Sunday 2nd January 2022
Brentford Community Stadium
KO: 14.00 GMT
Live on Sky Sports
Aston Villa will kick off 2022 with a trip to Brentford to take on Thomas Franks team at the Brentford Community Stadium.
The boss, Steven Gerrard will return to the dugout after missing out on the defeat to Chelsea due to Covid-10 protocol.
Villa will be hoping to return to winning ways against a Brentford side who sit two points and positions below them in the Premier League table.
Gerrard’s men have not played since Boxing day after their game against Leeds was postponed due to Leeds not having enough fit players to play the game.
Brentford on the other hand have failed to win in both their festive games. An away defeat at Brighton on boxing day was followed by a 0-1 defeat to Manchester City at home a few days later.
In recent seasons, Brentford have always caused Villa a problem or two and it has been a game Villa have struggled to pick up points. Frank’s side will look to press as much as possible while trying to exploit you from set-pieces.
They tend to try and play a narrow kind of game which will be interesting with Gerrard’s compact style since becoming Villa boss.
Home and away see Brentford with 3 wins, 1 draw and 5 defeats so far this campaign resulting in 10 points from a possible 27. Villa have won 3 and lost 6 on their travels picking up 9 points from a possible 27.
The two sides didn’t meet last season due to Brentford being promoted from the Championship.
Aston Villa Team News
Steven Gerrard described Villa’s team as being in decent shape pending Covid testing protocol.
Leon Bailey and Marvelous Nakamba are still missing through long term injuries. Ashley Young has an outside chance with a fractured toe but is very unlikely to feature.
Tyrone Mings will miss the game through suspension.
Brentford Team News
Thomas Frank will welcome back Christian Nørgaard from suspension while Kristoffer Ajer could return to the matchday squad following a hamstring injury. Janelt (Covid-19) and Bryan Mbeumo (calf) could also return but Rico Henry is still missing with a hamstring injury.
Brentford have scored 21 goals this season, meaning only 7 teams have scored less this season which is respectful given their position in the table. With 202 shots so far this season, they average a goal every 9.6 shots.
The Bee’s are impressive defensively, conceding just 25 goals to date, with only 7 teams in the league conceeding less.
11 of their goals (52%) have come from open play with a further 6 (29%) from set-pieces. 40% of their attacks come from the left but most of the action (42%) takes place in the middle third.
Brentford prefer to play a short passing game with an average of 327 short passes per game (80%)
Ivan Toney is their top scorer with 4 goals so far in this campaign.
One to Watch
It is no real surprise when I pick Brentford’s star man and their top scorer, Ivan Toney.
The Northampton born striker is your typical old fashioned centre forward. He likes to get himself amongst the opposition defenders and is great at holding up the ball and bringing his teammates into the game.
Head to Head record
Aston Villa 6 wins, 6 draws, Brentford 3 wins
Last five meetings:
28 Aug 2021: Aston Villa 1-1 Brentford (Premier League)
13 Feb 2019: Brentford 1-0 Aston Villa (Championship)
22 Aug 2018: Aston Villa 2-2 Brentford (Championship)
26 Dec 2017: Brentford 2-1 Aston Villa (Championship)
09 Sep 2017: Aston Villa 0-0 Brentford (Championship)
Avillafan Match Prediction
It is very hard to predict a game these days given the current covid situations affecting teams up and down the country. In recent times, Brentford have a very good record against Villa. In fact, the last time Villa beat the Bee’s was in 1953.
Most fans would probably take a draw given our recent record but if there was ever a time to put that record right, today is that day and Gerrard will be eager for his side to return to winning ways.
Brentford 0-1 Aston Villa