Manchester City vs Brentford: Preview and Prediction

Manchester City can plug the gap to Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table when they welcome Brentford to the Etihad on Tuesday.

The elongated Gameweek 25 of the 2023/24 Premier League campaign continues into the midweek, with four teams playing an extra game. Manchester City and Brentford will catch up to the rest of the league when they lock horns at the Etihad on Tuesday evening.

Manchester City began the 2023/24 season poorly by the high standards they have set. But they have picked up form in the last few months, with their most recent defeat coming in early December. However, Pep Guardiola’s men saw their 11-match winning run end this past weekend, with Chelsea nearly beating them before sharing the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

On the other hand, Brentford would have hoped to be in the conversation for a top-half finish this season. But the Bees are in a perilous position, with 18th-placed Everton only six points behind them heading into the latest round of fixtures. And Thomas Frank’s men did themselves no favour this past weekend, with Liverpool cruising to a 4-1 win over them.

The reverse fixture saw Manchester City come from a goal down to beat Brentford 3-1, with Phil Foden scoring a match-winning hat-trick. Ahead of the second meeting within a month between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.

Team News & Tactics

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola does not have any new injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Brentford on Tuesday, the Manchester City manager will be bereft of the services of two first-team players.

Josko Gvardiol remains on the sidelines due to an ankle complaint that has rendered him unavailable for a couple of weeks. In addition, Guardiola has confirmed that Jack Grealish remains in the treatment room due to a muscle injury.

Guardiola will likely make a few rotations due to the short turnover between games. But Ederson Moraes should retain his spot between the sticks, with Manchester City lining up in a 4-1-4-1 formation in front of him against Brentford.

The backline should see one change, with Rico Lewis replacing Kyle Walker as the right-back. The youngster will likely join Ruben Dias, John Stones, and Nathan Ake in the defensive quartet. As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Rodri.

Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne should provide defensive support to the Spaniard, with the duo also looking to pull the strings from advanced positions. Julian Alvarez will play behind Erling Haaland, with Phil Foden completing the numbers in the final third. So, Jeremy Doku will likely drop to the bench on Tuesday.

Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Ederson; Lewis, Dias, Stones, Ake; Rodri; Silva, De Bruyne, Alvarez, Foden; Haaland


Like his counterpart in the Manchester City dugout, Thomas Frank does not have any new issues to deal with ahead of the trip to the Etihad. The Brentford manager will be without five first-team players on Tuesday.

Ethan Pinnock’s run of 53 successive top-flight starts ended this past weekend due to an ankle issue, which will keep him in the treatment room until late March. The 30-year-old accompanies Rico Henry (knee), Aaron Hickey (hamstring), Josh Dasilva (knee), Bryan Mbeumo (ankle), and Kevin Schade (groin) remain on the sidelines.

Brentford will line up in a 3-5-2 formation against Manchester City, with Mark Flekken taking his usual spot in the goal. The central defensive unit should feature Kristoffer Ajer, Nathan Collins, and Ben Mee. Meanwhile, Keane Lewis-Potter and Sergio Reguilon should be the two wing-backs.

The duo will drop deep to create a back five during the defensive phases while providing the width in the final third when charging forward. As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Mathias Jensen, Christian Norgaard, and Vitaly Janelt. Ivan Toney and Yoane Wissa should be the two strikers for the away side.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Flekken; Ajer, Collins, Mee; Lewis-Potter, Jensen, Norgaard, Janelt, Reguilon; Toney, Wissa

Key Stats

  • Manchester City have won six of their eight home games against Brentford in all competitions, losing the other two in December 1937 and this fixture last season. The Bees can become just the second team to win consecutive away league games against a side managed by Pep Guardiola, after Manchester United did so in 2019/20 and 2020/21.
  • Manchester City’s only defeat in the last 37 top-flight home games (W30 D6) came in this fixture last season when Brentford won 2-1 in November 2022. But the Citizens have drawn four of their most recent seven league games at the Etihad, winning the other three.
  • Brentford’s tally of seven losses in 11 Premier League away games this term equals their total from the entirety of last season.
  • Only Liverpool (19) have gained more points from losing positions in the Premier League this season than Manchester City’s 18, their most in a top-flight campaign since 1993/94 (20).
  • Thomas Frank’s men have lost ten of their last 13 league games, keeping just one clean sheet and conceding 29 goals across those matches. Since the first game of this spell in November, they have lost more top-flight matches than any other side.

Player to Watch

Erling Haaland

Embed from Getty Images

Haaland took the Premier League by storm after arriving from Borussia Dortmund ahead of the 2022/23 season. But he has not been at his best thus far this term, with long scoring streaks eluding him. That has also been the case since his return from a long injury layoff.

The Norwegian international has scored in only one of the four Premier League matches since returning to action, although he scored a brace in that game. So, he will be eager to put his scoring boots on and regain his form against a vulnerable Brentford defence. Expect him to make his mark on Tuesday.


Manchester City 3-1 Brentford

Manchester City could have romped to the top of the Premier League table had they beaten Chelsea this past weekend. So, they will be eager to return to winning ways on Tuesday and keep the pressure on Liverpool and Arsenal. So, expect Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne to return to their best this midweek.

Meanwhile, Ivan Toney will become the first Brentford player to score in three successive away Premier League matches. But that will only be a consolation goal for the Bees, who will suffer another defeat, with Manchester City clinching a 3-1 win over Brentford on Tuesday.

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