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Preview: Boreham Wood vs. Brentford - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Boreham Wood vs. Brentford - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's friendly clash between Boreham Wood and Brentford, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Brentford commence their preparations for the 2023-24 Premier League season with a midweek friendly at Boreham Wood on Wednesday evening.

Thomas Frank's side are gearing up to compete in the upcoming Premier League Summer Series, while their hosts have just 48 hours to recover from a 4-1 defeat against West Ham United.

Match preview

Gearing up for a ninth successive season in the fifth tier of English football, Boreham Wood held their own in their opening summer friendly with Watford on July 5, frustrating their Championship-level opponents in a respectable goalless stalemate.

However, the visit of Europa Conference League winners West Ham United proved to be a different kettle of fish for Luke Garrard's men, who were subjected to a 4-1 beating at the hands of David Moyes's side on Monday evening.

Danny Ings and Jarrod Bowen both made the net ripple for the Hammers alongside academy products Kamarai Simon-Swyer and Gideon Kodua, before left-back Femi Ilesanmi gave the home crowd something to cheer with a consolation effort from long range in the 90th minute.

Garrard's troops now just have one full day of recuperation before another stiff Premier League test, but the friendly run-in is significantly kinder for the hosts after Wednesday, as they drop down the divisions to meet Bishop's Stortford, Winchgate & Finchley and Potters Bar Town in exhibition matches.

Garrard will then take his side north to Gateshead for their opening 2023-24 National League fixture, barely three months after sealing a top-six finish in the division and suffering a devastating 3-2 loss to Notts County in the playoff semi-finals.

After establishing themselves as a fully-fledged Premier League side during their debut campaign, Brentford's meteoric rise under Thomas Frank showed no signs of slowing down last season, as the Bees embarked on a continental charge right up until the close of play on matchday 38.

Even after star striker Ivan Toney was slapped with a hefty eight-month ban for multiple breaches of the FA's betting rules, Brentford coped remarkably well in the absence of their talisman and ended the season as they mean to go on with a stunning 1-0 success over Manchester City, thereby completing a memorable double over the Premier League champions.

Frank's side ended the campaign with five wins to show from their final six matches, but a six-game streak without victory during the Easter period proved costly, as Frank's side settled for a ninth-placed finish with 59 points - two worse off than Aston Villa in the Europa Conference League spot.

The Brentford bank has already been broken this summer ahead of another push for continental football, prior to which the Bees will cross the Atlantic to face Villa, Fulham and Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League Summer Series - a friendly tournament taking place in the United States also comprising Chelsea and Newcastle United.

Ligue 1 powerhouses Lille will also visit the Gtech Community Stadium on August 5 ahead of Brentford's Premier League opener versus London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, and the Bees will reunite with Boreham Wood this week 11 years from a 2-0 FA Cup first-round win, which represents their only previous competitive meeting with the National League crop.

Boreham Wood friendly form:
  • D
  • L

Team News

With only two days in between their two recent friendlies, Boreham Wood will no doubt make full use of their squad on Wednesday, potentially offering minutes to a few more trialists against Premier League opposition.

The newly-arrived quartet of Timmy Abraham, Angelo Balanta, Mo Sagaf and Tom Whelan all played a part on Monday night and should do so again here, with Balanta likely to come into the first XI.

As for Brentford, Toney's football-wide ban is not just limited to competitive fixtures, so the England international will remain in exile over the summer and cannot return to training with the team until September, ahead of a possible return to playing in January 2024.

The Bees have brought in Kevin Schade from Freiburg permanently as cover, but the Bees have largely focused on defensive acquisitions so far, spending a club-record £23m on Nathan Collins while also signing South Korean youngster Kim Ji-soo and goalkeeper Mark Flekken amid talk of a possible exit for David Raya.

However, Raya's hopes of a summer exit are dwindling - apparently due to Brentford's £40m asking price - and the Spaniard could be one of several internationals spared this week.

Boreham Wood possible starting lineup:
Ashmore; Coxe, Bush, Agbontohoma, Ilesanmi; Balanta, Payne, Sagaf; Ndlovu, Abraham, Sousa

Brentford possible starting lineup:
Cox; Hickey, Mee, Collins, Henry; Norgaard, Janelt, Bidstrup; Schade, Lewis-Potter, Wissa

We say: Boreham Wood 0-3 Brentford

Even with Toney on the naughty step for the long-term and international players still getting up to speed, Brentford should encounter few problems seeing off the jellied legs of Boreham Wood.

The non-league hosts may have made the net ripple against West Ham late on, but Garrard's side are unlikely to have anything to cheer in midweek.

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Read more about Thomas Frank Kevin Schade Ivan Toney Nathan Collins Kim Ji-soo Mark Flekken David Raya David Moyes Luke Garrard Danny Ings Jarrod Bowen Kamarai Simon-Swyer Femi Ilesanmi Gideon Kodua Timmy Abraham Angelo Balanta Mo Sagaf Tom Whelan Football
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