Newcastle are clear favourites with the bookies to win this game, as they have been pretty much all season in the Championship. However, right now they are not at their best and with Brentford in good form, the Bees look capable of getting something from it.
Brentford’s last 7 games in all competitions have produced 4 wins and only 1 defeat, which was only a narrow one in a tough away game at in-form Leeds. The West London club can be quite unpredictable but when they are good, they are often very good and they’ve put in a few very dominant performances at Griffin Park, where they average 1.50 goals per game.
Their fate this season could ultimately depend on whether they can hang onto in-demand striker Scott Hogan this month. They are already rumoured to have turned down a £12.5million bid from West Ham. Given he has scored 44% of their goals this term in the Championship, it’s easy to see why they are so keen to hold onto him. The 24 year old could really put himself further in the shop window with a good performance here against a team that has plenty of Premier League quality and on current form backing Hogan to score anytime could be worth a flutter.
That is backed up further by the fact that Newcastle have gone 5 games without a clean sheet. They’ve lost 4 of their last 8 Championship games and have won just 4 of their last 10 matches overall, which is a major drop on the level they’d reached prior to that when they looked like steamrollering this division. Jonjo Shelvey is suspended again here and the Magpies have really missed his creative influence over recent weeks and they could have done with him back for this game, which promises to be a tricky one.
The fact struggling Blackburn have completed a league double over Newcastle in the space of 6 weeks will give hope to the rest of the league and all of a sudden, this looks anything but the away banker it might have been a month or so back. The Bees have rediscovered their form and Griffin Park is one of the more awkward grounds to visit, so the Magpies may come unstuck again here and backing Double Chance – Brentford or Draw at 19/20 looks to offer value.
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