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Manchester City logo
Premier League | Gameweek 18
Feb 20, 2024 at 7.30pm UK
Etihad Stadium
Brentford logo

Man City
1 - 0

Haaland (71')
Stones (45+2'), Walker (82')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Mee (45+2'), Wissa (60'), Toney (68'), Flekken (90+6')

Preview: Manchester City vs. Brentford - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Premier League clash between Manchester City and Brentford, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With the destiny of the Premier League title officially out of their own hands, a disheartened Manchester City seek an immediate return to winning ways when Brentford arrive at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Pep Guardiola's men lost their 11-game triumphant streak in a 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Saturday night, several hours after the Bees were brushed aside 4-1 by Liverpool.

Match preview

Manchester City's Erling Haaland reacts on February 17, 2024© Reuters

The misfiring Erling Haaland had no time for camera close-ups as he lamented an uncharacteristically profligate display during Man City's blockbuster battle with Chelsea, which had a lot to live up to following the eight-goal extravaganza at Stamford Bridge three months ago.

As one current Man City marksman failed to find a clinical edge, erstwhile Etihad hero Raheem Sterling found the bottom corner with aplomb to put Chelsea ahead just before the break, but relentless Citizens pressure finally told when a deflected Rodri sizzler rippled the roof of the net.

The treble winners' efforts to convert one point into three would prove fruitless, though, condemning them to their first game without victory since December's 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace, which preceded an exceptional 11-match winning streak during their obligatory winter-to-spring renaissance.

The wider implications of Saturday's result are that Man City are now playing catch-up in the Premier League title race in third place, and while victory would see them regain the runners-up position from Arsenal, Liverpool hold an unassailable four-point advantage at the time of writing.

As frustrating as Saturday evening was, the reigning English and European champions at least extended their unbeaten home run in the Premier League to 23 matches and their Etihad scoring streak in the top flight to 45 games, and midweek history also favours the treble winners.

Indeed, Man City have not lost a Premier League home game played on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday since losing 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur in May 2010 - going without defeat in 47 such fixtures since then - but the sky blue faithful need no reminder which team subjected them to their last Premier League home defeat.

Brentford manager Thomas Frank looks dejected after the match on February 5, 2024© Reuters

Unable to give their upcoming foes a helping hand in Saturday's lunchtime kickoff, a Brentford who had lost the most points from winning positions in the 2023-24 Premier League took on a Liverpool side who boasted the highest points total from losing positions, but the Reds would not need to pull off one of their trademark comebacks in West London.

Despite suffering no fewer than three injuries in the first half - where Darwin Nunez, one such victim, opened the scoring - Jurgen Klopp's men made the most of Brentford's defensive off day as Mohamed Salah, Alexis Mac Allister and Cody Gakpo also put their names up in lights.

Ivan Toney's striker's finish would be a mere consolation for Thomas Frank's outfit, who memorably drew first blood against Man City at the Gtech Community Stadium thanks to a long ball, but the shoe was on the other foot this time around as Liverpool benefitted from route-one tactics.

Owing to a gut-wrenching eighth defeat from their last 10 Premier League matches, 14th-placed Brentford remain at risk of being dragged deeper into the demotion dogfight, although scoring in their last eight top-flight fixtures may provide the Bees contingent with a sliver of comfort, as will last year's shock 2-1 success at the Etihad.

Frank's team were the only Premier League outfit to do the double over Guardiola's crop in the 2022-23 campaign, and they could now emulate the 2019-20 and 2020-21 Manchester United sides as just the second team to win consecutive away top-flight games versus a team led by Guardiola.

However, the Bees' failure to shut up shop after taking the lead proved fatal just two weeks ago, as City marched to a 3-1 Gtech Community Stadium success courtesy of Phil Foden's heroic hat-trick.

Manchester City Premier League form:

Manchester City form (all competitions):

Brentford Premier League form:

Brentford form (all competitions):

Team News

Manchester City's Josko Gvardiol pictured on December 16, 2023© Reuters

The Etihad treatment room had slowly begun to fill up again prior to the draw with Chelsea, where neither Jack Grealish (groin) nor Josko Gvardiol (ankle) were able to take part, and the pair are expected to remain in the infirmary for another couple of weeks.

However, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Gomez both passed late fitness tests to make the bench, and the former ended up being the hosts' sole substitute on the evening, replacing Julian Alvarez with just over an hour played.

All of Silva, John Stones, Rico Lewis and Matheus Nunes should come into Guardiola's thinking due to the quick turnaround, and after racking up an Expected Goals total of 1.71 from nine shots on Saturday without success, Haaland will be out to right several wrongs in midweek.

In addition to rectifying his error-strewn Chelsea display, the Norwegian will also seek to net against Brentford for the very first time in the Premier League; the Bees are the only team he has faced in the English top flight without scoring.

While Liverpool's injury crisis worsened at the Gtech Community Stadium, Brentford suffered no fresh physical problems against the league leaders, against whom they welcomed Frank Onyeka and Yoane Wissa back from Africa Cup of Nations duty.

However, defensive stalwart Ethan Pinnock was ruled out before kickoff with an ankle concern, and Frank has revealed that the Jamaica international - who had previously started 53 Premier League games on the trot - will not play again until after the March international break.

Rico Henry (knee), Josh Dasilva (knee), Kevin Schade (groin), Aaron Hickey (thigh) and Bryan Mbeumo (ankle) are keeping Pinnock company in the treatment room, although Hickey and Schade might be able to make their returns before the end of the month.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Lewis, Dias, Stones, Ake; Rodri, Nunes; Silva, De Bruyne, Foden; Haaland

Brentford possible starting lineup:
Flekken; Ajer, Collins, Mee; Lewis-Potter, Janelt, Jensen, Norgaard, Reguilon; Toney, Wissa

SM words green background

We say: Manchester City 3-1 Brentford

Butting heads with Manchester City after Guardiola's men have suffered a setback can often be a highly daunting prospect, especially for a disjointed Brentford team who have already succumbed to the Citizens' attacking supremacy on familiar territory this month.

Limited recovery time will not benefit either set of players, but City need only be a touch more ruthless than they were against Chelsea to get back on track, and an identical scoreline from their Gtech Community Stadium triumph is not beyond the realm of possibility.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Brentford's Ivan Toney during the warm up before the match on February 5, 2024
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3Manchester CityMan City32227376324473
4Aston Villa34206871502166
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs32186865491660
6Newcastle UnitedNewcastle321551269521750
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd32155124748-150
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham34139125463-948
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton321111105250244
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33127144653-743
14Crystal Palace3399154256-1436
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3479184260-1826
18Luton TownLuton3467214775-2825
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd3337233188-5716

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