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Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s loss to Everton.

Thomas Frank stuck with his 4-3-3 but brought in Janelt to the starting XI. Wissa went to the bench as Damsgaard looked to fill his role in the left half-space. Damsgaard made his case for himself against Fulham with an excellent performance. Thomas Frank most likely fit another midfielder into the squad to deal with Sean Dyche’s 4-5-1 formation. Putting another player with ball skills in a crowded midfield area could help with keeping possession and winning second balls.

Sean Dyche’s Everton side came out in their usual 4-5-1, but still notably missing Calvert-Lewin. Demari Gray got another start with Neal Maupay sitting on the bench. Mykolenko returned to the squad after missing the last match against Nottingham Forest. Everton with one win in the past 5 games looked to get out of the relegation zone.

1st Minute

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Quick Stats:

Possession: Everton 33% – 67% Brentford

xG: Everton 1.03 – 2.10 Brentford

Big Chances: Everton 1 – 1 Brentford

xG on Target (xGOT): Everton 1.47 – 0.59 Brentford

Other Brentford stats:

Total Shots: 12

Interceptions: 4

Tackles won: 9 (82%)

Aerial duels won: 23 (56%)



            Unfortunately for Brentford, a dream start for Everton changed the game completely. The early goal allowed Everton to sit deep and let Brentford control possession. We’ve seen numerous times this season Brentford struggle to breakdown mid and low blocks. Everton going up early is the last thing Brentford wanted.

In the first half Everton did well to win second balls. Brentford’s counter pressing was easily broken and Everton could threaten on counters. Brentford’s switch to a 3-2-5 late in the match helped create chances, bypassing the midfield and opening up space on the wings. This was a similar tactic seen against Palace when Brentford needed a goal.

Although Brentford’s xG was double Everton’s, it was clear Brentford had poor finishing with only 0.59 expected goals on target. Brentford did not make the most of their chances, and dropped points against side fighting relegation.

David Raya had another excellent match. His distribution was on display yet again as 10 out of 13 passes beyond Brentford’s own third were successful. Raya’s pinpoint passing helped stretch Everton’s width and open up options going forward.

Next match is Southampton on Saturday, so look out for our match preview thread on Twitter. Expect another high possession game for the Bees, but very different tactics. Last time out against Southampton the Bees dominated the midfield and completed more passes into the penalty box than they have against any other team all season.