Sky Sports EFL pundit David Prutton has suggested that Derby County could be set to extend their winless run in the Championship with a defeat against Brentford tonight.
The Rams head into the contest aiming to get their season back on track and avoid themselves form being dragged back down into a relegation battle once again. They have failed to score in any of their last four Championship matches and that has seen them fail to move themselves clear of the bottom three.
Wayne Rooney ahead of the game indicated that he believes that the Rams will need to claim another 11 points from their remaining ten Championship matches to reach safety, with him targeting 50 points as the potential survival marker that will be needed. They will hope they can claim three of those points against an in-form Brentford side tonight.
In contrast to Derby, Brentford on something of a role at the moment with the Bees pushing hard to break into the automatic promotion places before the end of the campaign. Thomas Frank’s side have been able to win three of their last four after suffering a couple of defeats following the end of a lengthy 21-game unbeaten run.
Brentford need the win to keep pace with both Swansea City and Watford, who are also showing no signs of slowing down or letting up in their quest to earn automatic promotion. It will therefore mean that there is plenty riding on this game for both clubs.
Making his latest round of EFL predictions for Sky Sports, Prutton suggested that he expects Frank’s side to go and earn all three points against the Rams in what he thinks will be another potentially close encounter. With him believing that the Bees will come out 2-1 winner.
He wrote: “A mini-revival for Wayne Rooney’s Derby earlier this year somewhat eased relegation fears and took them as high as 17th in mid-February, but this month has brought those fears back, as they’ve fallen to three defeats from their last four without scoring, which is a worry.
“Brentford, meanwhile, have won three of their last four and seem to have shaken off the malaise that followed the end of their 21-game unbeaten run. They picked up a gritty 1-0 win over Blackburn last time out and will likely have to work hard again here, but I’ll back them to take the points.”
This has the makings of a massive game at both ends of the Championship table, with both sides needing to collect all three points to help their respective relegation and promotion battles. However, it is hard to argue with Prutton believing that Brentford might have just enough to edge the game and secure a priceless win.
Rooney will be needing things to go differently to what Prutton suggests here, and he needs his side to get back scoring goals in the final third. That will be a major task against a well-organised Brentford side and the Rams will of course have to be wary of not leaving themselves open to try and be more creative in the final third.
These are the games that Brentford can not avoid any slip-ups in now if they are to earn automatic promotion and they need to show they have learned from their experiences last term when they dropped vital points in the run-in.