It’s matchday 4 in the Premier League this weekend and AFC Bournemouth go head to head with Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium.
Thomas Frank’s Bees have had an unbeaten start to the season so far with one win and two draws which is a fairly decent start to the season. They shared the spoils with Crystal Palace last weekend as goals by Kevin Schade and Joachim Andersen meant the two London sides had to settle for a draw.
AFC Bournemouth, meanwhile, have managed to pick up just a point in their opening three games of the season which came in the draw against West Ham United on the opening matchday. The Cherries were subject to a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at home last weekend in a rather spirited performance even though they failed to capitalize on the chances created. They emerged victorious in the midweek EFL cup clash against Swansea City as a late Ryan Christie winner was enough to send his side through to the next round in a thrilling 3-2 win.
When and Where?
Date: 2nd September, 2023.
Time: 2:00 PM GMT.
Venue: Gtech Community Stadium.
Referee: Robert Madley.
Assistants: Marc Perry, Steve Meredith.
Fourth Official: Robert Jones
VAR: Paul Tierney
Assistant VAR: Neil Davies
Brentford will be without 3 players for the game against Bournemouth as Ivan Toney, Joshua Da’Silva and Ben Mee all remain unavailable for Thomas Frank. Ivan Toney remains suspended by the FA while Joshua Da’Silva is nursing a thigh injury. Ben Mee picked up an injury in pre-season and his return to the first team still remains uncertain.
As for AFC Bournemouth, Andoni Iraola will be without the same group of players who missed the Spurs game with Adam Smith, Ryan Fredricks, Tyler Adams, Alex Scott, Marcus Tavernier and Dango Ouattara all unavailable for the Cherries. Lewis Cook made an injury return last weekend in a substitute cameo and will be fully fit to start this weekend.
Thomas Frank has shifted to a 4-at-the-back system this season from the 3-5-2 he used last season. The long-term absence of Ivan Toney has been a pivotal reason behind this switch as the Bees no longer have a physical no.9 up top leading the line and holding up play which were the two most important qualities Toney provided to suit the 3 at the back system. Yoane Wissa has taken up the role of the no.9 in absence of Toney has performed very well as the 4-3-3 system favours a striker who can run in the channels and be a goal poacher all of which the 26-year-old is very good at.
The game against Bournemouth who play in a similar shape of a 4-3-3 will be a tricky one for Brentford. The Cherries have played a 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 hybrid under new manager Andoni Iroala though they are yet to adapt to his intense style of football. The Spaniard is known for his super intense pressing and physical style of play which still hasn’t been seen on the pitch though there have been glimpses here and there. It is a work in progress though they might need to buckle up soon enough in order to get points on the board.
The Congo international has had a great start to the season starting all 3 games for the Bees and also scoring twice. He has assumed the responsibility of leading the line for his side very well and will be the danger man yet again. His poaching abilities to be in the right place at the right time will be a threat for the leaky Bournemouth defence who have shipped in 6 goals in 3 games.
The Englishman will be the key player for Iraola and Co. at the weekend. Having already opened his goal-scoring tally for this season on the opening weekend, Solanke will look to increase it against a Brentford side who have conceded in both their home games this season. His aerial presence will also be helpful for the Cherries to capitalize on during set piece situations.
Brentford predicted lineup: Flekken, Hickey, Collins, Pinnock, Henry, Jensen, Norgaard, Janelt, Mbeumo, Wissa, Schade.
AFC Bournemouth predicted lineup: Neto, Aarons, Zabarnyi, Kelly, Kerkez, Christie, Moore, Kluivert, Billing, Semenyo, Solanke.