Manchester City will look to further assert their lead at the summit of the Premier League when they travel to Brentford on Wednesday.
After picking up all 3 points against Leicester in a frantic Boxing Day affair which ended 6-3, City were further aided by Liverpool’s loss to the Foxes on December 28th which opened up a 6-point gap at the top of the division.
As for Brentford, they were beaten 2-0 last time out by Brighton and head in to this one 14th in the top flight standings.
The Bees have been one of many sides to have been affected by recent coronavirus issues in the Premier League, with coach Thomas Frank one of the more vocal managers in calling for a short firebreak in the season.
Illness seems to have eased in the Brentford camp, however, and Manchester City will visit the Brentford Community Stadium for the first time in Wednesday evening’s encounter.
As for City, they have been blessed with a largely unaffected squad over the festive period so far – although Ferran Torres, who has been out with a fractured foot, has left the club to sign for Barcelona ahead of the January transfer window.
Both sides will look fondly at 2021 with this being their final fixtures of the calendar year, with Brentford and Manchester City having been successful in differing guises over the past 12 months.
The Bees were tipped by many for an immediate return to the Championship this season but have been more than a match for many a team in the Premier League this campaign and have a modest goal difference of -3 as things stand.
That could well take a dent on Wednesday though against a City side who have scored 17 goals in their last three top flight games amidst a run of 9 consecutive wins in the division.
It has been 24 years since these sides last met – that coming in the FA Cup where Manchester City were victorious – the chances suggest it will be a similar scoreline this time around.
In terms of team news, Brentford have considerably more absentees than their visitors, with no fewer than 11 first team players major doubts for the game.
Christian Norgaard is suspended, whilst Kristoffer Ajer, Rico Henry, Bryan Mbeumo, Mads Rasmussen, Zanka, Charlie Goode, Vitaly Janelt, Julian Jeanavier and Joshua Dasilva are all out with either Covid-19 or injury.
City meanwhile will only lose Rodri with coronavirus, whilst Kyle Walker is also short of fitness due to illness. Ferran Torres won’t play due to that imminent move to Barcelona, whilst John Stones is doubtful with a knock.
Brentford v Manchester City is an 8.15pm kick off on Wednesday 29th December 2021.