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Brentford v West Brom: The inside track on the Bees

By Luke Hatfield | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

West Brom take on Brentford, this week - but how much do you know about The Bees?

Pelenda Joshua DaSilva of Brentford and Jake Livermore of West Bromwich Albion. (AMA)

We spoke with Trevor Inns, from the Griffin Park Grapevine, to find out more about Albion's latest opponents.

See what he had to say here...

How has the season been for Brentford, from outside it appears the club has done brilliantly to get into the position it has with a relatively small budget?

Yes, obviously sitting in fourth is obviously a decent position to be in and no worse than we deserve. It would have been even higher but for an outrageous unpunished handball at The Hawthorns!

The difference is that we have acted on our defensive frailties from last season with the arrival of Pontus Jansson and Ethan Pinnock and now sit second best at conceding.

Scoring goals wasn't a problem last season and it isn't a problem this season either.

Our recruitment model is the envy of many a club and is well documented elsewhere. I think it's safe to say that those at the helm of the club have done exceptionally well and every Brentford supporter recognises that.

How have the Bees managed in lockdown, they didn't seem to show any kind of rust against Fulham?

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Well it would seem quite well given Saturday's outcome.

It's a young squad and appears to take direction well. Obviously like every other club they would have had individual programmes assigned which they would appear to have followed faithfully.

Brentford manager Thomas Frank

Difficult to know beyond that really...

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The extended break from football did have a silver lining in terms of giving players a chance to recover and get fit for the run-in, have any players at Griffin Park benefitted from the break?

Yes, we probably have most of the team carrying niggles of some form or another.

Most important is Jansson who had been absent from a number of games prior to the break with a niggling leg injury.

Our clean sheet record is very closely correlated to having him in the team, so the break has certainly helped getting everyone back fit again (well, except for the long-term ACL injuries).

However, again, the same probably applies to every other club.

Who are the big danger men for Brentford heading into the clash with Albion?

Too many to mention.

But none are physically big (if you meant that). Benrahma is tagged as the best player outside the Premier League, Watkins is one-goal off the division leading goalscorer, Norgaard runs the midfield, Marcondes's set-pieces, Dasilva's strong, ball-carrying runs from deep (actually he's quite big!) - you can take your pick.

We are very much a team in this respect.

Ollie Watkins

How far do you think Brentford can go, do you think they can realistically challenge for a spot in the automatic promotion places?

Getting to first or second place would probably require us to win all nine of this mini-tournament (maybe we could drop one or two points) and still require yourselves or Leeds to fall apart to some extent - which is why last weekend was good viewing.

If we are to get there then obviously Friday's match is a "must win".

It's been theorised that crowdless stadiums favour the more technical teams, so maybe it's not that far-fetched but no-one is getting over-excited.

Give it a couple of weeks and four wins and we'll see.

How do you expect to see Brentford line-up, what's your predicted XI?

We play 4-3-3, there's no secrets being given away there.

Raya; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry; Jensen, Norgaard, Dasilva; Fosu, Watkins, Benrahma.

That's the same starting XI as Fulham, but with 5 subs available for these games the starting XI isn't as important now.

Subs changed the game at Fulham... Expect to see Baptiste, Marcondes and Jeanvier at some point.

What have you made of Albion from afar, do you think they have what it takes to earn promotion and survive in the Premier League?

Well we know about Sawyers, a fantastic player but those defence-splitting passes have to be offset against occasional lapses in defensive duties.

WBA are certainly in prime position (literally) to go up and their remaining fixtures don't look too onerous. For the same reason I don't expect us to go up, I expect WBA to get promoted.

Survival in the PL? Well there's always three clubs worse then oneselves aren't there?!

I suspect it's not the first season that will be the problem, it will be how the off-field team can recruit and progress the team. Some clubs manage to do that well and some don't.

You will find out how good your backroom team is at that time.

Your match prediction?

Home win. You will come to play football, we like that.

You can see Trevor's work here.

Luke Hatfield

By Luke Hatfield

Digital Sports Journalist with the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

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