Neal Maupay will be sitting in the stands when his parent club Everton visit the club he is on loan to – the Bees – on Saturday.
The striker rejoined us on deadline day, four years after leaving us for Brighton, but is ineligible to play against the Toffees.
Everton have made a sorry start to the season and have only one point from their first five Premier League games, in which they have only scored twice.
They have lost all three home games 1-0 – against Fulham, Wolves and then Arsenal last Saturday – while on the road they were hammered 4-0 at Aston Villa before picking up a 2-2 draw at Sheffield United.
It continues a miserable run which goes back to the final third of last season.
After beating us 1-0 at the start of March, they only won two of their final 11 games – one on the final day of the season against Bournemouth, which was enough to preserve their top-flight place by two points.
At least the Toffees had a bit of early-season cup joy in this campaign, when they overcame a 1-0 half-time deficit to win 2-1 at League Two Doncaster in the second round of the Carabao Cup to earn a third-round return to Aston Villa next week.
Everton have spent more seasons than any other club in the top flight of English football – 121 out of 125 – and have been there since winning promotion in 1954/55. Their run of 70 consecutive seasons is second only to Arsenal (98).
The Toffees are also one of only six teams who are ever-present in the Premier League so far, along with the Gunners, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Spurs.
WHO’S IN CHARGE
Sean Dyche replaced Frank Lampard as Everton boss in January to become the seventh managerial appointment by majority owner Farhad Moshiri since he bought into the club in February 2016.
Dyche was best known for his time at Burnley, where he was in charge for nearly 10 years and managed both Ben Mee and Nathan Collins.
During his time at Turf Moor, he led the Clarets to two promotions from the Championship and two top-half Premier League finishes, including a first European qualification in 51 years, after they finished seventh in 2017/18.
He had previously been in charge at Watford during the 2011/12 season, during which he led the Hornets to their highest finish for four years in the Championship.
During an 18-year playing career, Dyche made more than 500 senior appearances as a centre-half, with more than half of them coming for Chesterfield, who he helped to reach the 1997 FA Cup semi-finals.
The Spireites were one of four clubs where Dyche won promotion – the others being Bristol City, Millwall and Northampton – while he also played for Luton and Watford.
WE’VE MET BEFORE
This is only the 11th season in which we have met Everton in the league, and the eighth in the top flight.
So far in the Premier League, we have beaten them twice, drawn once and lost once.
We did the double over them in 2021/22. An Ivan Toney penalty, in the 24th minute of our home game in the November, was enough to give us all three points.
The return match in May was a thriller as the Bees overcame a 2-1 deficit to win 3-2 against the nine-man Toffees.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin gave Everton an early lead, but Jarrad Branthwaite was sent off for fouling Ivan Toney in the 18th minute and we equalised in the 37th minute when Yoane Wissa’s delivery was deflected into his own net by Seamus Coleman.
Richarlison restored the Toffees’ lead with a penalty in first-half stoppage-time, but goals from Wissa and Rico Henry in three minutes midway through the second half wrapped up the points for us.
Everton were reduced to nine men in the 88th minute, when substitute Salomon Rondon was sent off only four minutes after coming on as a substitute for a reckless tackle on Henry.
We also met in the FA Cup fourth round that season in Frank Lampard’s first game in charge and fell to a 4-1 defeat.
Early substitute Yerry Mina headed Everton in front in the 31st minute and Richarlison doubled the lead three minutes after the break.
Ivan Toney quickly pulled one back from the penalty spot, but Mason Holgate and Andros Townsend scored to take the Toffees into the fifth round.
The match was notable for comebacks from injury by David Raya, who played his first game for more than three months, and Josh Dasilva, who came on as a substitute for his first appearance for almost a year.
We only picked up one point from last season’s two Premier League games.
Vitaly Janelt earned it in the August home game with an 84th-minute equaliser to earn us a 1-1 draw, after Anthony Gordon had put Everton ahead in the 24th minute.
The return game in March proved to be the end of our 12-match unbeaten Premier League run as Dwight McNeil’s first-minute goal proved decisive in a 1-0 Everton victory.
Our past league results (Brentford score first) are:
1935/36 – (H) W 4-1 (A) W 2-1
1936/37 – (H) D 2-2 (A) L 0-3
1937/38 – (H) W 3-0 (A) L 0-3
1938/39 – (H) W 2-0 (A) L 1-2
1946/47 – (H) D 1-1 (A) W 2-0
1951/52 – (H) W 1-0 (A) L 0-1
1952/53 – (H) L 2-4 (A) L 0-5
1953/54 – (H) W 1-0 (A) L 1-6
2021/22 – (H) W 1-0 (A) W 3-2
2022/23 – (H) D 1-1 (A) L 0-1
Our only other recent meeting was the memorable Carling Cup third round tie – which happened 13 years ago on Thursday – in which we beat them 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Gary Alexander cancelled out Seamus Coleman’s opener and Charlie MacDonald missed a penalty in normal-time before the match went to a shootout.
