Brentford and Crystal Palace will both seek an immediate return to winning ways when they do battle in Saturday’s Premier League showdown at the Brentford Community Stadium.
The Bees went down 2-0 to Manchester City in midweek, while Patrick Vieira’s side were held to a 1-1 draw by a resurgent Norwich City.
Attempting to get one over the reigning champions is a tall order in itself without the absence of a star striker, but with Brentford losing Ivan Toney to a late calf issue, Pep Guardiola’s men got the job done with professionalism on Wednesday.
Raheem Sterling won yet another penalty for the Citizens – seeing him regain the Premier League leadership in that category – which Riyad Mahrez comfortably converted before Brentford’s attempts to play out from the back were punished by Kevin De Bruyne.
Brentford’s streak of red may cause Thomas Frank and his crop to start looking over their shoulder, with the Bees still 14th in the table but now just six points above the relegation zone having played a game more than 18th-placed Norwich.
The 2-1 loss at the Etihad made it six defeats in a row across all competitions for this formerly formidable Brentford outfit – who have conceded at least two goals on each occasion in that abysmal stretch – and it is now five top-flight losses on the bounce for the newly-promoted outfit.
Arsenal and Liverpool need no reminding how resilient Brentford can be in front of their own supporters – with four of their six league wins this term coming on home soil – and a positive result would see them improve their league standing at the expense of Palace’s.
Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira before the match on February 5, 2022© Reuters
Back from the Africa Cup of Nations with a bang, Wilfried Zaha stamped his authority on the Carrow Road turf with a magnificent long-range effort to restore parity against Norwich before a warm embrace with manager Patrick Vieira.
Teemu Pukki had given the hosts the lead after just 38 seconds in Wednesday’s game – the fastest goal of the 2021-22 Premier League so far – and Palace now face a crucial period of London derbies if their top-half ambitions are to remain alive after Zaha’s wayward penalty following his thunderbolt.
Vieira’s side must also lock horns with capital rivals Chelsea and Watford before the month ends, and having now failed to win any of their last four in the Premier League, the Eagles are now 13th in the standings – one place and two points above their upcoming opponents with a game in hand.
The Eagles being dragged into a late scrap for survival is not beyond the realm of possibility – especially if Vieira wants to see how far he can take his side in the FA Cup – and Brentford will sense an opportunity with Palace now winless in six league matches away from home.
The first-ever Premier League meeting between Brentford and Palace in the second gameweek of the season ended in a drab 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park, but the Bees have won the last three clashes with the Eagles on home soil, although their most recent one was all the way back in 1977.