Blues play 3rd place Brentford this evening, hoping to damage another teams hopes of promotion from the championship. It is Lee Bowyer’s 4th game in charge, with all four coming against teams in the top 6. A massive win on Friday against Swansea City meant that the team have taken 6 points out of a possible 9 since the former Carling Cup winner took over. Under Karanka many would be dreading the game tonight, including the players, but Bowyer’s appointment has boosted confidence and many will be believing the team have a good chance of getting something from this tough fixture.
LAST TIME OUT
An ice cold Scott Hogan converted Blues’ second penalty of the game in injury time on Friday night, the only goal of the game. It was no less than Blues deserved either, with another impressive home performance meaning back to back wins at St Andrews. In truth, Swansea looked lacklustre but this shouldn’t take anything away from Blues, who nullified the visitors to creating just a couple of chances. Blues should have taken the lead in the 32nd minute, but a poor penalty sent straight down the middle from Juke was saved by the Swans keeper Woodman. Other than both penalties, the game had few chances and Blues will have been delighted to put further daylight between themselves and 22nd placed Rotherham.
Brentford’s automatic promotion hopes were dealt a blow after being held by championship strugglers Huddersfield at the weekend. The Bees are now 10 points off 2nd placed Watford, albeit with 2 games in hand. A defensive mix-up allowed the Terriers to take the lead just 7 minutes in, before Brentford equalised through Mads Sorensen in the second half. The draw means Brentford have only won once in their last 5, and a Blues win tonight would surely condemn the Bees to pinning their hopes on the playoffs for their promotion dreams yet again.
Although winger Ivan Sanchez has been back training with the squad, the trip to London is likely too to be soon for the Spaniard. Cosgrove picked up a knock against Swansea but is available for tonight, with Boyd-Munce remaining the only long term absentee.
Henrik Dalsgaard is a doubt but is being assessed game-by-game for a knee injury. Rico Henry, Josh Dasilva, Shandon Baptiste and Luka Racic (back) are all definitely sidelined.
One to Watch
Think this is not just the pick of the Brentford team but of the league really. Ivan Toney has 28 goals in just 37 league games this season, that’s just one less than the entire Blues squad put together. The forward has been some signing for the Bees, having joined from League One Peterborough last summer.
Despite the Bees playing 433, I think Bowyer will go with a largely unchanged side tonight, with the only exception being bringing in match winner Hogan for Leko, who didn’t have a great game against Swansea.
What are you guys going for? pic.twitter.com/KoguFCNzKh
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A Line from the managers
they are a top side. They are sitting in third for a reason because they are very good. They were in and around it last season and just fell a little bit short. They have a good manager and a good group of players. We have got to concentrate on what we do because we’ve got a completely different fight to them
It felt disappointing to not get three points on Saturday, but you have to handle those frustrations and move on again.
Photo Courtesy: Roy Smiljanic / BCFC