Brentford (A) Predicted line-ups, pre-match thoughts & team news

This was always going to be a potential banana skin, but the contrasting form of the two clubs coming into this only intensifies that feeling.

Brentford are 4th in the Championship, haven’t lost any of their last 13 games – the longest active unbeaten run in England’s top 4 tiers – and in Ivan Toney they have an in-form striker who’ll be desperate to prove a point to the club who didn’t give him his chance.

As for us, our back-to-back wins over Palace and West Brom have quickly been followed by alarming displays against Leeds and Fulham. We collapsed at Elland Road, yet there was absolutely no sign of a response against Fulham on Saturday in what can only be described as a passive and painstakingly poor attempt to beat a newly promoted side who were down to 10 for a third of the game.

Bruce has developed a habit of finding a big result just when he needs it to keep his head just above water. I hope he does it again on Tuesday night to see us through to a rare cup semi-final, but it says a lot about recent displays and his uninspiring tenure that we’re fearing the worst against a Championship side who are the pre-match favourites!

Team news

The club have confirmed that Allan Saint-Maximin and Jamaal Lascelles are still recovering from Covid, meaning they will remain out.

Mark Gillespie will be hoping to start after playing every minute of our cup run so far, but it’s tough to say who’ll start between the sticks with Karl Darlow in such great form and Martin Dubravka now back in training!

Elsewhere, Bruce has all but confirmed that Federico Fernandez will sit this one out, with the after effects of Covid leaving him with “fatigue”. The lack of news on Fabian Schar and Javier Manquillo also suggests they’ll be sidelined once again.

Predicted line up

Predicted NUFC XI (4-4-2): Gillespie – Krafth, Hayden, Clark, Lewis – Murphy, Hendrick, Shelvey, Fraser – Wilson, Gayle.

OUT – Darlow, Yedlin, Fernandez, Dummett, S Longstaff, Ritchie, Almiron, Joelinton?

IN – Gillespie, Krafth, Hayden, Lewis, Hendrick, Fraser, Murphy, Gayle?

Starting in goal, Gillespie has started all of our EFL Cup games so far and has generally done a very solid job (aside from his error vs Newport!), so he seems likely to continue in goal.

At the back, I can see Krafth returning after being given a rest in our last two, with Lewis also likely to return at left-back. Both have struggled this season, but Manquillo remains out and Dummett won’t start twice in a few days after so long on the sidelines.

Hayden will then be forced to fill in at centre-back alongside Clark, as Bruce reckons “fatigue” will keep Fernandez out of this one following his half-time withdrawal over the weekend.

In midfield, I’ve got a feeling Matty Longstaff will be handed a rare start, but with Shelvey recently rested against Leeds (and key to creating from deep) and Hendrick fresh after missing out v Fulham, I can see those two forming our midfield duo.

In attack, Fraser will surely return after creating our two goals at Leeds only to find himself on the bench against Fulham. He should start on the left, and I can see Murphy getting a big chance to impress down the right, with his pace and improved final ball capable of causing them problems in Saint-Maximin’s prolonged absence.

Up top, Wilson may be pushed to his limit playing FOUR games in 10 days so soon after a recent hamstring injury, but the pre-match signs are that he’s told Steve Bruce he wants to play. It could backfire, but I can’t see us going without our top scorer when we’re a win away from Wembley.

I can also see Gayle coming in – a player whose record against Championship opposition speaks for itself!

I initially wondered if Carroll would be given a rare start after a month watching on from the bench, but he doesn’t have the mobility to hurt an attacking Brentford side who’ll probably have us playing on the counter!

The opposition

Here’s a few ones to watch in Thomas Frank’s high-flying Bees side:

Ivan Toney – Not only does the former NUFC striker arrive with a big point to prove, he has scored a stunning 16 goals in 20 games so far this season. A fox in the box who is incredibly mobile for a 6ft 2′ striker.

Bryan Mbeumo – Benrahma and Watkins made most of the headlines last season, but the French right winger is still with the Bees and enjoying another impressive season. After 17 goals last year, he’s been involved in 9 already this year (3 goals and 6 assists), proving he has final product to go with his pace. If Lewis return to the side, he’ll need to be better to keep the French U-21 talent quiet.

Mathias Jensen – The Dane is their midfield playmaker and always seems to ooze class whenever I watch Thomas Frank’s free-flowing side. A quality passer who shows real calmness in possession. His craft mixed in with Da Silva’s dynamism will be one to watch.

Marcus Forss – The Finish forward has enjoyed a breakthrough season with the Bees in 2020/21, bagging seven goals already this season and regularly catching the eye in a left-wing role just wide of Ivan Toney. He’s scored in their past two Carabao Cup wins over Fulham and West Brom and will be looking to make that a hat-trick here!

