Aston Villa-Brentford Preview
Ollie Watkins is looking to continue the "best moment" of his Aston Villa career when he faces former club Brentford on Saturday, with Unai Emery's in-form team chasing European qualification.
Villa sit sixth in the Premier League table, just six points adrift of the top four, following last week's 3-0 thrashing of Newcastle United – in which Watkins hit a brace.
The England international has now scored 11 goals in his last 12 league games, with his overall tally of 14 goals this campaign his joint-best in a single top-flight season (also 14 in 2020-21).
As a return to The Brentford Community Stadium looms, former Bees striker Watkins is keen to maintain his fine run.
"I'm loving it, there's no denying it, all the boys are," he said. "Since the new manager has come in, we couldn't have made a better start. I'm really enjoying it, working hard and trying to keep the momentum going. I'm trying to keep doing what I'm doing, scoring goals, assisting and helping the team to win and keep clean sheets.
"All around it's going really well. It's probably the best moment since I've been at the club. We've got seven games to go and I'm trying to score a lot more goals."
Brentford recently enjoyed a 12-game unbeaten run in the Premier League, but last week's 2-0 defeat at Wolves was the Bees' third loss in a row.
The hosts retain an outside chance of a top-seven finish despite failing to win any of their last five, and boss Thomas Frank remains confident in their methods.
"It's all about consistency and to keep doing what we've been working towards for many years here at Brentford," Frank said. "Especially things like training well, performing well, analysing, reflecting, and moving on again.
"We do that if we win, we lose or we draw – it's all about that."
Brentford – Mathias Jensen
Jensen has scored four goals in his last six home league games for Brentford. All five of his Premier League strikes this season have come at home, the joint-most goals scored by a player yet to find the net on the road, alongside West Ham winger Jarrod Bowen.
Aston Villa – Jacob Ramsey
While Watkins has led the line superbly for Villa in recent weeks, he has been ably supported by Ramsey, playing in an advanced role on the left. Ramsey has been involved in five goals in his last five Premier League games for Aston Villa (two goals, three assists), as many as he had in his previous 37 (three goals, two assists).
- Villa arrive in west London in confident mood, winning seven of their last eight Premier League games (D1) and chasing a sixth successive top-flight win for the first time since a run of seven between December 1989 and January 1990.
- While Villa have won six of their eight away league games under Emery (D1 L1), they have a poor record against Brentford – losing their last four away matches against the Bees.
- Brentford will certainly fancy their chances of troubling the scoreboard – Frank's men have only failed to score in two of their last 17 Premier League home games, finding the net in each of their last nine since a goalless draw with Chelsea in October.
Brentford 41.3 per cent
Aston Villa 30.1 per cent
Draw 28.6 per cent
Updated April 21, 2023