Brentford will be looking to bounce back from defeat last weekend as they face Norwich City in the Championship at the Brentford Community Stadium tonight (19:45 KO).
The Bees fell to a 3-2 defeat away to Stoke City last Saturday, having been 3-0 down after an hour. A win tonight could see them move into the play-offs.
Norwich meanwhile will be looking to secure a fourth straight victory, with another late Mario Vrancic strike securing a 2-1 win over struggling Wycombe Wanderers at the weekend.
Brentford boss Thomas Frank reported no fresh injury concerns from their last game, which was the Dane’s 100th at the helm.
Emiliano Marcondes is fit to play after missing the last two matches. However, Christian Norgaard, Mads Roerslev, Shandon Baptiste and Pontus Jansson remain sidelined.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference yesterday, City boss Daniel Farke said that Todd Cantwell should be available to play, provided the playmaker can shake off a hip problem. The midfielder has started both of Norwich’s last two games after a muted start to the season.
Centre-back Christoph Zimmermann remains out, despite a return to training in recent days, with striker Josh Martinalso absent due to a back injury. Long-term absentees Sam Byram, Kieran Dowell and Onel Hernandez are all well away from making a return.
Brentford: Raya, Goode, Pinnock, Bech Sorensen, Dalsgaard, Janelt, Dasilva, Henry, Canos, Toney, Forss.
Norwich City: Krul, Aarons, Gibson, Hanley, Quintilla, Skipp, Rupp, Buendia, Steipermann, Pukki, Hugill.
Head-to-head and form guide
The two sides have met 58 times since their first meeting in 1920. Results are tightly split, with 26 Norwich wins, 22 Brentford wins and 10 draws.
Brentford have only beaten Norwich twice in 12 attempts stretching back to 2009, although they held the Canaries to a 1-1 draw at Griffin Park in their last meeting in January 2019. Norwich’s last defeat to the West Londoners came in a 1-2 defeat at Carrow Road in December 2017, in Farke’s first season at the club.
Brentford’s league form has been somewhat of a mixed bag after losing the Championship Play-Off Final to Fulham at the end of last season. Last Saturday’s defeat by Stoke ended a run of two consecutive victories, leaving the Bees 11th in the table with three wins, three defeats and one draw. However, their cup form is markedly more impressive, having knocked out Premier League sides West Bromwich Albion, Southampton and Fulham, as well as Championship side Wycombe. They will face Newcastle United in the Quarter-Finals in December.
Norwich have won their last three games, beating Rotherham United, Birmingham City and Wycombe in the space of a week. Last-gasp goals from Bosnian midfielder Vrancic were required to see off the latter two. But Norwich fans will be pleased to see the return of a classic hallmark of their promotion-winning campaign two years ago, with late goals stealing vital points as they romped to the league title.
The three victories – which came after back-to-back defeats – have been enough to push Norwich to fifth in the table, level on points with fourth-placed AFC Bournemouth. A win tonight could see the Norfolk side move to second, if other results go their way.
What the managers said
Frank said the match would be “like a boxing match” when sharing his pre-match thoughts yesterday, with both managers under no illusions on how tough the match could be for their sides. Frank said:
“I think that Norwich are very consistent in what they do. They look exactly like themselves from two years ago.
“They have a clear, defined style of play and they’re not compromising on that, and I think that’s a big strength.
“I expect a tough test. I know we’ll be up for it and I’m looking forward to it. We still have a level or two to improve in terms of tempo, rhythm and fluidity.”
Speaking to the club yesterday, City boss Farke said:
“Brentford are one of the favourites for me. They were pretty close to direct promotion last season. They have grown from season to season and this is always a good pedigree in fighting for promotion.
“I think it will definitely be a closer game. We like possession and to dominate the game close to the opponent's box. I'd like to dominate as we did the last opponents, but I expect a game where small details will be crucial in winning points or not.
“We're fully aware of their strengths, they have a top group and I'm pretty sure they'll finish in a top position in the end. It's a difficult one but we want these points.”
How to watch
The game is being shown live on the Sky Sports Football red button. Alternatively, the match can be watched live on the two club’s respective iFollow streaming services.
More details are available here.
Kick-off is at 7:45pm BST.