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Scouting Report: Thomas Frank's Free-Scoring Brentford

The lowdown on Reading's latest opponents at the Mad Stad.

Brentford v Oxford United - FA Cup Third Round Photo by Kate McShane/Getty Images

Brentford are the visitors as Reading look to take another huge step towards safety. The Bees come into the game after a comfortable 2-0 victory over bottom side Ipswich Town in midweek, while Reading earned a surprise draw away against top of the league Norwich.

A win for the Royals would, other results dependent, increase the distance between them and the bottom three, whereas three point for the Bees wouldn’t really affect their season, as they are safe from relegation and have little chance of making the playoffs.

Brentford’s front three (Neal Maupay, Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins) some of the most inform players at this point in the season and they will be looking to carry on their good form at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday. They link up very well and at pace which makes them a real nuisance for opposition.

Brentford v Hull City - Sky Bet Championship
Said Benrahma could be due a goal at the Mad Stad
Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

The three of them combined have scored 42 league goals, making Brentford the sixth-highest scoring team in the division with 65. And, for a team that are sat 14th in the league, that is a very high number of goals.

They may create a lot of chances, but stopping opponents creating them is a real weakness for the Bees. They lack composure with ball at feet and end up gifting chances to the opposition through being dispossessed. In their last fixture against Ipswich, the Bees gave their opposition a number of chances, one of which ended in Colin Quaner hitting the woodwork. If the Royals are handed the same number of opportunities they simply need to take advantage of them.

It is likely that the Bees will start in a 3-4-3 formation, which is effectively a 5-4-1 when they don’t have possession. This gives them plenty of cover defensively, but lots of options when they have the ball. It means they can switch from defence to attack very quickly which will catch a lot of sides out. The Royals need to be wary of this and not commit too many men forward if it’s not necessary.

How will the game pan out?

My prediction for the game is 2-1 to the Royals. They are in a good run of form and I think that will continue this weekend. Brentford are a good side and I think they will pose a threat but I think the Royals have enough to see it through. However, if Reading allow Brentford to counter attack, they will cause us problems.