Premier League

Watford-Brentford Preview

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank insisted no one match is more important than another as fellow relegation candidates Watford prepare to make the short trip across London.

The Bees were cruelly denied in the dying seconds by Patrick Bamford, who secured a 2-2 draw for Leeds United to leave Brentford 13th in the table – seven points above the drop zone.

Despite playing Manchester United just four days after the home clash against Watford, Frank rubbished claims that he may focus on Tuesday's visit of Manchester United.

"Nope, that's a very simple and short answer," Frank said. "I only focus on one game at a time. I do my very best to focus on every single opponent, whether it is Watford, Leeds or Man United."

Frank also would not reveal who will partner Bryan Mbeumo up top with Ivan Toney and Sergi Canos currently out.

"If I have (made a decision), I will not tell you! That is for Watford to guess about, I would say that (Marcus Forss and Yoane Wissa) are options of course. There is also Saman Ghoddos, who played as a two-striker role earlier in his career so I have a couple of solutions that I'm working on."

Watford – who are just three points clear of the relegation zone – were outclassed in a 3-1 loss to league leaders Manchester City but manager Claudio Ranieri insisted his players are up to the task.

"I have learnt my players are fantastic because they never give up," Ranieri said. "It's very frustrating but we have to understand why we concede goals and try to do the best to not concede goals. But I think we are ready to achieve our first clean sheet and from here up to Christmas day, we will keep some clean sheets.

"I know against Brentford it will be a very tough match but we are ready, we are ready to fight against everybody now."

Brentford – Bryan Mbeumo

In the absence of Toney and Canos, the misfiring Mbeumo will have to step up. The forward attempted a team-high four shots against Leeds but failed to find the target with any, form that Frank will hope the Frenchman does not replicate on Friday.

Watford – Josh King

King has been directly involved in nine goals in his last nine away starts in the Premier League (6 goals, 3 assists), although the Norwegian has only found the net in two of his 26 away appearances in London, scoring against Crystal Palace in 2016 and 2019 for Bournemouth.

- Watford are the only team yet to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League this season, while the Hornets have conceded more Premier League goals than any other side since Claudio Ranieri's first game in charge (19).

- Brentford's first eight home Premier League goals have all been scored by different players (Canos, Norgaard, Pinnock, Janelt, Wissa, Zanka, Henry & Toney), only the third team in Premier League history to achieve that, after Liverpool (first nine) and Wimbledon (first nine), both in 1992.

- Since a 1-1 draw against Chelsea with Leicester when the Foxes were already Premier League champions in their last match of 2015-16, Claudio Ranieri has picked up just seven points in 24 away Premier League matches as a manager, across spells with Leicester, Fulham and Watford (W1 D4 L19), an average of 0.29 points per game on the road.

- Brentford's 2-0 win against Watford in this fixture in the Championship last season ended a 13-game winless league run for the Bees against the Hornets, that stretched back to 1977 (D5 L8).

- This will be the first ever top-flight meeting between Brentford and Watford, with the two sides having already previously met in the second, third and fourth tiers of English football.

Updated December 9, 2021

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