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

Thomas Frank stuck with the 4-3-3 that faced Everton with one change as Ajer came in at right back for Roerslev. The back four comprised of Hickey, Pinnock, Collins, and Ajer while the midfield trio remained the same. Lewis-Potter, Wissa, and Mbeumo are also quickly becoming Thomas Frank’s first choice with his current options available. Brentford’s never-ending list of injured players consisted of Dasilva, Schade, Damsgaard, Henry, and Ben Mee

Steve Cooper’s Nottingham Forest came out in a 4-3-3 for the first time this season. Similar to Brentford, they like to push forward one fullback while another stays further back. Their backline consisted of Aurier, Boly, Murillo, and long throw specialist Niakhatè. Sangarè, Mangala, and a surprise start for Dominguez, were the midfield trio. Elanga, Awoniyi and Hudson-Odoi rounded out the squad as the front 3, with Morgan Gibbs-White noticeably left out of the starting XI.

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After Nottingham Forest’s goal, Thomas Frank made some tactical adjustments. Ghoddos and Onyeka subbed on for Jensen and Hickey in the 69th minute. Ghoddos slid in to a right wing-back position, while Keane Lewis-Potter dropped a little to provide cover as a left-wing back. Mbeumo then become the second striker in a 3-5-2, but Thomas Frank’s plan was to shift into a 3-2-5 when going forward.

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Quick Stats:

Possession: Nottingham Forest 41% – 59% Brentford

xG: Nottingham Forest 0.46 – 1.66 Brentford

xGOT: Nottingham Forest 0.08 – 0.72 Brentford

Shots: Nottingham Forest 6 – 18 Brentford

Shots on Target: Nottingham Forest 1 – 3 Brentford

Clearances: Nottingham Forest 38 – 10 Brentford

Other Brentford stats:

Interceptions: 10

Aerial duels won: 25 (61%)



Brentford’s 1.66 xG suggests that Brentford were creating plenty of chances, but the xGOT (0.72) shows they weren’t making the most of their chances, with only 3 shots on target.

Nottingham Forest were able to block 9 of Brentford’s shot totaling 1.14 xG. Part of this could be attributed to the Bees taking too long with the ball at their feet, but Forest did a good job being quick to clear the ball from danger, ending with 38 clearances.

Mbeumo led the team with 4 key passes and 7 shot-creating actions. He was given a tough task to create much out of nothing, with Ajer staying in a much deeper role, almost forming a back 3 at times.

Thomas Frank deployed Hickey in a slightly different way than Rico Henry, with Hickey inverting towards the centre of the pitch. The Bees seemingly played with 3 at the back while in possession, and Hickey tried to provide a numbers advantage in midfield. Unfortunately, this seldomly worked and the Bees were generally forced into wide areas.

Looking at Nottingham Forest’s stats, it will disappoint Brentford fans to only come away with one point. Forest only created 0.17 xG before the red card, so Brentford actually gave up more xGA once Forest went down to 10 men. Nottingham Forest scored off a 0.03 xG chance with a post shot xG of 0.08.

Coming into this match, Flekken had the worse PSxG faced minus goals allowed, -2.4, which is now -3.3. This means that Flekken has let in 3 more goals than expected so far this season, while his defence is doing a good job preventing difficult shots.

Flekken was 6/8 (75%) on long passes, which shows how Brentford tried to build out of the back. The Bees took every goal kick short and attempted the fewest long passes in a match all season.

Some notable standout performances include, Collins with a bounce back from a disappointing performance against Everton, winning 6/7 (85.7%) of his aerial duels and the interceptions with 4. Captain Nørgaard’s performance also stood out, apart from the goal, he was everywhere with 11 ball recoveries and ended with the most xG for the Bees.