Brentford’s 2-0 win over Sunderland at the weekend gave their top six push a much-needed boost. They still have plenty of catching up to do but they will fancy they can bag maximum points against another struggling side here as they take on a Birmingham eleven that is battling for their lives.
Birmingham raided Griffin Park late last summer to bring in some much needed fresh blood and deal a real blow to Brentford’s plans for this season. However the Bees responded well to those setbacks, while the players that left Griffin Park for the Second City have largely struggled to make the same impression in a Birmingham shirt as they did for Brentford.
Jota is perhaps the best example of that. The Spaniard fired in 12 goals in 21 league appearances for Brentford last term after making a January move to the West London club. However he’s only scored in 1 of his 19 league appearances for Birmingham and he’s by no means the only Blues player who has been misfiring.
Birmingham average just 0.69 goals per game this season in the league. That’s the worst record in the division and has contributed to them being involved in some desperately poor games. A huge 81% of their away Championship matches this term have produced under 2.5 goals and a repeat seems likely here in a match they’d gladly take a point from.
Brentford have been much more enterprising but in recent weeks we have seen their games increasingly tend to be lower scoring affairs. Perhaps teams have grown to show them more respect or maybe Dean Smith has sacrificed a bit of attacking prowess, in the aim of keeping things tighter defensively. Either way, 6 of their last 7 matches have produced under 2.5 goals in total.
62% of their home league games this season have done likewise and all five competitive matches at Griffin Park so far in 2018 have produced under 2.5 goals. Given that and the opposition here, backing Under 3.5 Goals looks the smart bet here.
Going for Neal Maupay to score anytime could be worth a punt too. With Lasse Vibe gone, he’s now the main man up top for Brentford and has made an encouraging start to life in England with 7 league goals, including one at Sunderland on Saturday, despite having largely been a bit-part player until this point.
Head To Head
Brentford have won the last two meetings, both at St Andrews. However Blues had won four in a row against the Bees prior to that, including two wins at Griffin Park.
Brentford vs Birmingham Stats
- 75% of Birmingham’s league games this season have produced under 2.5 goals.
- 53% of Brentford games have done likewise and they have a 31% clean sheet ratio.