Tottenham Hotspur will aim to get their top-four charge back on track when they meet Brentford in Saturday’s Premier League London derby.
Thomas Frank’s side kept up their strong run of form with a 2-1 success over Watford last time out, while Antonio Conte’s men went down 1-0 to Brighton & Hove Albion.
The less said about January and February’s miserable run of results the better, but Brentford have kicked into gear at just the right time to ensure that they should not be involved in any late scrap for survival come May.
Pontus Jansson and Christian Norgaard were both on target as Brentford claimed a fifth win from six away to Watford last time out, but Frank’s side had to wait until the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time for the latter to head home and send the visiting support into pandemonium.
Taking 15 points from the last 18 on offer in the top flight has seen Brentford firmly cement their mid-table standing in the Premier League table, with the Bees now 12th in the rankings and only two points off Leicester City and a place in the top 10.
Having averaged more than two goals per game in their stellar run of victories, the introduction of former Lilywhites favourite Christian Eriksen is paying dividends for this in-form Brentford side, who have already come out on top in two London derbies with West Ham United and Chelsea this month.
Frank has also witnessed his side keep three clean sheets in their last four games at the Brentford Community Stadium, and with the Bees only behind Chelsea in terms of London derby points won this term, Tottenham’s bid to return to winning ways will be far from a walk in the park
For a short while, it appeared that no Premier League side possessed the formula to quell free-scoring Tottenham trio Dejan Kulusevski, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, but Brighton & Hove Albion did have the answer to record back-to-back North London victories.
One week on from getting the better of Arsenal at the Emirates, Graham Potter’s steadfast defence did not allow Tottenham a single shot on target on their own turf and took all three points back to their South Coast headquarters when Leandro Trossard finished expertly past Hugo Lloris.
The only saving grace for Antonio Conte was that Arsenal and Manchester United both failed to capitalise on their early slip-up, but the Gunners did claim an unexpected win over Chelsea in midweek to move level on points with fourth-placed Spurs, who would temporarily drop down to fifth if their North London rivals get the better of Man United on Saturday lunchtime.
While the home loss and lack of attacking incisiveness was quite a shock to the system, Tottenham have found the back of the net 12 times in their last four away games in the Premier League, but they have strung together a five-game losing streak in London derbies away from home.
Spurs have never suffered six consecutive defeats in the league to capital sides away from home, and they recorded a straightforward 2-0 success over Brentford back in December, but Frank’s side are a much different attacking proposition now.
Brentford Premier League form:
Tottenham Hotspur Premier League form:
We say: Brentford 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Brentford have developed an affinity for London derbies during their inaugural Premier League season and are playing without any fear, which bodes well against a Tottenham side whose confidence was rocked somewhat last weekend.
The Lilywhites’ toothless attacking showing against Brighton was surely just a one-off, and while Brentford will feel confident of keeping up their stellar goalscoring run, we are still expecting Conte’s side to just edge an entertaining contest given the Bees’ defensive absentees.