Thomas Frank wants to see Brentford extend the best Premier League unbeaten run in their history when they welcome struggling Bournemouth to the Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday.
Brentford are unbeaten in their last six league games (W3 D3), last enjoying a longer top-flight run without defeat between December 1937 and January 1938 (eight games).
While the Bees fell at the first hurdle in the FA Cup against West Ham last week, Frank has challenged them to post an immediate response against the Cherries.
“We’re in a good run of form in the Premier League and we want to continue that,” Frank said. Against Bournemouth, it’s going to be very difficult. We need to hit a top performance and I’ll be on the players.
“We need to train like animals to keep the intensity up and come out flying on Saturday.”
Bournemouth, meanwhile, have lost five of their last six Premier League games, leaving them perched perilously above the drop zone, one point clear of 18th-placed Everton.
They will hope the return of Wales defender Chris Mepham boosts their survival hopes, with the 25-year-old keen to make an immediate impact after being sidelined by illness.
“When I came back from the World Cup, I felt I had momentum on my side,” Mepham said. “I’d had a run of games at that level and was really looking forward to coming back and helping the team carry on from where we left off in November. But I caught a really bad virus and have spent the best part of three weeks trying to shake it off.
“It’s been very stop-start and it’s been really frustrating for me, not being able to help the team. It’s all behind me now and I feel a lot better so, hopefully, I can get back in the team and play my part.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Brentford – Ivan Toney
As well as leading Brentford’s scoring charts with 12 goals in the Premier League this season, Toney has created more big chances (seven) than any of his Bees team-mates. After shaking off a knee injury which kept him out of the win over Liverpool earlier this month, he could make the difference.
Bournemouth – Kieffer Moore
No Bournemouth player has scored more than Moore’s four goals in the Premier League this season, despite the Wales international only starting 10 of their 18 games. If he takes to the field in west London, he could also be key to countering Brentford’s set-piece threat.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Brentford have won three of their last four league games against Bournemouth (D1), more than they had in their previous 14 against them (W2 D6 L6).
– Brentford are winless in their three Premier League games against promoted sides so far this season (D2 L1), drawing 0-0 with Bournemouth in the reverse fixture in October.
– Bournemouth have lost 18 of their last 23 away Premier League matches (W3 D2), losing the last four in a row. They’ve only kept one clean sheet in this run, a 1-0 win at Chelsea in December 2019.
– Including penalties, only Fulham have scored more set-piece goals than Brentford (13) in the Premier League this season, while Bournemouth (18) have conceded more such goals than any other side.
– Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers has conceded 39 goals in 14 Premier League appearances so far – only one goalkeeper has ever conceded 40 or more goals in their first 15 games, with David Watson doing so for Barnsley in the 1997-98 season (41).