Goalkeeper Richard Lee proved to be our hero, saving from Jermaine Beckford, before Phil Jagielka’s effort hit the post to send us into the fourth round for only the second time in our history.
Q – How would you assess Everton’s season so far?
A – Where do you begin? There’s just so much going on at Goodison Park right now that it’s difficult to keep pace with it all. Obviously, it’s been a poor start on the pitch although I’m not sure that one point from 15 available is a true reflection, especially when you consider they had 16 shots on target against Fulham and Wolves combined – Bernd Leno and Jose Sa had sensational matches for the visitors otherwise the Blues could easily have had two wins on the board already.
As it stands, however, their only point so far came away to Sheffield United in a topsy-turvy 2-2 draw at Bramall Lane with Jordan Pickford performing miracles in stoppage time to deny Oli McBurnie.
Off the pitch is where the plot thickens. Everton are set to have new owners after Farhad Moshiri agreed to sell his entire 94.1% stake to American investment fund 777 Partners and has since received a loan payment worth tens of millions of pounds from the company as well. Despite the desire from most Evertonians to see the back of Moshiri, this latest development has been met with concern by the majority, with other clubs who are associated with 777 also going through a hard time at the moment.
That much-craved first win of the season would go a long way to lifting the mood on and off the pitch.
Q – Why does nothing seem to have changed from last season?
A – I think that’s where the uncertainty off the pitch comes into play.
Everton’s spending is under scrutiny when it comes to FFP following heavy but ultimately unsuccessful spending in recent seasons. As I’ll touch on later in the piece, the squad has undoubtedly been strengthened in key areas by summer recruits but there are still areas that need addressing. While Beto came in, I thought a minimum of two forwards was required to make up for the potential absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin given his injury woes in recent years.
The nature of the Fulham and Wolves defeats as well was gut-wrenching for Blues as well. They twice lost late on having had chance after chance after chance, another example of why a goalscorer is desperately needed at Goodison.
The fans have absolutely been crucial in the club twice escaping relegation in the last two seasons and they could well be called on again to play their part.
Q – What does Sean Dyche need to do to turn things around?
A – Kevin Campbell told BBC Radio 5 Live this week that he wants to see Dyche be “more offensive” with his style of play and the Blues boss may well be forced to do so sooner rather than later. As mentioned, they were indeed attacking and offensive against Fulham and Wolves but didn’t get the rewards that their performances deserved. Campbell was speaking after the defeat to Arsenal which was always going to be a different challenge. It’s very difficult to take on a team with the quality of the Gunners toe-to-toe, especially when you haven’t won a league game so far as you don’t want to get picked off on the counter-attack, but many Blues I’ve spoken to since emphasised the feeling that “a punch wasn’t thrown” throughout the 1-0 loss.
Evertonians want to see good football and Dyche has always maintained he approaches each game the best he can with the armoury at his disposal. Fixtures against Luton and Bournemouth at Goodison arguably take on more significance than Saturday’s trip to the Gtech Community Stadium, but failure to win in either of those matches would definitely set alarm bells ringing.
Q – What was the summer transfer business like?
A – The business undoubtedly improved the side but also left a bit to be desired.
Five players came in – Ashley Young, Yousef Chermiti and Beto all joined permanently while Arnaut Danjuma and Jack Harrison arrived on loan. Jarrad Branthwaite also returned to the club after a hugely impressive loan spell at PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie.
Beto looks to have the potential to make a real impact up front with the added factor of a genuine love for the club dating back to when his idol Samuel Eto’o enjoyed a short spell at the club going back the best part of a decade, while Danjuma has adjusted well and is already a fixture across the front line.
There were also several outgoings. Alex Iwobi, who was crucial to the survival bid last season, moved to Fulham on deadline day for over £20m after failing to agree terms on a new contract while Demarai Gray moved to Saudi Arabia, with Neal Maupay of course returning to yourselves on a season-long loan after just one goal following his switch from Brighton last summer. Sean Dyche has made it clear through his selections that the latter two would play no part in his long term plans and there was also the very public show of frustration from Gray while ultimately meant there was no way back for the winger on Merseyside.
At the back, Mason Holgate, Conor Coady and Yerry Mina all left one way or another, with Coady’s exit particularly interesting given the club decided not to take up the option to buy the centre-back from Wolves for just £4.5m due to financial reasons. Fans called out for another central defender to join and yet none arrived.
Only time will tell if the Blues ultimately did enough to avoid another struggling season.
Q – This is Everton’s last season at Goodison – what will the move to the new stadium do for the club?
