Everton vs Brentford predictions: Toffees can hold on for a draw
- Everton have improved at home under Sean Dyche, beating Arsenal and Leeds
- Brentford have drawn nine of 14 games against teams below them
- Recommended bet: Draw
Brentford’s impressive defeat of west London rivals Fulham on Monday night extended their stunning unbeaten run in the Premier League to 12 matches and maintained their surprise push for the European places.
Thomas Frank’s side have been a revelation, building on last term’s 13th-placed finish and, even though there is still plenty of work to do, an upcoming run of three successive games against relegation strugglers looks a great opportunity to further their top-six claims.
Everton will see it differently, of course, with new manager Sean Dyche working hard to turn the Toffees’ fortunes around and lift them out of the bottom three.
With plenty to play for at both ends of the table, Goodison Park should be treated to another high-intensity — and probably stressful — afternoon of entertainment.
Dyche will be eager to get key man Dominic Calvert-Lewin back into his starting line-up but the striker is rated no greater than 50/50 to recover from a thigh injury.
Vitalii Mykolenko should return after missing last weekend’s trip to Nottingham Forest through injury and fellow full-back Nathan Patterson is closing in on fitness after a troublesom knee problem.
Winger Andros Townsend remains out with his long-term knee injury.
Thomas Frank has a near full bill of health within his Brentford squad, with only reserve goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha unavailable with an ankle injury.
Dyche’s six matches as Everton manager have brought impressive home wins against Arsenal and Leeds, a decent draw at Nottingham Forest and defeats away at Liverpool and Arsenal and at home to Aston Villa.
The only genuinely poor result in that run was the home defeat to Villa, and Everton dominated the first hour of that game before a slightly unfortunate penalty turned the tide in the visitors’ favour.
Brentford have lost just four of their 24 Premier League matches this season and, bizarrely, have a better points-per-game record against teams above them in the table than below.
Frank’s men have beaten Manchester United and Liverpool at home as well as winning away at Manchester City to claim 17 points from 10 games against top-eight opponents — a record 1.7 points per game.
However, they have won only four of 14 games against teams placed 10th and lower, collecting 1.5 points per game.
There is a clear difference in Brentford’s home and away results. They have the sixth-best home record, despite hosting seven of the other nine teams in the top half, but only seven Premier League sides have collected fewer points on their travels.
Failure to turn a point into three has been Brentford’s Achilles heel, with Brentford’s away record at bottom-half teams reading one win, one defeat and five draws.
A strong end to the season may yet reward Brentford with European football but this weekend they may again find themselves frustrated.
Everton are improving under Dyche and his defensive 4-3-3 shut out both Arsenal and Leeds in his first two home games and looked set repeat the trick against Villa until a clumsy penalty allowed the visitors in and they then added a second as Everton pushed for an equaliser.
With solidity the primary focus for the battling Toffees, another tense, tight encounter is likely.
However, a Brentford side who have drawn a whopping 64% of games against teams below them could be set for another stalemate against an Everton side who lack potent threat in the likely absence of Calvert-Lewin and will be reluctant to risk defeat by charging forward in search of victory.
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