeds United this past weekend (a goal which proved to not be the match-winner).
The Hornets’ front three will likely be Joshua King, Emmanuel Dennis, and one of Joao Pedro or Cucho Hernandez, as Ismaila Sarr will be out for the foreseeable future. However, Watford will not be too worried about a lack of attacking threat: their defence is their biggest worry, as they are still without a clean sheet all season. Not having to come up against Toney or Canos might help them achieve that evasive clean sheet, but it will not be easy, as Brentford have other attacking talent through Brian Mbuemo and Yoane Wissa.
Brentford currently sit in 12th with 17 points, five places and four points above the visitors. The shape the match will take up will be interesting, as both teams (especially since the Hornets appointed Claudio Ranieri in charge) have found success in heavy pressing of the ball and counterattacks. Presumably, the home team would dictate the play, but that would play into the Hornets’ plans. Thus, Brentford might want to offer the Hornets more of the ball so they can play to their strengths.
One thing is for certain: both teams will see this as a must-win in their fight for survival, and high-octane attacks will be on display. Whether Brentford or Watford, with their available lineups, have more goals than the other remains to be seen.