Pep Guardiola will be hoping to add further fire to the reigning Premier League champions’ top-flight charge on Tuesday. We look ahead to Manchester City vs Brentford with our preview and prediction.

Manchester City vs Brentford Stats: The Quick Hits

  • Manchester City are the heavy favourites for this clash against Brentford, winning 70.7% of pre-match simulations by the Opta supercomputer.
  • Brentford have lost seven of their 11 Premier League away games this campaign (W3 D1), as many as in the entirety of last season. 
  • Phil Foden could become just the seventh Premier League player to score goals against one opponent in two different matches in the same month.

Match Preview

The Premier League title race is wide open but that will not concern Manchester City, who usually string together a remarkable mid-to-late season run to ward off any top-flight contenders, and they can get back to winning ways when they face struggling Brentford at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.

Pep Guardiola’s side have lifted English football’s top-flight title in each of the last three seasons, with Liverpool and Arsenal hoping to stop Manchester’s trophy-winning machine in 2023-24. However, City stuttered slightly at the weekend in a 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea and now sit four points behind the league-leading Liverpool and two adrift of Mikel Arteta’s side, but with this game in hand they can get back to within a point of the top.

Erling Haaland had nine shots and an expected goals (xG) total of 1.71 against Chelsea on Matchday 25, his most in both metrics without scoring in a single game for City across all competitions. That profligate showing from the Norwegian talisman against the Blues, who took a first-half lead through former City winger Raheem Sterling, left Guardiola’s men needing a late Rodri strike to secure a share of the spoils on Saturday.

The reigning English champions, armed with the fit-again Kevin De Bruyne and Haaland, are becoming somewhat reliant on comeback performances. City have fallen behind in 11 of their 24 Premier League games this season; only in 2016-17 (12) and 2019-20 (13) have they trailed in more games in a top-flight campaign under Guardiola. However, the club from the blue side of Manchester have recovered 18 points from losing positions this term; only in 1993-94 (20) have they regained more after falling behind in a single Premier League season.

Phil Foden will likely start alongside Haaland and De Bruyne once again, having scored a hat-trick in the rearranged reverse fixture earlier in February.

Phil Foden goals v Brentford

As for the rest of Guardiola’s team news, Jack Grealish remains out after sustaining an injury in City’s 3-1 last-16 first-leg Champions League victory over FC Copenhagen, while Josko Gvardiol is also set for a spell on the sidelines due to an ankle-ligament issue.

It has been a troubling campaign for Brentford, who were hammered 4-1 by Liverpool at the Gtech Community Stadium in Saturday’s early kick-off and are 14th in the league table.

Darwin Núñez, Alexis Mac Allister, Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo were all on target for Jürgen Klopp’s league leaders on MD 25, with Ivan Toney’s second-half goal rendered meaningless. That defeat means Brentford have lost 10 of their last 13 Premier League games (W3), keeping just one clean sheet and conceding 29 goals in this period (2.2 per game).

In fact, since the first game of that aforementioned spell in November (a 3-0 defeat at Liverpool), the Bees have lost more Premier League matches than any other side (10). Brentford manager Thomas Frank’s plight has not been helped by injury issues either, with Joshua Dasilva, Kevin Schade, Aaron Hickey, Bryan Mbeumo and Rico Henry all absent. He has recently had Yoane Wissa and Frank Onyeka return following their Africa Cup of Nations commitments, though.

Frank desperately needs improvements and will look to star striker Toney once again. He has scored in both of his Premier League away games this season since returning from a ban, with goals against Tottenham and Wolves, though no Brentford player has ever scored in three successive away appearances in the competition.

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Manchester City vs Brentford Head-to-Head

Manchester City have won six of their eight home games against Brentford in all competitions, with the exceptions being a 2-0 defeat in December 1937 and a 2-1 loss in this exact fixture last season as Toney snatched a last-gasp winner with his second goal of that game at the Etihad.

However, after Guardiola’s side won 3-1 in the reverse meeting earlier this month, Man City vs Brentford could become only the third instance of one team beating another twice in the same calendar month in the Premier League, with both of the previous two being achieved by Arsenal – against Bolton in January 2010 and versus Wolves in February 2022.

Brentford v Man City stats

Foden netted a hat-trick in the most recent triumph over the Bees and has scored five of City’s seven Premier League goals overall against Brentford. In Premier League history, there have been just six previous instances of a player netting in two separate matches against one opponent within the same calendar month, most recently Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford against Leeds United in February 2023.

Expect another entertaining encounter in this one, too, as only one of the 18 meetings in all competitions between Man City (W10) and Brentford (W7) has finished level – a goalless draw in the top division all the way back in March 1936.

Recent Form

There is a remarkable record at stake here, with Man City unbeaten in their last 47 midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) games at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League (W41 D6) since a 1-0 defeat to Tottenham in May 2010.

The Citizens have won 26 of their last 27 such fixtures (D1), including each of their last 12 in a row, and have only lost one of their last 37 Premier League home games (W30 D6) overall, although that was to Brentford in November 2022 (2-1). 

The Bees, by contrast, have lost seven of their 11 Premier League away games this campaign (W3 D1), as many as in the whole of last season. Frank’s side have lost five of their last six away league outings, although did win their most recent one at Wolves (2-0).

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off on Tuesday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Manchester City vs Brentford Prediction

Man City v Brentford match prediction

The Opta supercomputer predicts nothing other than a win for Man City, who triumphed in 70.7% of 10,000 pre-match simulations, compared to a Brentford victory in just a mere 10.1%.

Frank’s side were victorious in this fixture last season, though a draw may be more realistic this time and that result occurred in 19.2% of data-led predictions.

The MD 25 draw with Chelsea saw City’s chances of retaining the top-flight title drop to 46.5%, though they are still favourites and hold off charges from Liverpool (38.4%) and Arsenal (15.0%) in Opta’s end-of-season-simulations.

Meanwhile, Brentford finish 14th most often in the same Opta model in 21.0% of simulations – their current league position. The Bees still have a 2.0% likelihood of an improbable relegation back to the Championship.

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