Brentford at Villa Park, bananas, grappa and match facts from the BBC

I think it's fair of me to write that I like a glass of wine or two of an evening. And sometimes, a little more. But have I told you before that I am starting to really enjoy my grappa? I've stumbled across a new one here in Sweden and it's a miracle drink. Whenever I have a glass, I wake up the next morning with a clear head.

It's an elixir and the past few weeks, I've woken up feeling great. Nothing else has changed apart from my grappa. I've not started running, I've not started to use the exercise bike I brought up from my cellar and put in the bedroom thinking it would make me use it, it's just the grappa.

It's why my match day posts are coming so early. I haven't written this in advance and set the publish date to early Saturday morning, I'm hear listening to the radio, happily writing away, dreading the part where I have to write and here it comes, that we truly are at the business end to the season.

Seven to go

Brentford haven't had the season that many thought they would have. They've been ravaged by injuries and sit just six points above the relegation zone. I think most think they are safe, I do too, but today will be tough. They've come very close to a win and it's only a matter of time. Is today a potential banana skin?

I mean it is, but if you see the banana on the floor, you tend to not slip on it. But all managers can see them coming and not all prepare for it. Steven Gerrard would see one coming and run directly at it, trying to dodge it at the last second. I have absolute trust that Unai Emery manager has seen it and has prepared for Brentford.

And McGinn and Watkins are available, so while we are still maybe not at our strongest, we are in a better position than we were against Manchester City earlier in the week. Right, that's the post, I'm off into town to find that grappa and maybe a new fridge freezer. Back for the match.

Match facts from the BBC


  • Brentford have never beaten Aston Villa at Villa Park.
  • The Bees have won one of their 11 top flight matches against Aston Villa (D3, L7), a 2-1 home victory in January 2022.
  • The team scoring first has won just one of the five Premier League meetings between Aston Villa and Brentford (D2, L2).

Aston Villa

  • Aston Villa have won 18 of their 31 Premier League fixtures this campaign, as many as they did in the whole of last season.
  • A win would see them surpass last season's final points tally of 61.
  • However, a defeat would mean back-to-back Premier League losses for the first time this season.
  • Unai Emery's side have conceded 46 Premier League goals in the current campaign, as many as they did in the whole of 2022-23.
  • Aston Villa have won all four of their Saturday Premier League fixtures kicking off at 3pm this season, with those matches producing an average of 4.5 goals per game.


  • Brentford are winless in eight league matches (D3, L5), their longest such run in a single season since an 11-game sequence in League One in 2007.
  • The Bees have won just one of their previous 10 top-flight away games and have lost the last four.
  • They have dropped 28 Premier League points from a winning position in 2023-24, a league high.
  • Ivan Toney has failed to score in each of his last seven Premier League appearances, his longest top-flight drought.
  • Mathias Jorgensen is one short of 100 Premier League appearances.