Predicted Brentford XI: (4-1-2-3): Raya – Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry – Jalet – Jensen, Da Silva – Mbuemo, Toney, Forss.

Prediction

I hope I’m wrong, but I am fearing the worst here and have anything but high hopes.

They’re unbeaten in 13, full of confidence and have a in-form striker with a MAJOR point to prove in Ivan Toney – who’ll be facing up against a defence without several first-team centre backs.

We have a game-changer in Wilson and a huge opportunity to make a rare semi-final, but we looked lost, leggy and lacking in any ideas last time out.

As ever, we live in hope, but expectations going into this one are alarmingly low after the performances we’ve put in against newly promoted sides over the past week.

PredictionBrentford 2-1 Newcastle

HWTL!

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

31 thoughts on “Brentford (A) Predicted line-ups, pre-match thoughts & team news

  1. I have no idea what the team will be and can only take my hat off to Olly in his bold predictions. So, Sean better get his sh1t together or I think the groans about him will become louder. There will also be some moaning if Toney has a good game. Him and Armstrong leaving didnt make any sense as they werent really given a chance.

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  2. This corona virus has a lot to answer for. Somehow we have ended up with Danny Higgenbothom on US TV. He must have come for a holiday or summink and you wont let him back in. What an enormous blowhard he is. Bla-bla-blah-bla-blah-blah. Nothing. Blah-bla. Phil Thompson’s even uglier and gobbier brother.

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  3. Good for Boris though Stewie. Revoking Higgenbotham’s passport is the best thing he has ever done for the UK.

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  4. can Boris send Phil Neville to Antarctica or somewhere? Do and think the opposite to what Philly says and you will be correct. And take Arlo White with him.

    We sometimes get the English commentary and Phil is on there. If there is anybody worse than Arlo “stat man” White it is Phil. I dont know if you have been subjected to the Arlo Stat Attack but I have to turn the sound down on his 1st 15 minutes of each half when he is on as he tells you the score of Man U against Liverpool in 1906 and how the Anfield Road end or whatever it is called was attacked by ants in Shankley’s 1st year in charge.

    Arlo is Martin Tyler with another 7 clipboards full of sticky notes with stats.

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  5. Sounds like Wilson may start now, so reckon Carroll will drop to bench as Gayle is nailed on IMO.

    Hard to predict the CM. Shelvey has only played two of our last three and Hendrick didn’t feature vs Fulham so will be fresh, but something tells me the Longstaff’s might get a game…

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  6. The game is not on TV in the US. My choice becomes whether to stab myself in the eye with a rusty screwdriver or listen to Ando. Simple really, where’s my screwdriver?

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  7. I had never seen that stat before. The Passes Before Defensive Action (PPDA) that Jake Jackson put up. 19. It shows our eyes are not deceiving us. If anybody has not read his article it says we allow the opposition 19 touches before we tackle or intercept. That helps explain the 35% possession or whatever it is and why Sean Longstaff has looked so sh!t. And Schar. We just sit back and let the opposition do their thing no matter who it is. God help us against Man City. I think they had like a record of number of passes in a game last year of about 700. Will we break the barrier of 20% possession?

    Aguero hattrick.

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  8. Ivan will score, it’s nailed on, don’t see any joy for us given what I’ve witnessed of us lately.

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  9. So, Ally McCoist is getting in on the Steve Bruce cheerleading now. He is saying that Bruce has “improved” NUFC. Look at the players he has been given after Fatty finally opened his wallet. And not just for transfer fees but for wages and the return of high earners who were out on loan to save money.

    Joelinton 40 mil (supposedly)
    St Max 16 mil
    Gayle – returned from loan, cost 8 mil?
    Wilson 20 mil
    Hendrick (cost Burnley 12 mil)
    Lewis 15 mil
    Krapth 5 mil
    Fraser – Arsenal were supposedly willing to pay 25 mil
    Murphy – returned from loan but cost 12 mil

    That’s almost a whole new team at quite a high cost. Look at Burnley if you want a comparison. The problem is lack of midfielders because of Shelvey’s inconsistency and Sean Longstaff’s inability to push on.

    But either all that money has been wasted or Bruce is not coaching them right, It cant be both!

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  10. We also have the Darlow miracle which I am guessing is down to either Harper or just maturity. Maybe Bruce deserves a bit of credit, who knows? But Darlow is a different player than the deer in the headlights version. He comes for crosses confidently now and judges when to come out of his box for an interception. He always looked like he had a mistake in him which is probably why Rafa signed Dubravka.

    So, that is 10 players. Only one of them you could say has been improved by Bruce and his coaches – Darlow. Almost a whole team and McCoist is saying Bruce has “improved” NUFC! he bloody well should have!!! If I was the Fatman I would be asking where is the return on my investment.

