Sports Gazette

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Brentford vs Crystal Palace: Frank hopes to keep Eze and Olise quiet

Thomas Frank is remaining calm as his side try to snap their four-game losing streak in the Premier League.

However, he is expecting stern opposition from Crystal Palace as The Bees travel to Selhurst Park, citing their performances against Manchester City, Liverpool, and Chelsea as markers of The Eagles’ quality.

Thomas Frank (left) in the Brentford press room

The Bees were unable to mark Frank’s 250th game in charge with a win on Wednesday, suffering a 4-1 loss against Wolves which leaves them just four points clear of the relegation zone.

Frank remains optimistic, though, attributing the defeat to uncharacteristic errors.

He said: “Our overall performance was good. Unfortunately, we made two big mistakes and we conceded two more goals that we normally wouldn’t when we are at our high standards.”

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Wolves pounced on Nathan Collins’ errors

Brentford last faced Palace in August, when Joachim Andersen’s 76th minute equaliser secured a 1-1 draw for the visiting Eagles.

The South London side may be a different proposition this time out, with winger Michael Olise back at his scintillating best since returning from the injury that kept him out in August.

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Olise found the net against Chelsea on Wednesday

Fellow attacking dynamo Eberechi Eze returned to Palace’s starting line-up in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss against Chelsea, and is likely to start against The Bees.

Brentford’s hopes on Saturday will depend on how they defend this attacking duo.

“We need to keep Eze and Olise quiet, to really minimise them.

“When they’re on the ball we need to be tighter, to double-up on them in the key moments,” Frank said.

Despite the gloomy outcome, silver linings can be found in the defeat against Wolves.

Frank revealed that he has highlighted a dozen impressive attacking sequences to his side since the Wolves game.

Many of these included Keane Lewis-Potter, who followed up his first Premier League goal against Aston Villa on December 17th with an eye-catching performance against Wolves.

“I know he scored against Villa and had a fine game, but this game against Wolves was really where I thought there’s something [special] here,” Frank told the Sports Gazette.

Yoane Wissa, scorer of The Bees’ only goal on Wednesday, also impressed.

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However, Saturday’s game will be the last Wissa plays for Brentford before joining up with the Democratic Republic of Congo squad ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off on January 13th.

The Bees will also lose Frank Onyeka, who joins Victor Osimhen in trying to propel Nigeria’s Super Eagles to AFCON glory in the Ivory Coast.

Frank acknowledges the blow to his squad, but shares in his players’ excitement for the tournament.

“It’s a proud moment for us, it’s a proud moment for them to pull on their national team’s shirt,” he said.


  • Jonny Coffey

    Jonny Coffey, 21, is a London-based sports journalist focusing on football. Fascinated by tactics, Coffey is famed for his introduction of inverted full backs to the second division of Cambridge college football, and his admiration for Carlo Ancelotti’s eyebrows. A lifelong Arsenal fan, his interest in analysing wing play is a thinly-veiled ploy to rave about Bukayo Saka.