Premier League

Southampton-Brentford Preview

Nathan Jones feels he must "demand more" from his Southampton players as they bid to save themselves from relegation to the Championship.

Jones' Saints were beaten in the EFL Cup semi-final by Newcastle United, and they now turn their attentions back to their fight against the drop with a trip to play Brentford on Saturday.

Southampton are rock-bottom of the Premier League after winning just four of their 20 games so far, and Jones knows performances and results will have to improve to avoid going down.

"It was a real good effort in the cup and over the two legs we really did take a top side right to the wire," Jones told reporters.

"We just need to get results because that is all that is lacking and is the be all and end all.

"We have to demand a bit more in terms of getting over that line being in front."

Jones will hope for a positive result on Saturday against a Brentford side enjoying a brilliant season, sitting a lofty eighth after a run of eight league games undefeated.

Their impressive unbeaten streak has come despite injuries to the likes of Pontus Jansson and Frank Onyeka, though Thomas Frank revealed those two could be nearing a return.

"It's still too soon (to play against Southampton)," Frank said. "But they are very close.

"Onyeka is training almost fully with the group. Pontus is slightly behind him."

Brentford may also be boosted by new signing Kevin Schade after the striker arrived from Freiburg and made his debut in the victory over Bournemouth.

"He's getting better and better," Frank added.

"We had a good in-house game last Saturday and he was very promising - he scored a couple of goals and looked sharp. I'm pleased with what I've seen."

Brentford - Mathias Jensen

The midfielder has led the Bees in assists (four), chances created (23) and successful passes in the opposition half (271) so far this campaign. Southampton will face a tough task keeping one of Brentford's key attacking creators quiet.

Southampton - Mohamed Elyounoussi

Elyounoussi has had the most shots (28), joint-most shots on target (eight) and highest expected goals figure (2.6) of all Premier League players yet to score so far this season. Can he break that duck here?

- Southampton have won two of their last three league games against Brentford (one defeat), as many as they had in their previous 13 against them between 1955 and 2010 (six draws, five losses).

- Following their 3-0 win against them in May, Brentford are looking to secure back-to-back league wins against Southampton for the first time since March 1959.

- Brentford are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League games (won four, drawn four) - only once as a top-flight club have they had a longer run without defeat, going 14 games between March and September 1936.

- Brentford have the highest shot conversion rate of any Premier League side this season (15.84 per cent). Indeed, the Bees are the joint-seventh highest goalscorers in the top-flight this term (32) despite only Bournemouth (167) and Everton (198) having fewer attempts than them (202).

- Brentford striker Ivan Toney has had 30 successful flick-ons in the Premier League this season, almost twice as many as any other player. David Raya has played 99 passes to Toney this term, the most any goalkeeper has found an attacking team-mate in the competition.

Updated February 3, 2023

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