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Brentford vs Tottenham: Match preview, predicted lineups, quotes, form, injuries and how to watch
Can Harry Kane and co avoid a post-World Cup shock in west London?
When and where to watch Brentford vs Tottenham
Brentford vs Tottenham kicks off at 12.30pm on Monday 26 December.
You can catch all the action from the Gtech Community Stadium on Amazon Prime via BT TV.
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Brentford vs Tottenham match preview
The World Cup is over and the Premier League makes its return after an unusual and slightly jarring mid-season break.
Both Brentford and Tottenham will hope there are no adverse effects on their respective squads as the players return from Qatar.
The visitors had more players at the World Cup and might feel the impact of that against Thomas Frank's high-tempo Bees, who pulled off a remarkable 2-1 win at Manchester City before the winter break courtesy of a double from Ivan Toney, who did not make Gareth Southgate's 26-man squad and has since been charged with placing hundreds of bets on matches.
Despite that blow for the west Londoners, only one defeat in their last six league games is certainly a source of significant encouragement.
Brentford's defeats have tended to be heavy, with the most recent of those being a 5-1 loss at Newcastle and a 4-0 reversal against Aston Villa. However, Frank has built a team that repeatedly bounces back.
Spurs, meanwhile, finished with a dramatic 4-3 win over Leeds in November after some patchy form prior to that game.
With three defeats and three wins in their last six Premier League matches, Antonio Conte's men will know more consistency is necessary if they are to finish in the top four, with Manchester United now breathing down their necks.
*Add more closer to game (World Cup context, Toney situation etc)*
Brentford vs Tottenham predicted lineups
Brentford (3-5-2): Raya; Jorgensen, Pinnock, Mee; Rasmussen, Onyeka, Janelt, Jensen, Henry; Mbeumo, Toney.
Tottenham (3-4-3): Forster; Dier, Lenglet, Davies; Emerson Royal, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Doherty; Son, Kane, Moura.
Brentford vs Tottenham: Injuries and suspensions
Ivan Toney will play on Boxing Day as he awaits what could be a lengthy ban having been charged with hundreds of alleged betting violations by the FA.
Aaron Hickey is likely to miss the encounter due to an ankle injury picked up in October, while a knee problem picked up later that month keeps Kristoffer Ajer out.
Thomas Strakosha is also working his way back to fitness following an ankle injury, but he will not quite be fit for this one either.
For Brentford's opponents, Ryan Sessegnon will be missing with a hamstring injury, while Cristian Romero will be away on holiday after being part of the World Cup-winning Argentina side.
However, Hugo Lloris will be on the bench after featuring in that final in Qatar for France, while Ivan Perisic will also be available after helping Croatia finish third, while England duo Eric Dier and Harry Kane are both set to start.
There was bad news concerning Richarlison though as the Brazil international will need "three or four weeks" to recover from a hamstring injury sustained against Perisic's Croatia in the World Cup quarter-finals.
Form (last six league matches from oldest to most recent)
Brentford – WDLDDW
Tottenham – WLLWLW
Brentford vs Tottenham: Form guide
The World Cup break perhaps came at the wrong time for Brentford, who looked to be building some real momentum.
Victory at Man City was the obvious standout result - inspired by the performance of Ivan Toney - but only one defeat in their last six in the Premier League is evidence of consistency.
Brentford's defeats have tended to be heavy, with the most recent a 5-1 loss at Newcastle and a 4-0 reversal against Aston Villa. But Thomas Frank has built a team that is rarely knocked off course and repeatedly bounces back.
For Tottenham, an entertaining 4-3 win over Leeds on the final Premier League weekend meant they sat fourth heading into the World Cup.
There have been some question marks over performances under Antonio Conte of late, so the Italian coach will hope time spent working on tactical ideas and resolutions to defensive problems during the World Cup will improve things in the second half of the season.
With three defeats and three wins in their last six Premier League matches, Spurs will know more consistency is necessary if they are to finish in the top four.
Brentford vs Tottenham: Last time they met
These two teams played out a goalless draw at the Community Stadium in April.
A Christian Eriksen-inspired Brentford were the superior team on the day, creating several chances as the hosts came closest to scoring.
Spurs failed to register a shot on target, a statistic they will hope to avoid this time around.
The point kept Antonio Conte's side within touching distance of the top four with five games remaining, though, and Tottenham eventually climbed above rivals Arsenal to secure Champions League football.
He said what?!
Thomas Frank on Ivan Toney's state of mind amid the noise around his alleged betting breaches:
"Of course we've tried to support him in the best possible way we can.
"You've seen all the statements we've put out there, but for me the most important thing is that, looking at the player and the person, he is focused on the football.
"He is training well, he is doing everything he can to prepare and be ready to score goals on Boxing Day against Tottenham."
Brentford vs Tottenham: Players to watch
Ivan Toney has been the focus of unwanted attention in recent weeks, but the 26-year-old can let his feet do the talking once more in west London as he looks to build on six goals in his last seven games across all competitions.
Rodrigo Bentancur has five goal involvements in his last 10 games for Tottenham (four goals and one assist), adding an extra dimension to Spurs' attacking play.
Brentford vs Tottenham: Key stats
- Harry Kane has scored in 44 London derbies - the highest number in history
- Brentford haven't scored in their last five games against Tottenham in league and cup
- Ivan Toney (10) is the second-highest English goalscorer after Kane (12) in the Premier League this season
- Tottenham's last three Premier League games have produced 15 goals