Brentford manager Thomas Frank believes his side can better their 2021-22 showing when they kick off their sophomore Premier League season this weekend with a trip to face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
The Bees enjoyed an explosive start last term with victory over Arsenal, before ultimately achieving a respectable 13th-place finish during their maiden campaign in the competition.
Despite the loss of the influential Christian Eriksen from their squad however, Frank believes the only way is up for his side this season, and is backing them to push on towards the upper half of the table.
“I know there is a risk of relegation but I am a positive man and I am always looking up,” he stated.
“I have a strong belief that we can do better than last year, but this is the Premier League, and the margins are so small. We will do our very best to attack.
“It is very important for us that we are an asset to the Premier League. We are very aware that we are a small club, probably still in the bottom two budgets. We have a good team, a good squad, and a good culture.”
Opposite number Brendan Rodgers meanwhile says the loss of Ricardo Pereira to injury is a major blow for both him and his side, after it was confirmed the star will be out for up to six months after surgery on a ruptured Achilles.
“He was looking so good and this is a massive blow to him,” the Foxes boss added. “It is such a shame because a lot of our game idea over the summer was based around full-backs and him in particular.
“He had his operation land he’ll recover now, get strong again and come back better I’m sure. He’ll be a big miss for us but we have to push on.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Leicester – Jamie Vardy
The veteran forward will hope to push forward with on-field matters towards another successful campaign with the Foxes. He has scored seven goals across opening weekend history in the Premier League – only Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney have managed more.
Brentford – David Raya
The Bees goalkeeper might not be the most electrifying name on the teamsheet, but it was his astute efforts that helped them solidify their entrance as a Premier League outfit last term. Expect him to be key to progress – or survival – this campaign too.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– This is the first time that Leicester City will begin a league campaign against Brentford, with the Foxes unbeaten in their last six meetings against the Bees (W5 D1) since a 3-2 defeat at home in March 1953 in the second tier.
– Brentford lost both Premier League fixtures against Leicester City last season, both by a 2-1 scoreline. The Bees had previously never lost a top-flight game against the Foxes coming into the 2021-22 campaign (W2 D2).
– Leicester have won their opening Premier League match in their last two seasons, beating West Brom in 2020-21 and Wolves in 2021-22. They had only won their first league match in two of their first 14 Premier League seasons before this (D6 L6).
– Brentford have won their opening top-flight league match in four of their six seasons at this level (D1 L1), scoring two goals in every victory, including last season’s 2-0 win over Arsenal.
– Leicester remained unbeaten in their final four Premier League games of the 2021-22 season (W3 D1), with their 13 goals scored in this run as many as they’d netted in their previous 12 league games combined.