Brentford have made a good start to the season after returning to the top flight after a gap of 74 years. The team started its campaign with a 2-0 victory over Arsenal, followed by 2 draws and has remained unbeaten this season. This is the best start by a relegated team this season. In these three matches their defense has been an ever-reliable force. The Bees have only conceded once this season and that was against Aston Villa in round 3 of the English Premier League.
Aston Villa have been an attacking team since their return to the Premier League. Most of their attacks have been constructed from the left side of play. Jack Grealish’s departure means that El Ghazi has more freedom on the left than before. Brentford manager Thomas Frank was well aware of this threat and made some adjustments to the team.
Initially, the team started in a 3-4-1-2 formation comprising of 3 centre backs, 2 wing backs, 2 central midfielders, 1 attacking mid and 2 strikers. After the match started there were some adjustments made in the formation by the manager.
Pinnock started as the left centre back, Jansson as the centre back and Ajer as the right centre back. Now looking at the above image we can observe that the manager focused on defending from right side because Villa were also focusing on attacking from that side. It was noticed that Ajer played much wider than his actual position and was a lot closer to right wing-back Sergi Canos. Jansson shifted towards the right centre back position to give backup to his teammates. The left side of defence has maintained its formation as Villa were focusing more towards their left side. Ghoddos also played slightly on the right side with Toney and Mbuemo dropping towards the centre circle. Mathias Jensen was introduced by the manager in 80th minute and the central midfield player played between Norgaard and Ajer to built a more solid backline.
These types of adjustments have been a major asset for the Bees. They have contested the most number of defensive duels in the league. Other than that, the recovery rate is pretty high and 3rd best in the division. Their Spanish keeper David Raya has made 10 saves and only conceded once.
Brentford have made a good start to the campaign as it is always difficult for a promoted club to adjust to life in the Premier League. Their adaptation against Villa helped them to a well-earned point.