Man City vs. Brentford Predictions: Mahrez to convert from the penalty spot again
Table-topping Manchester City welcome Brentford to the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening, live on BT Sport, as they look to strengthen their grip on the Premier League trophy.
With Chelsea at the Club World Cup in the UAE and Liverpool not in action until Thursday, it gives the Blues an opportunity to extend their lead over their rivals to 12 points.
Whilst Pep Guardiola has his side rampaging to their fourth league title in five years, there are more pressing matters at the other end of the table for his Danish counterpart.
Thomas Frank must find a way to end the rut Brentford are currently in or risk being dragged into a relegation battle.
After an impressive start to the season which saw them earn 12 points from their opening seven games (1.71ppg), the Bees have come crashing back down to earth with just 11 in the 16 games since (0.69ppg).
A crushing 4-1 defeat at Everton in the FA Cup on Saturday was their fifth consecutive defeat in all competitions - a run that’s seen them concede 16 times - and they’re winless on the road in the league since October 3rd.
Manchester City vs Brentford Tips
There is still a feel good factor about the place though, after they were able to pull off the signing of former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen.
The Dane joins the squad having not played since suffering a cardiac arrest whilst on international duty at last summer’s European Championship.
He was fitted with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator after the incident and has been cleared to finally play again in the Premier League.
He likely won’t be fit enough to feature here though, and neither will Mathias Jorgensen who has been suffering with a thigh injury. Elsewhere, Yoane Wissa and Bryan Mbeumo will need to be assessed after missing time through COVID-19 regulations.
Meanwhile, the hosts are probably the healthiest they’ve been for a long time, with just Gabriel Jesus doubtful after picking up a niggle whilst at the World Cup Qualifiers with Brazil.
Manchester City have been in imperious form of late and they don’t look like slowing down any time soon. Their 4-1 dismantling of Fulham at the weekend was their ninth consecutive home win in all competitions, which saw them notch their 30th goal of that run too.
They have been an unstoppable force at the Etihad of late, sweeping aside all that have stood before them - including wins over both PSG and Chelsea, and thrashings of Leeds and Leicester.
One of the cornerstones of City’s dominance this season has been starting very quickly. They’ve led at the break in 10 of their last 13 Premier League games, and have outscored opponents 15-1 in the first 45 minutes at home.
Brentford, on the other hand, have trailed at the break in each of their last five away league games, and have been outscored 12-3 in the opening 45 minutes of the seven they’ve played since beating West Ham in October.
As far as corners are concerned - no side takes more corners in the Premier League than Manchester City. The Cityzens average an impressive 9.00 corners per game at the Etihad this season, and have taken at least seven in nine of their last 10 home games.
Brentford, meanwhile, allow an average of 6.09 corners per game away from home and have allowed seven or more in each of the games they’ve played on the road at Top 7 sides.
Riyad Mahrez has been in fantastic form for his club side of late and put a disappointing AFCON behind him with a brace and an assist against Fulham last weekend.
The Algerian forward has scored in each of his last six appearances for his club side in all competitions, and has chipped in with four assists in that run too.
Of the seven goals he’s scored in that time, three have been from the penalty spot and it seems as though he’s officially been handed the keys to the car by Pep Guardiola this season.
He’s scored all five of the penalties he’s taken for City this season, and hasn’t missed for his club side since October 2018.
Referee Darren England takes charge of this game, and he’s awarded an impressive six Premier League penalties this season despite taking charge of just nine games. He also awarded City a penalty in their FA Cup tie at Swindon in January, as well as one in their Premier League game against Brighton last season.
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