Crystal Palace striker Odsonne Edouard says the Eagles need to improve in “every aspect” of the game in order to end their poor run against in-form Brentford.
Patrick Vieira’s team have gone six Premier League games without a win to slip to within seven points of the drop zone, leading to suggestions they could be dragged into a relegation battle.
Ahead of Saturday’s trip to a Brentford team enjoying a 10-match unbeaten run, Edouard called on Palace to improve in order to allay any relegation fears.
“We are not especially happy with the position, but it’s not a bad position, so we have to take it and win more points to be more comfortable,” he told Sky Sports. “We work hard every day to try to be in form at the weekend and try to win football matches.
“I think especially the lack of goals; we don’t score enough, but we need to improve in every aspect of the game, to be stronger defensively, to have more balance in midfield, and to have more chances to score goals.”
Brentford have benefited from a series of excellent individual performances during their strong run, with midfielder Mathias Jensen among them, scoring three times and adding four assists this term.
“The rhythm I’ve got at the moment gives me the confidence to take more risks,” the Dane said. “If things I try succeed and look good, or they fail, when you’re in that rhythm and you have big trust from the gaffer, you don’t think too much about mistakes. You’re more confident and try and do the difficult things.
“The numbers – my goals and assists – are already better than last season. That was my aim after last season because I started it injured, then the team did well, and I never really got into a rhythm until maybe the last five or six games.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Brentford – Ivan Toney
Toney has been directly involved in seven goals in his last seven Premier League games (six goals, one assist), with these accounting for 58 per cent of Brentford’s total goals during this run (7/12).
Crystal Palace – Jordan Ayew
Crystal Palace have won just one of their seven Premier League London derbies this season (D1 L5), losing each of the last three without scoring. Ayew’s 22 league appearances this term are more than any other Palace forward, but he has only hit the net once. The Ghana international needs to step up to solve the Eagles’ scoring woes.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– All three Premier League meetings between Brentford and Crystal Palace have been drawn. Only three fixtures in the competition have ever seen the first four meetings end level – Arsenal vs Queens Park Rangers, Bournemouth vs Watford and Southampton vs Stoke.
– Crystal Palace are winless in their last three away league games against Brentford (D1 L2) since a 3-0 win on Christmas Day 1957 in the Third Division South.
– Brentford remain unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League games (W5 D5), with only Newcastle United (17) currently enjoying a longer run without defeat in the competition. However, those two sides have drawn the most games this term (Newcastle 11, Brentford 10).
– Crystal Palace are winless in their last six Premier League games (D3 L3), losing three of their last four on the road (W1), with each of those defeats coming by a one-goal margin (vs Nottingham Forest, Chelsea and Manchester United).
– Seventeen per cent of Brentford’s attempted passes this season have been long, the highest share in the Premier League, while the only forward to contest more aerial duels than Bees striker Ivan Toney (144) this term is Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic (170).