Bretford continue to make strides in the Championship this term as they currently sit in fifth place. Although they’re a talented side, not many would’ve foreseen them pushing for promotion after the exits of key players Ezri Konsa and Neal Maupay to Premier League outfits Aston Villa and Brighton respectively, but Thomas Frank has done well to keep them up at the top of the table.
Middlesbrough are struggling towards the rear end of the table at the minute and it doesn’t seem as though Jonathan Woodgate has done anything to help their aspirations of getting back to England’s top division.
A recent run of four winless matches has left fans frustrated, but they did only lose one of those matches to third-placed Fulham.
Crashing out to Spurs in the FA Cup over that period too just adds to the misery, although taking Jose Mourinho’s men to a replay was respectable, especially since their opponents that day just defeated Man City at the weekend.
HT/FT – Brentford/Brentford
The Bees have beaten their visitors in both meetings in 2019 by one-goal margins and we wouldn’t be surprised if that became three.
They’ve won six of their last seven matches at Griffin Park, including W/W doubles in the half-time/full-time market on five occasions.
Meanwhile, all but one of their victories came over opponents above Boro in the league, as their sole defeat came at the hands of fourth-placed Forest.
By contrast, Woodgate’s men are W2-D5-L7 from their 14 trips this term, losing at the break in each of those zero-pointers. Furthermore, they’ll be without defender Daniel Ayala again, without whom they’ve experienced a serious downturn in form.
Having gone on a run of four straight victories between late December and New Year’s Day, beating the likes of West Brom and Preston, they’ve since gone W0-D3-L1 without him starting as the only side in the top nine they faced saw them behind at the break and come up short.
The hosts’ top scorer Ollie Watkins has been ticking along nicely this season with the joint most goals in the league up to this point (19). The 24-year-old has six goals from as many recent matches, as well as six from his last seven on home turf. Moreover, he netted in the reverse fixture back in August and so we like his chances of adding to his tally.
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