A – Hopefully a big one on and off the pitch. The moving-in date for Bramley Moore isn’t yet known but it would be devastating to move into the glorious brand new arena while in the Championship. The new ground will hopefully bring more funding, sponsors and hospitality to the club and it’s no secret the club is very much in need of a cash injection right now.
The final day at Goodison will be an emotional one for so many of all generations but there is a general consensus that, for the club to progress, it’s a necessary change. I travel past the construction site every day to come into the city centre and it looks better and better by the day, it will be a magnificent addition to the city. They just need a football team to match it.
Q – How important is ex-Bee James Tarkowski to the side?
A – He’s vital. Absolutely crucial. Him and Pickford are two massive reasons why the Blues are still in the Premier League this season. Tarkowski has taken over the temporary captaincy in the absence of Seamus Coleman and his experience is crucial in the middle of all the chaos that surrounds him at times. He’s also a threat from set-pieces. He scored the winner in Dyche’s first game in charge against Arsenal last season – so I wouldn’t rule out him getting on the end of a delivery on Saturday evening.
Q – What are your memories of past meetings between the teams?
A – It had been a long time since these teams met until Brentford’s promotion to the top flight in 2021. The way Brentford have taken on the Premier League has been incredible to watch and that resulted in a double over Everton in 21/22, including what’s seen on Merseyside as a controversial 3-2 victory at Goodison towards the end of the season. It was certainly a rollercoaster afternoon and only added to the emotions that were experienced in the equally crazy win over Crystal Palace to secure safety just days later.
Last season, however, the Blues ultimately got the better of the two meetings. Vitaly Janelt’s late goal cancelled out Anthony Gordon’s opener which denied the Blues a first Premier League win of the season – an experience the travelling Toffees will hope isn’t repeated on Saturday. The return fixture at Goodison resulted in a massive three points which contributed towards the final day escape act. Dwight McNeil’s fine left-foot strike after just 35 seconds was the earliest winning goal the club had ever scored at home. A nervy 90 minutes following with several close shaves but ultimately, a dogged display did the job.
I really am a fan of so many Brentford players. It’s easy to say Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo for their attacking influence but I think Rico Henry is one of the best left-backs in the division on his day so it’s horrible to see he’s likely to miss the rest of the campaign with an ACL injury. Thomas Frank’s side is full of quality from back to front, a fact Blues are all too aware of.
Q – Finally can you give me a possible formation and line-up for the Toffees?
A – Everton have tended to go for a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 this season but the addition of Beto could well see him paired with Calvert-Lewin sooner rather than later. Given the free-flowing nature of Brentford’s attacks, I’m not that will happen this weekend, however.
There’s also a debate with regards to the full-back situation after Vitalii Mykolenko came in against Arsenal, as Ashley Young moved across to right-back with Nathan Patterson moving to the bench. For large spells of the game against Arsenal, the stifling approach worked but once the deadlock was broken, it was very difficult to see a way the Blues would get back into the match. I was also surprised to see James Garner dropped as well given his displays so far this season so he could well come back in.
All things considered, I’d go for: Pickford, Young, Tarkowski (C), Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Gueye, Doucoure, Garner, Danjuma, Beto, McNeil.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAME IF YOU CAN’T BE THERE
If you can’t get to the Brentford Community Stadium for Saturday’s 3.00pm kick-off and want Brentford commentary, audio coverage is available via Buzz Box for free.
Coverage starts half an hour before kick-off and is advert-free, with Mark Burridge and Brentford women’s team striker Kirsty Matthews.
There is also live radio commentary on BBC Radio London DAB and BBC Radio 5 Live.
The match is being shown live on Sky Sports.
PUBS IN BRENTFORD AND TRAVEL NEWS
For Everton fans coming to the Gtech Community Stadium, there are plenty of pub options pre and post-match and all are most welcoming and away-fan-friendly (as it should be).
The pub areas are split into two zones. There is the area around Brentford’s old Griffin Park stadium. The pubs there are still very busy on match day frequented by Bees locals before heading down the road to the stadium at Kew Bridge which is only 15 mins walk.
Then there is the area in and around the stadium in Kew Bridge.
It is possible, if you have a good early start, to savour a few pubs in and around Griffin Park and Brentford zone before heading off to the pubs in the Kew zone or even vice versa if you so fancy.
Pubs in Griffin Park/Brentford zone
When at Griffin Park, Brentford was well known for its four pubs – one on each corner of the ground. Three are still operating.
The Griffin is closest to the old away end and has always been very popular with both home and away fans and has its regulars who still make the journey down to the new stadium from there on matchday. The New Inn is on the other side which used to also be popular with away fans before the move. The Brook pub is the other option if you want to savour a pub in and around what is left of our old home. Worth a peep if you want to reminisce about old Brentford.
