Brentford v Watford Tips: Friday Night Football promises goals

Andy Schooler is expecting goals when Brentford host Watford in the Premier League on Friday - his preview includes a 7/1 shot...

The buzz created at that night was dissipated somewhat since, although 13th place at this stage of the season - seven points above the relegation zone - is probably considered a perfectly good return for Thomas Frank's side.

A look at the table using expected goals (xG) data has them eighth which helps show how they've largely taken well to life in the top flight.

Bees without star duo

However, for this game they will be without star striker Ivan Toney (COVID) and the man who replaced him up front in last weekend's 2-2 draw at Leeds, Sergi Canos (suspended).

Fellow forward Bryan Mbuemo has been something of an eyecatcher in the early months of the season though so Brentford will not be without goal threat. Yoane Wissa, Marcus Forss and Saman Ghoddos are the options to come into the XI.

Clearly those xG numbers show they've failed to convert some promising performances into results and the fact they've yet to beat a side below them in the table is something of a concern for those aiming to back them at 2.2 to win here.

Such punters should also note that three of Brentford's four wins so far have come without conceding. A win to nil in this match is available to back at 3.5.

1280 Ivan Toney Brentford friendly 2021.jpg

That's not for me though.

The Bees looked far from watertight at the back at Leeds - stand-in keeper Alvaro Fernandez failing to impress - and Watford have proved they have goals in them.

Watford provide plenty of goals

The 17th-placed Hornets, 3.75 for victory, have managed to score 20 goals already this season despite failing to find the net in seven of their 15 matches. In recent away games, they've scored two at Leicester, five at Everton and three at Norwich.

But Claudio Ranieri's men have also conceded 29 - only Norwich and Newcastle have let in more - while the shots-conceded stats show they have the fourth-worst record, giving up more than 15 per game. There are the only Premier League team yet to keep a clean sheet this season.

Since putting the final nail in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's coffin with a 4-1 victory over Manchester United, Watford have lost three in a row, albeit those games came against Leicester, Chelsea and Manchester City.

BTTS looks sensible play

Notably they managed to score in all three and the both-teams-to-score option does look a fairly sensible play at 1.83.

It has also landed in five of Brentford's last seven and they have definitely looked more vulnerable since the injury to first-choice keeper David Raya.

That fail-to-score stat of Watford's is admittedly something of a concern, but they've done OK in those recent games against better sides than Brentford and look capable of finding the net here.

Over 2.5 goals at 2.02 is another option for those expecting goals, while Watford to score 2+ at 3.1 is tempting given the goals which have been scored in their recent away matches.

Go Mad for Danish assist

However, my other bet for this game - also a goal-related one - comes in the anytime-assist market.

Mads Roerslev came into the starting XI last week, taking Canos' place at right wing-back when the Spaniard was asked to play further forward.

He produced an eyecatching performance, getting forward well down that flank but also producing a sterling defensive display featuring three tackles.

The Dane surely did enough to maintain his spot in the side and should get more opportunities to get forward in a game in which Brentford will be expected to set the tempo and play on the front foot.

Roerslev's chances during his time at Brentford have been fairly limited but a look through his stats show he's managed four assists in his 22 starts, figures which immediately make his assist odds of 7/1 look rather big.

This is a home game against one of the league's weakest teams defensively so this looks worth a small play.

Opta fact

Watford are the only team yet to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League this season, while the Hornets have conceded more Premier League goals than any other side since Claudio Ranieri's first game in charge (19).

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