    Yes I know, we did get money for the likes of Mitro and Perez so the net outlay was not as much.

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  11. I didnt even try to predict the team for this one!!!! However, Matty Longstaff not even being a sub is very strange. Not another with corona virus? Or just as bad, not another injury?

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  12. I have also given up predicting what to expect. On the face of it Bruce has put out a very strong team. But, are some still getting over corona virus? Like Fernandez last game? If we go for 35% possession against a Championship team it will do my head in. I have already written off the Man City and Liverpool games but we should be “on the front foot”, as Bruce likes to say, against Brentford.

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  13. Great… I’m talking to myself on the last fuc.king thread. No fuc.king link again…

    Useless fuc.king cun.ts the lot of them …. we have a thrown in near to the Brentford goal line, it goes back to halfway and back to Darlow 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

    Can these fuc.Kers not kick a forward ball? Holy crap. We are like a Sunday league team. Aaaaaggggggghhhhhhhhhh if I had a cabbage my tv would be destroyed

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  14. Steve cabbage head’s team talk…
    “Right lads. Darlow is a safe pair of hands, so get the ball back to him as often as you can. And football is. Sharing game… if you see the other lads from the other team looking lonely without the ball, give it them for a while. Then on 89 mins try and get e free kick near the other end if you can”

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  15. This is the most negative football our team has ever played. I’d love to see the stat on how many backwards passes we play and how many times we give the ball away, and how many times we just stand waiting for the call to come rather than move for it.

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  16. Lewis – poor

    Longstaff – poor

    And Almiron – well it’s clear to see why hes being forced to play Joelinton!!. Almiron has done absolutely nothing at all.

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  17. Gilly Toon:
    This is the most negative football our team has ever played. I’d love to see the stat on how many backwards passes we play and how many times we give the ball away, and how many times we just stand waiting for the call to come rather than move for it.

    Gilly – you got Murphy & Fraser on the wings with Yedlin & Lewis are overlapping full backs – and yet nothing.

    Every player looks for it to feet – nobody running in behind or trying to stretch Brentford. We are so easy to play against coz everything is in front of Brentford.

    It’s another awful watch this!!.

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  18. Wraith has a youtube zoom thing so I am watching that because the game is not on in the US. They are not very complimentary of how we are playing. Sounds a lot like how we played against Fulham but now we are a goal down.

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  19. How could any player actually enjoy playing in this team? It’s just dreadful, it really, really is. Win, lose or draw.

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  20. I am worried if we lose this as the negativity (deserved) will build over the festive period.

    There are only 2 things that are good about 2020 – that Trump was voted out and that we werent relegated. Not sure if I have seen football this bad. Even in relegation seasons. Maybe Ugly John and McClaren were this bad but Bruce has better players.

    Has Lewis been shyte again? Longstaff? They have to produce something to warrant their places now.

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  21. We are brilliant. 😂😂

    We have the look of a team who have just lost all faith and really don’t appreciate the style.

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  22. Eric Sykes:
    I am worried if we lose this as the negativity (deserved) will build over the festive period.

    There are only 2 things that are good about 2020 – that Trump was voted out and that we werent relegated. Not sure if I have seen football this bad. Even in relegation seasons. Maybe Ugly John and McClaren were this bad but Bruce has better players.

    Has Lewis been shyte again? Longstaff? They have to produce something to warrant their places now.

    Has Trump been voted out? You should have mentioned it… 😂

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  23. That’s is just f@cking sh!t to watch man!!.

    The sign of a desperate man – 4 forwards on the pitch – but it’s pointless if you aren’t creating chances for them.

    He’s a f@cking mug.

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  24. Appalling. We are just so bad. How can Bruce watch this and think it’s any good? Darlow is man of the match. Again. These fuc.kers are shi.t sh.it sh.it

    Out the cup… again. The only surprise is that it was only 1-0. We need to fire that twa.t immediately 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

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  25. Entirely what we deserved tonight.

    Bunch of players just going through the motions again – nothing, absolutely nothing to get excited about all game.

    Pundits saying Bruce picked a strong team – they may look strong on paper but they are playing well & have no plan at all.

    Pathetic.

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  26. Eric Sykes:
    I am worried if we lose this as the negativity (deserved) will build over the festive period.

    There are only 2 things that are good about 2020 – that Trump was voted out and that we werent relegated. Not sure if I have seen football this bad. Even in relegation seasons. Maybe Ugly John and McClaren were this bad but Bruce has better players.

    Has Lewis been shyte again? Longstaff? They have to produce something to warrant their places now.

    Eric – they don’t have to produce anything, Bruce will pick them regardless – hence why they just go through the motions. They have nothing to worry about coz Bruce will be in that dressing room patting them on the back and saying ‘unlucky lads’.

    Lewis, Longstaff & Almiron were all awful tonight.

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