Sky Sports EFL pundit David Prutton has suggested that Brentford’s failure to beat Millwall last time out means they missed the chance to put major pressure on Watford, but still believes they can beat Cardiff City tonight.
Thomas Frank’s side head into the game knowing that they can ill-afford to drop any points in their remaining matches if they are to have any chance of making it into the top two. The Bees have missed out on the chance to keep the pressure on second-placed Watford with an untimely run of five draws in their last six Championship matches.
Brentford were held to another frustrating draw against Millwall last time out, at the same time that Watford were losing to Luton Town. That result has kept alive their outside hopes of automatic promotion. They now have to win pretty much all of their remaining matches for them to have any realistic chance of taking advantage of any potential slip-up from the Hornets.
Cardiff, meanwhile, head into the game with little to play for now other than end-of-season pride. The Bluebirds’ hopes of breaching the top-six have all but been extinguished in the last few weeks with them having managed to fail to win any of their last four Championship matches. Those results came off the back of their 1-0 derby win at Swansea City that had kept them in the hunt.
Mick McCarthy though is not a manager that will allow his players to just relax now until the end of the campaign. There will still be one or two playing for their futures and still needing to convince their manager that they deserve a place in his team next term. So, with the pressure now off they could potentially start to regain some form.
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Making his latest round of EFL predictions for Sky Sports, Prutton has suggested that Brentford should edge the game 2-1, but also that their dropped points in recent weeks have failed to see them put pressure on Watford.
He wrote: “Had Brentford found a way past Millwall on Saturday, Watford’s defeat to Luton meant that the heat of the automatic promotion race would have increased just that little bit more. They didn’t, though, and a stalemate meant it was five draws from the last six for Thomas Frank’s men.
“There is still a mathematical chance that Cardiff could reach the play-offs for a second season running, but that will likely be extinguished by other results on Tuesday and they have hit a rocky patch of form recently anyway. I’ll back the Bees.”
All of the pressure is on Brentford here, as it has been in a few of their most recent fixtures. That has not proved to be beneficial to the Bees at all as they have started to find it much more challenging to break down stubborn defences such as the one Millwall brought with them in their meeting last time out. Frank’s side have now entered into the must-win territory.
The aim has to be for them to win all of their remaining games and then hope that Watford along the way start to feel the pressure and drop points. The Hornets face a tough trip to Norwich City so realistically this could be a matchday where they can make up some potential ground on them if they take care of their own business against Cardiff.
However, the Bluebirds will not be an easy opponent and have improved in their last two games and nearly won both if it was not for the concession of two late goals. Therefore, it is sure to be another nervy 90 minutes for Brentford and they might have to bide their time to find a breakthrough once again in this one.