The Premier League makes its long-awaited return on Boxing Day, when seven of ten matches will be played. We open the show with a London derby as Brentford host city rivals Tottenham from 12:30 GMT in a match that will be shown live on television. The Bees will be cheered on by a loyal support who are enjoying the club’s Premier League journey and would love to receive a late Christmas present in the form of three points. Do they have what it takes to frustrate and then upset their opponents? They shouldn’t be easily written off on Monday.
Tottenham makes the short journey to the Brentford Community Stadium, looking to hit the ground running. They find themselves in the hunt for the Premier League trophy but still have a few problems to iron out before they can consider themselves genuine title contenders. Will Manchester City or Arsenal be looking over their shoulder worrying about what’s coming from Tottenham? It’s unlikely at this stage, as the contenders have shown only flashes of their potential this season, but a winning run starting on Boxing Day would change things. Spurs want to be noticed.
Brentford and Tottenham met twice in the league last season, with the Bees failing to score a goal in those two fixtures. But they did manage a point from the six available. Spurs battled to a 2-0 home win and all three points, but when the pair last met at this venue, it was a stalemate, the game ending goalless with the neighbours forced to share the points. It’s likely the locals would view another point as a decent result here, given the class of the opposition, but would the home players accept a draw? They are an ambitious bunch and will believe they can win this game.
Brentford unbeaten in three
Brentford re-start the season down in tenth place in the English Premier League, and they have a real opportunity to improve. Victory over Tottenham at home in this early kick-off would lift them to level on points with Liverpool, who are currently in sixth place. That would reshape the team’s season and the expectations of fans. At this point of the campaign, there is no reason why Brentford can’t target a European finish. They have a decent standing at the table and the players to improve. Win this, and it’ll serve as a statement of intent from the Bees.
They prepare for game sixteen of their season with stats showing four wins and seven draws against four defeats, with 23 goals scored but 25 conceded. The 19 points gained means Brentford is just three behind Liverpool but only three better than AFC Bournemouth, who are stuck in fourteenth. It wouldn’t be unfair to say Brentford’s form is that of a team destined to finish in the middle of the league, but it’s also obvious that this team can improve. If they put together a few wins, it would transform their chances. Followers of the home team are excited by what the year could hold.
Brentford has lost just one of their last five games, but three draws dominate that run. They halted a poor run of form, drawing three and losing one, with an important victory before the winter World Cup break. That 2-1 win over Man City at the Etihad Stadium didn’t get the credit it deserved as the World Cup preparations overshadowed it. Still, it was a stunning effort from the Bees, who reminded critics they have a sting in their tail and shouldn’t be written off. It would be extraordinary if they could add a win over Tottenham to the victory over Man City.
Spurs seek consistency
Tottenham is a title contender and has already shown it on more than one occasion this season. But the team that wins the Premier League trophy isn’t the one that shows flashes of brilliance. The champion is consistently strong, going on long unbeaten runs and not reading too much into a defeat. Do Tottenham have the character and mental strength to go all the way? Lifting the EPL trophy would help remove some of the hurt from Harry Kane’s shoulders after the famous striker missed a penalty against France that would have kept them in the game.
Tottenham head into this Boxing Day clash with their stats for the season showing nine wins and two draws against four defeats. They have scored 31 goals and conceded 21, which is more goals scored than Newcastle United, who are currently a place higher in third and looking like they could gate-crash the top-four party. Victory for Spurs in this early start would see them move on to 32 points which would take them level with Man City in second place and reignite their hopes of challenging for the league trophy.
Despite their lofty position, Tottenham is stuck on a poor run of form that has seen them lose three of their last five, winning the other two. Six points gained from a possible fifteen won’t do their chances of challenging Arsenal and Man City much good, but there’s still plenty of football to be played this season. Boxing Day is just the start of a hectic few months that will see the league make up lost ground following the winter World Cup. The best way to start the fightback is with a win on Monday afternoon.
Brentford v Tottenham prediction
We have the potential for a Christmas cracker as both sides head into the match confident they will win the three points available. Brentford has the home advantage and takes encouragement from beating Man City last time. All the pressure is on Tottenham to break down their hosts, but if Kane is back to his best, he’ll drive his team forward.
Premier League odds
The pre-match betting odds available at 22bet offers Brentford at 3.8 with Tottenham trading at 1.91, and the draw is 3.74. Over 100 pre-match and in-play betting markets are also attached to this fixture.
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