Crystal Palace vs Brentford predictions: Entertaining clash expected at Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace and Brentford are separated by a solitary point in the Premier League standings and a tight but entertaining encounter is expected when the two teams lock horns at Selhurst Park on Tuesday.
Palace's tally of four points from four games may appear underwhelming at first glance but after recovering from an opening day loss to a resurgent Arsenal, the Eagles have drawn away at Liverpool, convincingly beaten Aston Villa and led 2-0 at Manchester City, although they did eventually succumb to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the reigning champions.
Brentford have also started the new season in a positive manner, with their most notable result undoubtedly coming on home soil at the Gtech Community Stadium when they memorably thrashed Manchester United 4-0.
All that suggests there could be plenty of entertainment on show at Selhurst Park between two sides that will have aspirations of extending their impressive starts to the new season into September.
Wilfried Zaha remains a major injury concern for Palace after he missed Saturday's defeat in Manchester with a leg injury.
The hosts will no doubt be weakened if Zaha is unavailable, while they are also monitoring the fitness of left-back Tyrick Mitchell, who was forced off at the Etihad Stadium with a knock.
Manager Patrick Vieira says he will give both Zaha and Mitchell as long as possible to prove their fitness, with Palace already having to do without more long-term absentees in James McArthur, James Tomkins and Nathan Ferguson.
Brentford could be handed a double defensive boost, as centre backs Pontus Jansson and Kristoffer Ajer are pushing for returns after recovering from respective foot and thigh problems — the latter is yet to feature this season.
Fellow defender Ethan Pinnock remains sidelined with a knee problem, while winger Sergi Canos is yet to recover from a hamstring strain.
Both meetings between these two sides ended goalless last season, including at Selhurst Park in August 2021, which was one of eight home draws Palace picked up during the campaign, the most of any top-flight side.
Brentford have drawn two of their four league games this season, coming from two down to share the spoils with Leicester on the opening weekend before playing out a 1-1 draw with Everton last time out.
Palace have averaged two goals per game from their four matches across all competitions since losing to Arsenal on the opening day of the season, while only Manchester City (13), Liverpool (13) and Arsenal (11) have scored more top-flight goals this term than Brentford's total of 9.
This will be just the third-ever top-flight meeting between the two sides, while it is 65 years since Brentford last claimed a competitive victory at Selhurst Park.
Given the close proximity between the two teams in the early-season standings and that both meetings last season finished all square, it would be no surprise to see Tuesday's match end in a draw.
However, unlike last season, there should be plenty of entertainment on offer in south London, with two or more goals having been scored in all 10 fixtures involving one of these two sides across all competitions this term.
Palace scored three in their last home fixture against Villa, while Brentford have netted twice in all three of their away games to date, all of which suggests a score draw could be on the cards at Selhurst this midweek.