Manchester City welcome Brentford to the Etihad Stadium as the first half of the season comes to an early close.
Following this weekend’s fixtures, many blues will be heading to Qatar to take part in the World Cup, and City fans will be crossing their fingers in the hope that they come back from the tournament without injury. But first, they take on Brentford, and their top scorer Ivan Toney will no doubt be looking to show Gareth Taylor why he should have been picked for the England squad.
On paper, this should be an eighth straight Premier League and twelfth overall win at home for City this season. But teams are known to spring a surprise or two in east Manchester and City will need to be wary of the threat Brentford bring. Here’s what the stats say.
History? What history?
The fortunes of both clubs have kept each other apart for much of their respective histories. The two have only met seven times previously in Manchester, with City winning six to Brentford’s one. The first meeting between the two was in January 1932 when City were drawn against Brentford in the FA Cup - the blues won 6-1.
The two have met five times in the league overall, with City winning all but one - a 2-0 defeat at Maine Road on Christmas Day 1937. In February, the two met for the first time in the league in 72 years, with City winning 2-0. The previous match at Maine Road was also won by the blues, who romped to a 4-0 victory.
February’s match was also the first meeting between the two in 33 years in all competitions. In 1989, the blues were paired with the Bees in the League Cup. After losing the first leg 2-1 in London, City turned it around and hammered the visitors 4-1 at Maine Road to go through 5-3 on aggregate.
Goals, but barely a clean sheet
City like to score against Brentford and have bagged 20 in their seven meetings in Manchester. However, they also seem to concede too. Brentford have scored six on their visits and have only failed to score twice. By comparison, City have only failed to score once in this fixture, although with only seven matches played, that sort of stat would be expected.
For the superstitious
Looking for a sign that will predict the result? Don’t bother. There’s nothing. The two have never played each other in November, but they have played three times in October, does that count? We literally have nothing else!