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PREVIEW: Safety in sight as Brentford travel to Luton

Brentford head to Kenilworth Road on Saturday knowing that a win would open up a 10-point gap between the Bees and that dreaded 18th spot on the Premier League log.

Sergio Reguilon of Brentford

Brentford head to Kenilworth Road on Saturday knowing that a win would open up a 10-point gap between the Bees and that dreaded 18th spot on the Premier League log.

Jamie Moore's Diary - jockey talks Goshen and Ascot rides

Brentford travel to Luton Town on Saturday afternoon for a game where, all being well, Thomas Frank will have even more of that rarest commodity at his disposal. Namely, selection choice…

Last week’s 2-0 defeat of Sheffield United at the Gtech saw welcome returns for long-term absentees Kevin Schade and Ethan Pinnock. Both players coming off the bench late with the former making an immediate impact when setting up Frank Onyeka for The Bees’ second goal. Whether the game at Kenilworth Road comes too soon for either to make a full start remains to be seen but at the very least one would expect a slightly longer runout for both.

Certainly, Thomas handled Bryan Mbeumo’s comeback with kid gloves. Three games as a substitute took place before he finally hit the starting XI again. With Kris Ajer missing out on the game against the Blades after suffering what was described as “A minor calf strain”, the thought is that he could be in contention for this one. Thus adding more weight to the theory that Ethan will be held back, regardless of whether Brentford elect to go into this one with two or three central defenders.

Of course, Thomas will be well aware that The Hatters have scored 18 of their 46 Premier League goals in the final 15 minutes of games played. The highest in the league and, as such, it may well play into his hands to perhaps approach this one with a more defensive finishing XI in mind.

Also hopeful of a return will be Ivan Toney. He’s also started the last two games on the bench with Thomas admitting that it has been hard keeping him out. However, the good news being the boss is convinced that the England international will be in a good position for this one.

Ivan will be chomping at the bit to get back into the cut and thrust of top-flight action. With games fast running out before Euro 24 squad selection, and Ollie Watkins continuing to play like a man possessed at Aston Villa, there will be more than a few points to prove.

Whomever he goes for, Thomas has the fullest squad available to him since the start of the season. Sergio Reguilón has finally enabled us to show two fingers to the left-back curse whilst Vitaly Janelt remains on course to feature in every game of the campaign (the only Brentford player to be in that position).

As for Luton, they’ll still be feeling confident about not joining relegation certainties Sheffield United L and Burnley. Only two points separate them from Everton and one from Nottingham Forest, with those two set to face each other on Sunday in a game nobody else is calling El Breachico.

Ross Barkley is their danger man whilst Carlton Morris remains the threat up top. A long line of injuries has hampered Rob Edwards so it seems unlikely that former Bee Chiedozie Ogbene will get an opportunity to show the visiting fans how far he has progressed. Marvelous Nakamba and Elijah Adebayo are just a few of the (many) names to have also been on the casualty list recently.

Don’t write them off, though. I’ve been saying all season that they’ll survive. If only for winning the battle of the bottom six. Like Griffin Park when Brentford reached the Championship, their ground is part of a dying breed.

Tinpot and ramshackle to the outsider. Beloved and atmospheric to those better informed. A place where proximity to the pitch and cramped surroundings are as vital a weapon as big budgets against those teams used to a more spacious arena. A stadium where things are so on top of each other that the entrance to the away end is jammed into a row of terraced houses. Gosh. If only somebody had mentioned this before. (and that’s your Luton Town cliché bingo cards complete).

Tickets for this one have been like gold dust. Those who navigated the TAPS system to get in, count yourselves lucky and make yourselves heard. It’s expected to be a sunny, albeit fresh, afternoon. Just about the perfect conditions to play in. Unlike the sleet that blighted our previous trip.

Bring it on…

Jamie Moore's Diary - jockey talks Goshen and Ascot rides
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