Burnley v Brenford | Saturday 30th October 2021. 15:00
Winless Burnley entertain Brentford at Turf Moor on Saturday afternoon and I am surprised that they are marginal favourites for this encounter.
Sean Dyche’s side have drawn four and lost five of their nine league games this season but their home struggles have gone on for longer than that. Their last home win came on 27th January. Since then they have drawn six and lost seven at home and it hasn’t been an overly difficult run of fixtures as they’ve failed to beat relegated West Brom and Fulham in that sample as well as a Norwich side who have found the Premier League a real challenge once again.
Dyche will no doubt say that they have been unfortunate in some of those matches and I would agree that they deserved more from matches against Arsenal, Brighton and Leeds this season. However, the expected points table has them fourth from bottom so their current position of 18th is overly unfair.
In contrast, Brentford will feel hard done by this term. They have suffered three defeats this season;1-0 losses at home to Brighton and Chelsea and a 2-1 defeat to Leicester. Across those three matches they’ve won the shot count 39-19 and won the xG battle on each occasion.
Away from home the Bees are undefeated. Indeed, while a draw would have probably been a fair result when they beat West Ham, they were comfortable – and deserved – winners against Wolves, more than matched Palace in a stalemate at Selhurst Park and the same could be said when they drew 1-1 with Aston Villa.
I couldn’t put anyone off backing the draw given the regularity of this scoreline in Burnley matches at present and how low-scoring Brentford games tend to be, but I will err on the safe side and back Brentford Draw No Bet at Evens with Betfred. For all the reasons identified above, I cannot see why they are underdogs in this game.
I really considered Brentford’s Bryan Mbuemo in this market. The French forward has just two goals in nine matches this season but his expected goals total almost four, which is bettered by only six players. At 3/1 he is worthy of consideration but I have instead opted for Watford's Ismaila Sarr.
The Senegalese forward has four goals in seven Premier League matches this term and has 12 shots on target already this season. This is only bettered by three other players. Sarr failed to find the net when Watford hit five past Everton last week but the fact that The Hornets produced such a positive attacking display gives me confidence that they will create plenty of chances under Claudio Ranieri’s stewardship.
Sarr is very much in the shop window, with Newcastle among his suitors and I expect his excellent form to continue until the January transfer window. Opponents Southampton have been reasonable at the back this term – conceding just 12 goals in nine matches – but they’ve historically struggled defensively under Hassenhutl and I think the 27/10 Unibet are offering on Sarr scoring is simply too big.
To be shown a card
I did consider Sarr’s likely opponent this weekend – Romain Perraud – at 6/1 with SkyBet, but I like to go back to the stable if I feel like a good bet has missed out previously. That leads me back to Conor Gallagher. The Palace loanee has been booked 13 times in 38 Premier League matches since the start of last season and the 16 fouls he has committed are bettered by only four players. Given he has missed one game that is some achievement and if he is to keep up the average of two fouls per game then I am sure he will find himself in referee Andre Marriner’s notebook.
Marriner has brandished 20 yellow cards and a red in four Premier League matches this term. While his average last season was closer to 2.5 a game, I still think Gallagher’s persistent fouling make him most likely to find his way into his bad books. 10/3 with Bet365 is more than acceptable given Gallagher’s record and I am happy to take this price.