About five minutes’ walk away from the old ground are two pubs which are enormously popular. The Globe (Windmill Rd) is a “lively but comfortable” pub on matchday. Incredibly friendly and cosy, it has always been popular with a selection of away fans who fancied having a beer a few minutes further walk away from the ground without having to queue six persons deep. After the move to the new ground, The Globe has retained many of lot its regulars from the Griffin Park days and with screens throughout the pub and in its sheltered beer garden, it shows both Premier League and EFL football before and after each match.
Meanwhile around the corner, The Lord Nelson (Enfield Rd) is another incredibly friendly and cosy away-friendly pubs about one minute walk from The Globe. Again with a TV screen for live sports and a lovely beer garden, this is another pub frequented by “away fans in the know”.
The other pub worth checking out in the Griffin Park region is The Black Dog Beer House, formerly The Albany, on Albany Road, if you like your real ales.
There are plenty of other pubs in and around Brentford High Street including real ale pub Magpie and Crown (Brentford High Street) and the cosy Brewery Tap (Catherine Wheel Road) near the river.
For a Griffin Park area pub crawl before heading over to Kew we recommend the following: Take the Piccadilly line to Northfields station. Turn left and walk for 2 mins and you will come to The Plough (Northfields Ave). Then walk to The Lord Nelson (10 min walk from The Plough) & then The Globe (1 min walk from The Nelson) en-route before hitting The Griffin (8 min walk from The Globe) and then The Black Dog (2 mins from The Griffin). You can also try and do the other three pubs on the corner whilst down here if you fancy.
Then you can then either walk (15 minutes from The Globe/The Nelson and The Griffin/Black Dog ) or take a train from Brentford station (which is five minutes walk away from both The Globe/The Nelson and The Griffin/Black Dog) or a bus (237/267) to Kew Bridge.
Trains run at 24 and 54 minutes past the hour to Kew Bridge from Brentford and take 2 mins.
Pubs in the Kew Bridge zone
Right next to Kew Bridge station, you will find the Express Tavern – an ale pub with a retro feel. The pub has been refurbished in readiness for the new football season and needless to say, is popular before the match due to its close proximity to the stadium.
Across the road by the river is One Over the Ait – a spacious boozer right next to Kew Bridge. This pub is situated on the location of the now-demolished Oxford & Cambridge pub where Brentford Football Club was founded in 1889.
Across Kew Bridge and the River Thames, there are two pubs on Kew Green – the Cricketers and the Greyhound – very close to the pier where Brentford fans have embarked on their away journeys by water to F*lham, Orient, Charlton, West Ham and even Southend.
North of the river along hoity-toity Strand on the Green, you will find The Steam Packet, in an old Cafe Rouge, and The Bell. A bit further down are The City Barge and the Bulls Head – two pubs side-by-side in which you would often see Ant and Dec hanging out.
There is also The Pilot which you can get to coming out of the BACK entrance of Gunnersbury station and we believe the old John Bull pub at the front of the station has been refurbed as The Gunnersbury but we have never been there so can’t give it a or a
Transport to Brentford and Kew Bridge
**** There is a train strike on National Rail on Saturday so please check ahead of your journey – there is no strike on the London Underground. ****
The simplest on paper to get to Brentford FC from town is to get the tube to Waterloo (Northern, Jubilee lines) or Vauxhall (Victoria Line) and then take the Overground train to Kew Bridge, which is right by the stadium. Brentford is one stop further on if you are on an ‘Original Griffin Park Pub’ mission.
With trains from Waterloo being only twice an hour (22 and 52) and taking 28 minutes, we normally recommend people jump on the tube from Kings Cross or Euston and head to Northfields or South Ealing on the Piccadilly Line as it is quicker (including the time getting across London and waiting at Waterloo) and trains are more frequent.
It is only 40 mins max station by tube to station meaning you could be in a Brentford pub within an hour of embarking your train at Kings Cross, Euston or Liverpool Street.
The other station option is Gunnersbury. You can walk to the stadium from Gunnersbury tube station (District line) in 25 minutes or take a bus (H91, 237, 267, 110), but note that it is closed for entry for one hour after the match.
For the Brentford/Griffin Park pubs you can get the Piccadilly line tube to Northfields station from King’s Cross or Euston (35 minutes) then walk down to The Plough, The Globe, The Lord Nelson and The Griffin and other pubs from there.
The new stadium is around 25 minutes’ walk from South Ealing station – if you don’t fancy Gunnersbury – or you can get on the 65 bus from across the road which will drop you almost outside in 15 minutes.
You can also pick up the 65 bus from Ealing Broadway (district and central line) which will take you to the new stadium in 25 minutes.
You can check out Transport for London’s guide to travel on the Tube and Overground.