Manchester City will be aiming for victory at Brentford on Monday night to put pressure on leaders Liverpool in the Premier League.
City are playing catch-up to Jurgen Klopp's Reds this weekend and know they can ill-afford too many more slip-ups this season if they are to retain their title.
They face a Bees side on Monday who are struggling and have slipped down to 15th in the table, just three points above the relegation zone, following a run of six defeats in their last seven league games.
Brentford have stunned City in the last two meetings between the sides, winning home and away against Pep Guardiola’s men last season, but a third straight victory over the treble winners looks highly unlikely.
The match will be shown live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event.
The game will be played at the GTech Community Stadium in Brentford with a kick-off time of 20:00 GMT on Monday 5th February 2024.
City are understandably the huge favourites to win at Brentford but they may not come away from the GTech Community stadium with a clean sheet to accompany the three points.
Strangely, Pep Guardiola’s side have struggled to earn many shutouts in the top flight recently, with the 2-0 home win over Sheffield United on 30th December their only clean sheet in 11 games.
During that run they have conceded to strugglers Luton, Crystal Palace, Burnley and Everton so it seems logical that the Bees stand a good chance of at least scoring against them too.
Thomas Frank’s side, while their overall form has been fairly dismal, have at least been scoring goals regularly.
Brentford have won only two of their last 10 league matches, losing the other eight, but they have registered at least one goal in seven of those games.
Add the fact that they now have Ivan Toney back and firing, and they should have enough to score, even if it may not be enough to stop City from winning.
Julian Alvarez has stepped up in the absence of main man Erling Haaland for City in recent weeks with the Argentinian scoring four times in his last four league outings to take his goal tally in all competitions to 15.
Haaland may not go straight back into the starting line-up against Brentford as Guardiola continues to carefully manage his return to action following injury and therefore Alvarez appeals in the anytime market instead at a better price.
Alvarez has looked sharp up front of late, registering 25 shots, of which 13 have been on target, in his last eight games in all competitions so he should be confident of grabbing at least another goal against the struggling Bees on Monday.
Defender Sergio Reguilon is available for the hosts after being ineligible to face parent club Tottenham in the 3-2 defeat in midweek.
Boss Frank still has several injury issues to contend with as Aaron Hickey, Rico Henry, Kevin Schade and Bryan Mbeumo are all still out.
Josh Dasilva and Mikkel Damsgaard are among the players who could come into the side if Frank opts to make changes.
Pep Guardiola must decide whether to start centre-forward Haaland, who is fit again following a foot injury.
The Norway international came on as a midweek substitute against Burnley after five games out.
Guardiola could opt to rotate his side with Jack Grealish, Ruben Dias, Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva all hoping for starts after being named on the bench in midweek.
The visitors have no new reported injuries and they are also boosted by the news defender Manuel Akanji is fit again after a knee problem.
Brentford have lost six of their last seven league games with just the solitary 3-2 win over Nottigham Forest breaking that poor run.
City have, in contrast, won their last four top-flight games and are unbeaten in their last six.
Brentford have won the last two games between the sides, doing the double over last season’s treble winners in 2022-23, beating them 2-1 at the Etihad and 1-0 at home.
|Manchester City wins
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.