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Both teams know where the goal is and we could be treated to a high-scoring affair.
Back over 3.5 goals (+155)
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Fans of the Premier League will be spoiled on Sunday. After 37 rounds of fixtures there are still plenty of unresolved issues throughout the division. The title race between Manchester City and Liverpool will go down to the wire.
Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are still competing for the remaining place in the top four and, with it, Champions League qualification. Either Manchester United or West Ham United will finish in the top six and book a place in the Europa League.
Arguably the most intriguing battle is the one at the bottom of the table. Watford and Norwich City are already down. Everton are safe after their thrilling comeback victory over Crystal Palace on Thursday moved them four points clear of the drop zone.
That means the fight to finish above the dreaded dotted line is between two teams: Leeds United and Burnley. One will be in the top flight next term, and the other will suffer relegation to the Championship.
The advantage, albeit a slender one, lies with Burnley. Both teams are level on points with 35 each, but the Clarets have a markedly superior goal difference. That could ultimately prove to be the difference: if Burnley, who host Newcastle, can match Leeds’ result, they will finish 17th. That is why Mike Jackson’s men are the favorites to avoid demotion.
Leeds must feel they should not be in this position. After a 3-0 victory over Watford on April 9, they moved nine points clear of the drop zone (albeit having played more games than the sides below them).
At that point it looked as though they had done enough to survive, but a return of two points from the last 15 available leaves them in a precarious position.
Brentford were promoted through the Championship play-offs last season. They finished third in the regular season, 10 points adrift of Norwich City and four behind Watford.
Yet in the Premier League, the Bees have vastly outperformed their former second-tier rivals. Whereas Norwich and Watford are returning to the Championship after failing to compete at the top table, Brentford are set for another year among English soccer’s 20 elite sides.
Avoiding relegation was the primary objective last summer, and Thomas Frank’s side have achieved that with flying colors. They are still in contention for a top-half finish, which would be a remarkable accomplishment for a club with one of the lowest budgets in the division, and one which was playing in the third tier of the English game as recently as 2014.
The signing of Christian Eriksen has proved influential. When he made his debut in late February, Brentford were just three points outside the bottom three and the teams below them in the table had up to three games in hand.
Since then, only Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City have amassed more points than the west Londoners.
That is not solely down to Eriksen, of course. Frank deserves credit for sticking with his principles but making tactical tweaks that have freshened things up. Ivan Toney has found his scoring boots again, while the return to full fitness of first-choice goalkeeper David Raya has also helped Brentford shoot up the table.
Whichever way you look at it, this has been a phenomenal season for the Bees.
It is often said in scenarios like this that the best possible opponents are ones that have nothing to play for. That is not always the case, however. Brentford are the type of team that are more dangerous when they are not under pressure to get a result.
Thomas Frank’s side will be able to play with freedom on Sunday, safe in the knowledge that a defeat would not be a disaster. That will encourage them to play on the front foot, potentially leading to an open game.
At the same time, it would be a surprise if Leeds decided to try and shut up shop. That is not something they are particularly good at doing. Only Norwich have conceded more goals than the Whites this season. Needing a result, Marsch will probably encourage his team to play to its strengths by going on the front foot and looking to take the game to Brentford.
Leeds will have their ear out for updates from Turf Moor. If Burnley take the lead at any point, that will only encourage the Whites to push further forward. Go for over 3.5 goals in this one.
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|Brentford vs Leeds United Information|
|Teams||Brentford vs Leeds United|
|Location||Brentford Community Stadium, London, England|
|Time||Sunday, 22 May 2022, 11.00 AM EDT|
|How to watch||USA Network|
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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