Sky Sports EFL pundit David Prutton has suggested that Brentford will be able to get back to winning ways against Birmingham City on Tuesday, despite the Blues having renewed confidence from their win against Swansea City.
Brentford head into the game knowing that there is little room left for them to slip up now, with anything less than three points potentially severely damaging for their ambitions of a top-two finish.
Thomas Frank’s side have counted the cost for three successive draws against Derby County, Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town and those results have seen Watford pull away.
As a result, there is now a sizeable nine-point gap for them to try and claw back on the Hornets, although they do have a game in hand on them. That gap could grow even more on Monday, were Watford to secure all three points at Middlesbrough, while Swansea could also move back above them in the table, if they get a result against Preston later the same day.
Birmingham, meanwhile, will have been majorly boosted by their 1-0 win against Swansea on Good Friday with them managing to recover from missing a penalty early on in the game to converting one late on to take a precious three points.
The win lifts Lee Bowyer’s side six points clear of Rotherham United, but they still have three games in hand on them so there is still a lot of nervy times to come.
The Blues have improved at home under Bowyer and now they need to try and take that form into their away matches starting at Brentford. A win here would enable Birmingham to start to really think that they are going to have enough to ensure they pull well away from the relegation zone and ensure their survival in the Championship.
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Making his latest EFL predictions for Sky Sports, Prutton suggested that Brentford will be able to get back to winning ways against a Blues side who will be full of belief and confidence. He predicts a 2-1 success for the Bees here.
He wrote: “Similarly to Swansea, Brentford are stuttering at just the wrong moment, which is allowing Watford to get very comfortable in the second automatic promotion place behind Norwich. With three draws in succession, they’ve really lacked a cutting edge of late.
“Having beaten the Swans and boosted their hopes of avoiding the drop just a few days ago, Birmingham will be quietly confident about beating another promotion hopeful here, with Lee Bowyer’s appointment having breathed new life into the squad. That said, I think the Bees could get back on track here.”
Given Brentford’s recent failure to secure all three points in tight games against sides in the bottom half, you have to feel that this is a real chance for Birmingham to pick up another important result. Although it would not be too much of a shock if Prutton’s prediction proves to be accurate and the Bees do find a way to get back to winning ways in this one.
Brentford have a lot of pressure on them, although they do have the example of last season where they were able to claw back what looked like a sizeable points gap to West Brom at this stage and had the chance to go up. They have to believe that remains a possibility for them this term and have to keep applying the pressure on Watford.
Birmingham are also under pressure and if Rotherham have won their game against Wycombe Wanderers on Monday, then the Blues will once again feel the Millers closing the gap to them. It is therefore going to be a huge match for both sides.