Brentford travel to Molineux on Saturday for a fourth game with Wolves in little over six weeks. It is a run which includes the FA cup replay and subsequent extra-time reverse aswell as the 4-1 home defeat suffered by The Bees in December.
That is the one that Thomas Frank and his team will be seeking retribution for. Whilst the result will, as ever, have been put behind us it was one that came at the height of the absentee crisis with the remaining squad members perhaps also feeling the effects of playing so often without respite.
Fast forward to the present and the Bees team pretty much names itself. Mathias Jensen, Ben Mee and Ivan Toney were among those missing from the aforementioned league game but will now be nailed onto the team sheet. We all know that Thomas typically starts with only two central defenders for games against sides outside the top six but such is the form of our hosts, I’m expecting the same XI as that which ran Manchester City so close for large swathes of Monday night’s game.
Top performances in that one came from goalkeeper Mark Flekken, who had an absolute blinder, and Sergio Reguilón. The loan signing from Spurs provided a very welcome breath of fresh air in the left wing-back position. There was yet another goal for Neal Maupay who continues to shine alongside Ivan Toney. Truly, the burgeoning bromance between that pairing is one to bring a smile to all Brentford supporters.
Saman Ghoddos is finally back from international duty although will have to make do with a place on the bench. Sadly, Josh Dasilva is missing with news of his long-term absence as a result of knee surgery filtering through during the week. One can only feel desperately sorry for a player who shone in the Championship but has seen his time in the Premier League so blighted by injury. The Brentford family will be thinking of him.
For Wolves, there is that ultimate of luxuries – no known injury concerns. That’s not a typo and something further enhanced by the return of both Hwang Hee–chan and Boubacar Traore from their participation overseas. With Gary O’Neil’s team having leapfrogged Chelsea following the 4-2 humping administered to the hapless Blues at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, a place in Europe beckons. All of a sudden they find themselves a mere four points off seventh place.
There can be no doubt that this will be a game earmarked as winnable in the pursuit of their continued ascent of the table. Something that, on paper, Brentford’s current run of results would support. Yet for Thomas Frank the performances of his ever-stronger-looking squad can only have brought a smile to the face, despite the rub of the green not falling in his favour.
Somebody, somewhere, sometime soon is going to get an absolute tonking. Could it be Wolves? Roll on Saturday afternoon when we find out if Neal, Ivan and co can pick up where they left off.