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Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s draw against Aston Villa.

Brentford came out in their 4-3-3 with Janelt coming on for Dasilva the only change from last weekend at Wolves. Brentford haven’t won in five matches, and were given another tough challenge with an in-form Aston Villa side. Aston Villa had won their last 5 games coming into this fixture and their last defeat was to Arsenal on February 18th.

Aston Villa had no surprises in their 4-2-3-1 with Ollie Watkins leading the line with  Buendia behind him. Ramsey and McGinn were the wide players, while Luiz and Dendoncker looked to control the midfield. Tyrone Ming and Konsa the usual centerback pairing with Moreno and Ashley Young the fullbacks.

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Quick Stats:

Possession: Brentford 42% – 58% Aston Villa

xG: Brentford 2.74 – 1.74 Aston Villa

Shots: Brentford 16 – 14 Aston Villa

Clearances: Brentford 16 – 24 Aston Villa

Other Brentford stats:

Interceptions: 11

Aerial duels won: 18 (58%)



            This is one of the matches that Phil Giles will look at the underlying statistics and be optimistic about Brentford’s performance. Brentford racked up 2.7 xG which was the most all season. Some clear chances stick out like Schade’s 0.88 miss, one that with time he’ll learn to finish calmy.

It’s promising to see Schade helping with Brentford’s high press and fitting in nicely out of possession. Schade led the team with 7 ball recoveries and that is something Thomas Frank will take notice of. Those are the type of statistics that Thomas Frank will take into consideration when choosing starting XI’s.

Brentford executed their high press almost flawlessly. They were able to win back possession multiple times from forced long balls. Aston Villa had trouble progressing the ball and were rarely able to connect on long balls to bypass the press. Once Brentford could force Aston Villa into passing back, their coordinated press made sure to cut out passing lanes and only allow passes back to the keeper.

Mbeumo was outstanding even with some missed chances and giveaways. He created 0.8 xAG and played 4 key passes. He also led the team with 6 shot-creating actions and 4 successful take-ons. Some Brentford fans may only notice the big misses, such as a 0.49 xG chance well off target, but Mbeumo offers so much to this team.

Jensen had a good game especially out of possession. 4 interceptions and 3/3 tackles on dribblers. His passing completion percentages may irritate some fans, but some of those long passes directly resulted in Aston Villa giving up long throw situations. Sometimes passing statistics can be misleading, especially when Brentford are intentionally trying to test an oppositions backline and their ability to deal with that type of pass.

Ivan Toney surprisingly didn’t win any aerial duels, as Brentford typically looked to play long balls to wide areas. Toney’s 0.22 xG chance was well taken on a great cross, but a difficult finish put the Bees ahead. A rough few minutes for Brentford late in the game saw Aston Villa equalize. Brentford’s four big chances will make Brentford fans feel like two points were dropped.

The Bees move on to Chelsea midweek as we may see some rotation and a switch to a 3-5-2. Nørgaard may miss out on the match after sustaining an injury and coming off at the half. Janelt or Onyeka the likely replacements if Nørgaard does miss out. Look out for our match preview thread on Twitter to see how Brentford may approach this match.