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Brentford's Christmas Troubles.

This December has been far from merry for the Bees who have faced more stings to their plans. With Christmas rapidly approaching and a flurry of fixtures just around the corner, Brentford must feel they're in a position of vulnerability with further setbacks to manage.

The injury list for Thomas Frank's side is continuing to grow and with a tough game against Aston Villa this weekend a loss or draw will be Brentford's third game without a win. The main headlines in the build up to this fixture is of course the absence of Bryan Mbuemo, the Cameroonian has been phenomenal this season but his injury leaves Frank with no attacking depth. Kevin Schade is slowly building his fitness back up, Ivan Toney's suspension ends in the new year but there's doubts over his future at the club and Josh Dasilva hasn't played since matchday two in a nine-minute cameo against West London rivals Fulham. This leaves Frank with the choice of Wissa, Maupay and Keane Lewis Potter, which is concerning after an abysmal performance to bottom of the league Sheffield United saw Brentford unable to score let alone threaten the Sheffield goal.

The misery doesn't end there for Brentford either, Rico Henry is out for the rest of the season and Mathias Jensen is working his way back to full fitness. It's clear to see Brentford are missing those sparks and cutting edge which gained them a top half finish last campaign, the Bees now sit in 11th level on points with Chelsea, Wolves and Bournemouth. With such inconsistency, there would be no surprise if the side were to invest in January to earn back some needed depth however money will always be a problem. The good news for Brentford is whilst they will have to face Aston Villa with a depleted side those that are injured seem to be in their final stages of recovery before returning to the squad and when these players return the Bees will hope to find another spring in their step to propel themselves up a very competitive league table.

Brentford will have two games, one on the 27th of December (Wolves H) and one on the 30th of December (Crystal Palace A) which as for every team will pose the risk of fatigue. Brentford will be in more trouble as they won't be able to rotate as much meaning players will have to be at peak performance across the three days in order to grind out the points Thomas Frank desires.

It has been a tough and gruelling few weeks for the Bees, so to get through the Christmas period with some success would be a huge boost for moral heading into the January break. Brentford cannot afford to slip up or lose all three games as they will slide down the table with other sides growing more and more hungry to put a cushion between them and relegation. By no means are Brentford at risk of relegation but if they want to excel past their top half finish last season then points must be earnt in these games.

Thomas Frank will have an idea on how to approach these cold stale days to come but this weekend is no easy challenge. Villa are 3rd this season and with former Bees player Ollie Watkins returning to London he will look to add to his 14 goal contributions so far this season to keep the pressure on Liverpool at the top. Brentford must brush their troubles to the side and keep pushing as to go into the January break on a poor run of form will not help them find momentum in the long run.

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