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Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s win against Nottingham Forest.

Thomas Frank, surprisingly, deployed a 3-5-2 against Nottingham Forest. Typically, the Bees would play a 4-3-3, but limited fullback options may have played a factor in that decision. The back three consisted of Collins, Pinnock, and Mee, supported by wingbacks Roerslev and Lewis-Potter. The midfield trio was Damsgaard, Janelt, and Jensen, with Brentford missing Nørgaard to injury. The king, Ivan Toney, returned and captained the squad up front alongside Maupay.

Nuno Espirito Santo was forced into some changes with 6 players out on international duty. Nottingham Forest came out in a 4-2-3-1 with Tavares, Murillo, Omobamidele, and Montiel starting on the backline. Nuno deployed Danilo and Mangala in a double pivot, with Yates ahead of them. Hudson-Odoi and Dominguez the wide players supporting Chris Wood leading the line.

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Quick Stats:

Possession: Brentford 48% – 52% Forest

xG: Brentford 1.29 – 1.10 Forest

xGOT: Brentford 1.44 – 0.76 Forest

Shots: Brentford 11 – 12 Forest

Shots on Target: Brentford 5 – 3 Forest

Clearances: Brentford 27 – 25 Forest

PPDA: Brentford 13.00 – 8.00 Forest

Other Brentford stats:

Interceptions: 12

Aerial duels won: 18 (55%)



Brentford’s seemingly opted for a more defensive formation, but this was actually quite attacking, with Keane Lewis-Potter in advanced positions much of the match, and Ben Mee often filling in for him in defensive wide areas. Brentford’s aggressive tactics, and willingness to play through the centre of the pitch, allowed Forest to create some chances off quick counters.

Toney’s homecoming will be clouded with discussion of moving the ball before the freekick, but Forest were just as guilty of bending the rules by standing in front of the ref’s 10-yard line. Toney’s return provided much more than just his goal, with his passing ability and aerial presence on display.

Fans will be happy to see Toney’s positive impact, but Brentford still showed concerning signs of poor defending and uncertain goalkeeping. The Bees have allowed the 4th lowest xGA and forcing the opposition into the 2nd longest average shot distance.

The statistics appear to show Brentford’s defence playing quite well, but Danilo’s goal is the perfect example of the issue. Danilo’s long-range effort could’ve, and probably should’ve, been saved by Flekken, but Brentford never should’ve been in that situation in the first place. Janelt’s failed clearance and Damsgaard’s missed tackle are simple mistakes leading to these goals, which Brentford need to clean up.

Still, Mark Flekken’s post-shot xG minus goals allowed on the season is -9.0, meaning he’s let in 9 more goals than expected. For reference, in his last four seasons in the Bundesliga, his combined post-shot xG minus goals allowed was +11.1. Clearly Flekken has the ability to play at a higher level, and a bit of confidence should do him a lot of good. Unfortunately, Brentford’s fixtures only get harder from here.