Brentford vs. West Ham
Venue: Brentford Community Stadium
Kick Off: 2PM
Having shocked the Premier League to the core with their Stamford Bridge demolition, Brentford aim to make lightning strike twice in London derbies when they play host to West Ham United this afternoon.
Thomas Frank’s side ran out 4-1 winners over Chelsea in their most recent clash, while the Hammers head into the game having just drawn 1-1 with Lyon in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.
Despite boasting the label of European and world champions – as well as enjoying a six-game winning streak heading into the contest – Chelsea felt the full force of the Bees’ sting and were simply no match for their capital counterparts in front of their own fans.
The Blues may have taken the lead on the day through an Antonio Rudiger spectacular, but a 10-minute flurry of Brentford strikes saw Vitaly Janelt bag a brace either side of Christian Eriksen’s first Premier League goal for his new club, and super sub Yoane Wissa came off the bench to finish the rout late on.
The travelling supporters were sent into delirium as Brentford kept up their largely positive streak of results since the beginning of March, with the Bees doing well to stave off the threat of an unlikely relegation battle in the business end of the campaign having posted three wins from their last four.
Scoring 10 goals in their last four Premier League matches has not come as too much of a surprise given the attacking talent at Frank’s disposal, and the opportunity to equal West Ham’s record of 14 points from London derbies in their first season in the Premier League is not one they will want to pass up.
Shades of 2006 Cristiano Ronaldo at the World Cup were evident in West Ham’s Europa League battle with Lyon at the London Stadium, with Gones striker Moussa Dembele caught giving a cheeky wink after Aaron Cresswell’s challenge on him led to a red card for the Hammers left-back.
Such an episode would not represent the most eye-catching moment of the first leg – that belonged to the pitch invader who inexplicably ran onto the field while West Ham were on the attack – but David Moyes’s 10 men will take a well-earned 1-1 draw to the Groupama Stadium after Jarrod Bowen’s effort was cancelled out by Tanguy Ndombele.
Attempting to get the better of Peter Bosz’s side on their own turf will be a tall order, and ending a worrying run of losses away from home would be a good place to start for West Ham, whose top-four hopes are not dead and buried just yet.
Moyes’s side remain sixth in the table before Wolves kick off against the Magpies, but Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are both three points ahead of their capital rivals with games in hand, and the European fatigue could well and truly set in for Moyes’s crop here.
Form on the road is not on West Ham’s side either – with the Hammers losing each of their last four on rival turf in all competitions and winless away from home in the league since New Year’s Day – and Brentford marched to a 2-1 success at the London Stadium earlier this term.
Brentford possible XI: Raya, Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock, Roerslev, Janelt, Norgaard, Henry, Eriksen, Toney, Mbeumo.
West Ham United possible XI: Fabianski, Johnson, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Rice, Soucek, Benrahma, Lanzini, Fornals, Antonio.