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  • 21 December 2023

Man City vs Brentford: Who’s going to win today?

The champions of the Premier League, Manchester City will be playing Brentford at London's Gtech Community Stadium on Sunday afternoon as part of their last games for this year.

A few days ago, Pep Guardiola's team drew 1-1 with Brighton & Hove Albion and Thomas Frank's side came from a goal down to beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-l.

Stories about Ivan Toney being given an unusual eight-month suspension for breaking the FA's betting regulations last week might have caused Brentford to lose their focus ahead of a game against Tottenham. Fortunately, though, Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa took over for him surprisingly well.

Tottenham scored a fabulous goal by Harry Kane but missed several opportunities, while Mbeumo struck twice and helped to create Wissa's strike; the team took advantage of prodigal defense from their opponents for an unforgettable bride.

Now Brentford can look forward to a top-half Premier League finish, quite an achievement for a team that only climbed into the league two years ago. They are still in with a chance of qualifying for the Europa Conference League so long as some things go their way on final weekend. But they are only one point behind Tottenham and two points behind fourth-place Aston Villa, with both teams having a worse goal differential.

To earn a place to Europe, Brentford can only rely parallelly hoping their rival Manchester City will lose. Moreover they must have Tottenham failingto beat Leeds United and Aston Villa losing against Brighton & Hove Albion--not easy tasks for the Spurs or even our own Jack Frost Gavin to survive election night intact. Brentford has been playing well lately, having won four of five.

At home this season, only Arsenal and Newcastle United have defeated Brentford. In addition to winning one and losing the next, their record in recent years has been very similar; it's just that this time they are going up against Manchester City.

After acknowledging a few days ago how much they admired each other, now Pep Guardiola and Roberto De Zerbi prepare Wednesday evening for an encounter of tactical wits at the Amex Stadium. The two squads finished with one point apiece and players were satisfied.

Meanwhile, Phil Foden opened the scoring for City in just his second league start. But when Julio Enciso followed up with a stunner of a goal right before half time, he all but stole the Goal of the Season gong from him. The celebrations of Manchester City after winning the title appeared to have taken its toll.

Guardiola quipped that his players had drunk all the alcohol in Manchester when they became champions, but next month's double of an FA Cup and Champions League final will mean no such denial.

At present, Manchester City is looking to extend their unbeaten record of 25 matches at the Gtech Community Stadium. In addition, they have won their last six final-day matches in the Premier League.

But Brentford beat Manchester 2-1 last November, making that the only home loss of any kind for City in all four leagues this season. At a time when Manchester City may be focusing on next season's finals, Brentford has an opportunity to realize another historic double by downing them again.

Team News

The champions face Brentford, who will be without several important players. As for Ivan Toney, he is banned and will not be able to play until January 2004. Captain Pontus Jansson is also on the sidelines with a thigh injury, while Keane Lewis-Potter has picked up a knee issue. Christian Norgaard has an Achilles problem and won't be fit for the last day, so Mathias Jensen will probably play in midfield.

In midfield, Frank Onyeka could replace Mikkel Damsgaard; the problem is that in last match's second half, he was substituted. Goal scorers Bryan Mbeumo, Yoane Wissa and Kevin Schade.

Turning to the other team, Phil Foden of Manchester City was knocked in that first half and his availability for this weekend remains unclear. Nathan Ake has a thigh injury and would be pushing it to play him. For precautionary measures, several players including Ruben Dias, Manuel Akanji, Jack Grealish and Aymeric Laporte sat out the midweek game.

At this point, it is hard to predict which players will get a shot at starting for Pep Guardiola. And Sergio Gomez, Cole Palmers Julian Alvarez and Kalvin Phillips might each play more often too.

Possible Brentford starting lineup:

  • Goalkeeper: Raya
  • Defenders: Hickey, Mee, Pinnock, Henry
  • Midfielders: Jensen, Janelt, Onyeka
  • Forwards: Mbeumo, Wissa, Schade

Possible Manchester City starting lineup:

  • Goalkeeper: Ortega
  • Defenders: Lewis, Stones, Laporte, Gomez
  • Midfielders: Silva, Phillips, De Bruyne
  • Forwards: Mahrez, Alvarez, Palmer

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