Weblog: The football punter

Brentford can bring Barnet back to earth

BT Sport 2, 7.45pm Monday

Barnet have already eliminated two EFL clubs on their way to the FA Cup fourth round but it may be third time unlucky for the National League hosts against Sky Bet Championship outfit Brentford in the battle of the teams nicknamed the Bees at the Hive.

The non-leaguers drew 1-1 at home with Bristol Rovers before knocking out the League One side on the road, then moved up a level to eliminate Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

However, Rovers were always vulnerable given their lowly position in the third tier and United fielded a weakened team in front of a small crowd that did not even reach 10,000.

The Sheffield side have both eyes on promotion to the Premier League whereas mid-table Brentford can give the FA Cup their full attention, which should make all the difference in front of a capacity crowd with just under 2,000 supporters making the short trip from west London.

Thomas Franks has said he will make some changes to his usual team, but a number of regulars started against Oxford in the previous round when star striker Neal Maupay stepped off the bench to notch the winner.

Brentford, unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions, followed that success over Oxford with deserved league victories against Stoke and Rotherham, scoring seven goals in the process.

There was an unsettled period at Brentford when Franks replaced Dean Smith, who departed for Aston Villa, but they have started to click in the new 3-4-3 formation.

Maupay is the biggest goal threat, although Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma also provide quality in the final third to test Barnet's relatively untried teenage reserve keeper Rihards Matrevics, while at the back Jean Jeanvier continues to impress.

Brentford -1 on Asian handicap

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Match in Focus

01:30 We 19Jun PREM

Brazil v Venezuela

Home WinDrawAway Win
Key stats
  • Brazil have conceded in only two of the last six meetings.
Expert verdict
Brazil are short-priced favourites to win the Copa America for a ninth time and topping Group A should be a formality for them based on the quality of opposition. Even without Neymar, Brazil have enough strength in depth to be a constant threat in attack, which was evident in their opening game against Bolivia with Philippe Coutinho bagging a brace in a routine 3-0 win.