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Brentford Premier League season preview

After comfortably avoiding relegation in their maiden Premier League campaign, Brentford will be looking to build on that feat in 2022/23.

Original article published 22 August 2022

The Bees started last season in fine fashion, winning 2-0 at home to Arsenal, while they tasted defeat just once in their opening seven games, including a 3-3 draw with Liverpool.

Understandably, there were frustrating periods during 2021/22 and Brentford endured some tough patches - losing five in a row through January and February. However, they never once dropped into the relegation places, eventually finishing the term in 13th and 11 points clear of the drop zone.

Survival will be the primary aim once again for boss Thomas Frank, who will be eager to avoid suffering 'second season syndrome', and Brentford are priced at 3/10 not to be relegated.

What

England Premier League 2022/23

Where

England

When5th August 2022 - 28th May 2023
How to watch

Selected matches broadcast on Sky, BT Sport and Amazon Prime

OddsManchester City 4/7, Liverpool 2/1, Tottenham 14/1, Chelsea 16/1, Manchester United 33/1

Where did Brentford finish last season?

13th

What are Brentford's hopes for the season?

Many fans will feel that having survived last term, now is the time to try and kick on and start targeting a spot higher up the standings.

However, there's a tendency for clubs recently promoted to the Premier League to find their second season much tougher than the first and Brentford need to avoid slipping into that category.

Sheffield United are a recent prime example. The Blades won promotion and secured ninth place in 2019/20, missing out on a European berth by just five points, but they were unable to back it up the following term and went down after finishing bottom of the standings.

New teams can often spring a surprise and other clubs start to work out the best way to nullify them as time progresses, something which was clear to see as last season panned out.

Brentford started incredibly well with a positive mindset but, by the midway point, they began to struggle and endured a run of just one win in 11 games, including nine defeats, between December and February.

Sustainability is the key for a club like Brentford and Frank will need to try and build patiently to establish the West London outfit as a long-term fixture in the top-flight.

Therefore, steering clear of the drop zone will be Frank's number one priority for Brentford, who are 12/5 to be relegated and can be backed at 3/10 not to be relegated, and anything above that will be a bonus.

The Bees made it to the fourth round of the FA Cup and quarter-finals of the League Cup in 2021/22 and, although a run in either of those competitions is always welcomed by fans, it could possibly distract from their main goal of survival.

Who are Brentford's opening opponents?

Brentford, priced at 5/2 to pick up a win, head to the King Power Stadium to face 19/20 Leicester City in their opening game of the campaign on 7th August at 14:00. The draw is available at 11/4.

Leicester won both meetings 2-1 last season, a repeat result is priced at 17/2, while Brentford have failed to pick up a victory in six previous meetings with the Foxes across all competitions - losing five and drawing one.

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When are Brentford's key fixtures?

Picking up victories over the newly-promoted clubs - Bournemouth, Fulham and Nottingham Forest - will likely be key to helping Brentford steer clear of the bottom three.

Of those fixtures, earning bragging rights against West London rivals Fulham will be something all Brentford fans want to see.

They won't have to wait long for their first meeting of the season, with a trip to Craven Cottage coming in just their third outing on 20th August, while the return engagement at the Brentford Community Stadium takes place on 4th March.

The 2022/23 campaign will have a unique feel to it with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar seeing the league break off between 12th November and 26th December.

Brentford head to defending champions Manchester City on 12th November and they return to action on Boxing Day with a home clash against Tottenham.

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Who is Brentford's manager?

Frank remains in the hot seat at Brentford and it's easy to see why after he earned them promotion to the top-flight and kept them well away from the bottom three in 2021/22.

The Dane has been with the Bees since December 2016, initially joining as assistant head coach under Dean Smith, before being promoted after Smith's departure in October 2018.

Frank led Brentford to the play-off final during his first full campaign in charge, losing to Fulham at Wembley, before winning promotion via the play-offs the next year.

He did endure a tough start, winning just one of his first 10 games, but a change in formation, moving to a 3-4-3, saw their form improve dramatically.

What players have Brentford signed?

Max Dickov (Free agent)
Max Wilcox (Bolton)
Aaron Hickey (Bologna)
Keane Lewis-Potter (Hull)
Kyreece Lisbie (Free agent)
Thomas Strakosha (Lazio)
Yehor Yarmoliuk (SC Dnipro-1)
Ben Mee (Burnley)
Michael Olakigbe (Fulham)
Mikkel Damsgarrd (Sampdoria)

Which players have left Brentford?

Ben Hockenhull (Tranmere)
Hans Mpongo (Released)
Mads Bidstrup (Nordsjaelland, Loan)
Gustav Mogensen (Sarpsborg)
Christian Eriksen (Man Utd)
Paris Maghoma (AFC Wimbledon, Loan)
Dominic Thompson (Blackpool)
Lachlan Brook (Crewe, Loan)
Marcus Forss (Middlesbrough)
Ellery Balcombe (Crawley Town, Loan)
Nathan Young-Coombes (AFC Wimbledon, Loan)

Who are Brentford's key players?

Star player

Christian Norgaard

Potential top scorer

Ivan Toney

Set-piece king

Bryan Mbeumo

Exciting youngster

Keane Lewis-Potter

Ivan Toney, priced at 50/1 to win the golden boot, excelled for Brentford last season, ending the campaign as the club's top scorer with 12 league goals and 14 across all competitions.

Toney's exploits saw him tipped to earn an England call and that will undoubtedly be on his mind as he looks to keep firing in 2022/23.

Frank will hope that Yoane Wissa, who netted seven league goals, and Bryan Mbeumo, who struck four, can take some of the pressure off Toney and help Brentford to become more clinical.

Christian Norgaard was also hugely important for an entirely different reason, as he patrolled the midfield and ended the term with more successful tackles (109) than any other player in the Premier League.

The signing of Keane Lewis-Potter from Hull for £16million is one to keep a close eye on with the 21-year-old tipped for big things in the future.

Lewis-Potter registered 12 goals to help keep Hull City in the Championship last season and won three accolades at the club's end-of-season awards ceremony.

Which of Brentford's players will be going to the World Cup?

Norgaard and Mathias Jensen will be involved at the 2022 World Cup, with Denmark hoping to build on a fine showing at Euro 2020.

Saman Ghoddos boasts 31 caps for Iran and should be part of the squad that faces England on 21st November in Group B.

Tariqe Fosu will also be hoping to be on the plane to Qatar, with Ghana set to face Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea in Group H.

Goalkeeper David Raya earned his first and only cap for Spain in June and, although he's unlikely to be a starter, he could travel as part of the squad.

In terms of English interest, Toney, priced at 14/1 to be in England's World Cup squad, could potentially force his way into Gareth Southgate's plans with a bright first few months.

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