Brentford v Middlesbrough Saturday November 24, 17:30 Live on Sky Sports
Brentford licking their wounds
Three goals in eight minutes blew Brentford away as their West London rivals QPR bagged local bragging rights before the international break. The Bees had opened the scoring through Neal Maupay and pulled a consolation back via Henrik Dalsgaard in their 3-2 defeat, a result that frustrated boss Thomas Frank.
Brentford have now lost four of their five matches since Dean Smith's departure for Aston Villa, and Frank suggested his side had been too soft defensively to deal with Rangers when pressure mounted. The former assistant admitted he was looking forward to time on the training paddock to regroup.
Whether the Bees will have the Championship's 12-goal top scorer Maupay available remains unclear. The French hitman is doubtful after suffering a concussion at Loftus Road, whilst Said Benrahma could also miss out through injury. However, Ollie Watkins is expected to return after missing out at QPR.
Middlesbrough back to winning ways
A first-half double from Jordan Hugill sent Middlesbrough back up to second in the Championship with a routine 2-0 win over Wigan before the international break. The West Ham loanee opened his account from the penalty spot before adding a second only six minutes later from Martin Braithwaite's cross.
The victory was Boro's first league success since mid-October with the Teessiders held to three successive stalemates prior to meeting the Latics. Tony Pulis' posse restricted Wigan to a sole on-target effort at the Riverside and could have won more comfortably but for Christian Walton's heroics in the away goal.
Pulis isn't expected to change his winning formula for the trip to the capital, with long-term absentee Ryan Shotton the only confirmed unavailable player. Dael Fry will continue at right-back with Daniel Ayala looking unlikely to break-up the Daniel Batth and Aden Flint centre-back partnership.
Teessiders can frustrate Bees
Middlesbrough3.20 haven't lost a league meeting with Brentford since 1938 (W8-D3-L0 and have silenced the Bees in seven of their most recent 11 head-to-head contests. Boro have been beaten only twice this term, with their sole reverse on the road arriving at current league leaders Norwich (W3-D4-L1).
Brentford2.44 have earned 17 of their 21-point haul at Griffin Park, but the Bees have accrued only seven points from their last 30 on offer (W1-D4-L5) and could be missing their headline striker Maupay, who has been directly involved in 18 goals in 15 appearances this season.
The hosts have recorded just three clean sheets in 2018/19 and are welcoming a Teessiders outfit that's conceded a league-low eight goals. In fact, exclude own goals and penalties and Middlesbrough have shipped just four Championship goals in their last 24 hours of action.
Oppose Griffin Park goals
Considering those phenomenal defensive efforts from Middlesbrough, it's probably no surprise to see 14 of their most recent 15 outings have featured fewer than three goals. Away from the Riverside, Boro's matches are averaging only 1.75 goals per-game and Under 2.5 Goals is available at just 1.71 here.
Despite their aesthetically-pleasing approach, Brentford haven't proven as prolific in the goals markets as we've traditionally expected. The Bees have crossed the Over 2.5 Goalsbarrier on only seven occasions, including only three times in eight at Griffin Park, suggesting opposing goals is the right angle.
Same Game Multi
I'm favouring Middlesbrough in the Match Odds markets but due to the two clubs' high draw bias - collectively they've 13/34 (38%) stalemates - I'm happy to keep the draw onside and enter Betfair Sportsbook's Same Game Multi markets where can back Boro double chance and Under 2.5 Goals at 8/5.
It's a selection that's proven profitable in 14/17 Middlesbrough matches (82%) and 8/17 (47%) of Brentford's games, giving the duo a combined 22/34 (65%) success rate.
Back Middlesbrough double chance and Under 2.5 Goals @ 8/5 in Brentford v Middlesbrough