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Preview: Brentford vs. Fulham – prediction, team news, lineups



Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Premier League clash between Brentford and Fulham, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Brentford and Fulham will be playing solely for West London derby bragging rights in Saturday afternoon’s Premier League contest at the Gtech Community Stadium.

The Bees have been guaranteed a seat at the top table for 2024-25 despite losing 1-0 at Everton last weekend, while their visitors drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace in another all-capital affair.

Match preview

© Reuters

Even before the first ball was kicked at Goodison Park last Saturday evening, results elsewhere going in Brentford’s favour meant that Thomas Frank‘s side had already been assured of a fourth straight Premier League campaign, significantly easing the pressure on their red and white shoulders.

The Bees appropriately put in a performance of a side with not much left to fight for, as amid their futile efforts to breach the Everton backline and an on-song Jordan Pickford, they were condemned to an 18th top-flight loss of the season thanks to an Idrissa Gueye strike.

The midfielder’s effort also confirmed Everton’s survival in the top flight and snapped Brentford’s two-game winning sequence and five-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, a streak where back-to-back successes over Sheffield United and Luton Town went a long way to keeping the Bees afloat.

Frank’s men should not finish lower than 16th and could rise a few places up the rankings with a perfect end to a troubled campaign, although a daunting trip to Bournemouth and final-day meeting with Newcastle United still awaits one of this season’s under-achieving teams.

However, Saturday’s hosts enter the weekend on a four-match unbeaten run at the Gtech Community Stadium, taking points off of Chelsea and Manchester United in that sequence, and their West London counterparts need not throw caution to the wind for three points this weekend either.

Fulham's Rodrigo Muniz celebrates scoring their first goal on April 27, 2024© Reuters

Also safe in the knowledge that their big-time status for 2024-25 has been rubber-stamped, Fulham were mere moments away from edging out London rivals Crystal Palace last Saturday, where Rodrigo Muniz headed in his ninth goal of the term to break the deadlock early in the second half.

The Eagles would seemingly be made to pay for wasting several openings at Craven Cottage, but with just three minutes of normal time remaining, Jeffrey Schlupp picked up the ball some 25 yards from goal and unleashed a ferocious thunderbolt which left Bernd Leno stranded to the spot.

Marco Silva could only heap praise on Schlupp’s “amazing” equaliser, but he lamented his side’s inability to stop the attack in its tracks as they remain 13th in the Premier League standings, just one point below Brighton & Hove Albion having played one game more than the Seagulls.

Despite throwing away two points right at the death, the Cottagers can now proudly boast a three-game unbeaten streak in Premier League London derbies and have lost just one of their last six against counterparts from the capital, where they achieved their most recent away win with April’s 2-0 beating of West Ham United.

Silva’s men are now out to make the net bulge for the seventh Premier League away game in a row, but they were crushed 3-0 at home to Brentford back in August and also went down 3-2 to the Bees at the Gtech Community Stadium back in March, where Mathias Jensen‘s late strike proved telling.

Brentford Premier League form:

Fulham Premier League form:

Team News

Fulham's Tosin Adarabioyo celebrates after the match on December 19, 2023© Reuters

The headline team news from Brentford’s loss to Everton was the inclusion of Ivan Toney from the first whistle, a decision made easier by the absence of Neal Maupay, who was unable to face his parent club at Goodison Park.

The Frenchman now returns to bolster Frank’s attacking ranks, but defensive trio Ben Mee (ankle), Rico Henry (knee) and Aaron Hickey (thigh) are all out for the rest of the season, as is long-term knee victim Josh Dasilva.

As a result, Frank will be working with a near-identical squad for the visit of Fulham, where Kevin Schade may throw his hat into the ring for a starting role, having come off the bench in three straight games since recovering from an adductor problem.

In terms of Fulham’s availability, the Craven Cottage treatment room is empty barring midfield fulcrum Harrison Reed, who completed 85 minutes of the contest with Palace but had to be taken off towards the end.

Reed has trained this week, though, so there is every chance that Silva will be working with a fully-fit squad for Saturday’s derby, but either Sasa Lukic or Tom Cairney could step into the engine room if needs be.

Since the start of February, only Cole Palmer and Phil Foden (11 each) have scored more Premier League goals than Muniz’s nine, and the South American continues up front as the Cottagers’ focal point.

However, Tosin Adarabioyo was not involved against Oliver Glasner‘s side after informing Fulham that he will be leaving the club when his contract expires this summer, so Tim Ream will presumably reprise his role with Issa Diop here.

Brentford possible starting lineup:
Flekken; Ajer, Collins, Pinnock, Reguilon; Janelt, Norgaard, Jensen; Mbeumo, Toney, Schade

Fulham possible starting lineup:
Leno; Castagne, Diop, Ream, Robinson; Palhinha, Lukic; Iwobi, Pereira, Willian; Muniz

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We say: Brentford 1-1 Fulham

Nothing but pride is at stake when Brentford and Fulham take to the field this weekend, so it is difficult to envisage sparks flying between these two West London rivals, especially with international stars hoping to avoid pre-Euro 2024 injuries.

Silva’s side have developed a knack for scoring on the road, but with Brentford rediscovering their resilient streak at home, a low-scoring draw could be on the cards.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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