Sunday, May 22
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May 7, 2022 at 3pm UK at Brentford Community Stadium
3 - 0
Jansson (13'), Wissa (14'), Ajer (79')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Diallo (17')

Preview: Brentford vs. Southampton - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Brentford vs. Southampton - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Brentford and Southampton, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Two sides separated by only goal difference in the Premier League table will face off on Saturday when Brentford welcome Southampton to the Brentford Community Stadium.

Both clubs look safe from relegation in 14th and 15th respectively and on 40 points apiece with three games left to play, while victory for either this weekend could lift them up into the top half of the table.

Match preview

If you had told Brentford at the start of the season that they would have reached the 40-point mark before the start of May and that they could go into their final three games without the worry of relegation hanging over their heads, they would have snapped it up.

It has been a hugely impressive first season back in the top flight since 1946-47 for the Bees and, while survival is not mathematically secure just yet, it would take a remarkable turnaround in form for a number of teams for their eight-point buffer to the relegation zone to be eradicated now.

Instead, Thomas Frank and his players can afford to be looking up the table; a best finish since 1937-38 already looks secure, but a top-half finish is also still possible.

A number of other clubs are also in the mix for that top-10 finish, but should Brentford win on Saturday - and Aston Villa and Crystal Palace both fail to win their games - then the West London outfit would move up to 10th place.

Frank will have to ensure that an end-of-season malaise does not creep into his side after they saw their good run of form ended on Monday night, losing 3-0 at Manchester United to end a four-game unbeaten streak which included wins over Chelsea, West Ham United and Watford, as well as a draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

Indeed, the Bees have won five of their last seven games since the beginning of March and have taken seven points from the last nine available in front of their own fans - as many as they had managed in their previous eight home outings combined.

Brentford have not even conceded in front of their own fans since February, and should they record another clean sheet on Saturday then they would join Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City as the only clubs this season to keep four home shutouts on the bounce.

However, they have also lost eight home games this season - only Watford and Norwich City have lost more - while they have failed to find the back of the net in their last two outings home and away.

It would be harsh to describe defeat away to Man United as a dip in form for Brentford, though, and they certainly come into this match in better form than their opponents Southampton, who have won just one of their last nine Premier League games.

A 1-0 triumph over Arsenal is Southampton's only victory in any competition since March 2, losing seven and drawing two since then, and conceding 25 goals in the process.

Wilfried Zaha's late winner last time out condemned the Saints to a 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace and means that Ralph Hasenhuttl has now watched his side throw away a league-high 26 points from winning positions this season.

Without those dropped points, Southampton would sit level on points with third-placed Chelsea, and so improving their ability to hold on to leads must be high on Hasenhuttl's agenda as he begins to look forward to next season.

For now, though, his focus will be solely on Saturday's game and potentially picking up a third straight top-flight win in London - something the club has not achieved since March 1985.

Incidentally, the last of those London wins - against Spurs - was Southampton's last away win anywhere as they have picked up just three points from a possible 15 on the road since February 9.

This will be their first trip to Brentford since meeting in League One in April 2011, but they are unbeaten in their last five away games against the Bees and notably won 4-1 in the reverse fixture in January.

Another victory on Saturday would complete a first league double over Brentford since 1954-55, and more importantly could also see them climb as high as 10th in the table heading into their final two games of the campaign against Liverpool and Leicester City.

Brentford Premier League form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

Southampton Premier League form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L

Team News

Brentford will be without both Ethan Pinnock and Sergi Canos for this match, although both players are closing in on a return from thigh injuries and could be fit for the Everton clash.

Frank Onyeka and Mathias Jorgensen have both been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign, though, while Saman Ghoddos could join them after suffering a sprained ankle against Tottenham.

Thomas Frank has switched between four and five-man defences in recent weeks, but the latter has generally been reserved for the games against top-six opponents and so he could switch back to four in defence for this one.

Christian Eriksen is again expected to be among the starters, as is striker Ivan Toney as he looks to add to his tally of 12 goals this season.

Southampton will be without Valentino Livramento for the rest of the campaign and possibly the rest of the year after he suffered a serious knee injury against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Saints' last away game.

Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is the only other injury doubt for Hasenhuttl, though, and he is closing in on a return after featuring for the Under-23s side in midweek.

The likes of Armando Broja, Stuart Armstrong and Mohamed Elyounoussi will be pushing for recalls to the starting lineup after all coming off the bench last time out.

Midfield talisman James Ward-Prowse is almost certain to start, meanwhile, and one more direct goal involvement would see him equal his best-ever return in a Premier League season.

Brentford possible starting lineup:
Raya; Ajer, Jansson, Sorensen, Henry; Dasilva, Jensen, Eriksen; Mbeumo, Toney, Wissa

Southampton possible starting lineup:
Forster; Walker-Peters, Salisu, Bednarek, Perraud; Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Elyounoussi; Broja, Adams

We say: Brentford 2-1 Southampton

End-of-season encounters when neither club has a great deal to fight for can be particularly unpredictable, but the form book points towards a Brentford win in this one - so long as they can prove that Monday's defeat to Manchester United was merely a blip.

Southampton have been shipping a lot of goals lately, and with the likes of Eriksen and Toney in Brentford's ranks, we believe that could be enough for the hosts to come away with all three points this weekend.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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