Brentford have been one of the biggest surprises of the 2019-20 Championship season thus far. Frank Thomas’ men have taken the league by storm and, after 26 matches, he has The Bees sitting in third place of the standings with 43 points. If the season ended today, Brentford would be the top-seeded team in the Promotion Play-Offs.
However, there are 20 games left in the season. That means anything could happen. But Brentford are a realistic promotion threat. The London-based club has turned things around following a disappointing 2018-19 campaign where they ended in 11th place and 10 points adrift a playoff berth. But can Brentford maintain this solid run and make a realistic Premier League push?
Numbers do not lie and support Brentford’s case
First, let’s look at the numbers to see whether Brentford’s season thus far has been pure luck, or a combination of factors that has them as a top promotion threat. Their calling card this season has been the defence, as The Bees currently own the league’s best backline with only 20 goals conceded. The summer arrivals of Pontus Jansson and Ethan Pinnock have bolstered a defence that lost their leader, Chris Mepham, last year.
However, Brentford also own a deadly attacking unit. They currently rank as the league’s fourth-best attack with 41 goals – they only trail West Brom, QPR and Leeds in that department. Ollie Watkins has been one of the revelations of the league this season. He was tasked with filling the void left by Neal Maupay, who scored 45 goals in 95 matches with The Bees during the last two seasons.
Watkins has responded better than expected. He currently sits as the second-best goalscorer in the league with 17 goals, trailing top scorer and Serbian international Aleksandar Mitrovic by just one goal. Several Premier League teams could boost their attacking depth with a player such as Watkins, but Brentford have no intentions to part ways with their top scoring threat midway through the season.
The Bees are only one of two teams that rank as Top 4 on both goals scored and conceded. It’s not a coincidence that the other team, Leeds, currently sits at the top of the standings with a stronger attack (43 goals scored) but a slightly weaker defence (21 conceded). These are just numbers, but they put in context the great job done by Brentford on both ends of the pitch during the current term.
What they have done thus far should lead them to the Premier League sooner than later
With 20 games left in the schedule, anything could happen. But knowing they already sit nine points behind the automatic promotion spots, Brentford’s best bet might be to secure a playoff berth and take it from there. Even though they have already lost nine matches, only Leeds and WBA register more wins than the Griffin Park outfit this term.
Undoubtedly, they have what it takes to keep fighting for a promotion berth. And who knows? They might shock the entire world and secure a Premier League berth ahead of the 2020-21 season.
With players such as Jansson, Watkins, Saïd Benrahma and Christian Norgaard leading the way, anything is possible for The Bees.
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