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Preview: Brentford vs. Lille - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Winless in their four pre-season friendlies so far, Brentford have one final shot at a summer success when they host French powerhouses Lille at the Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday.

The Bees' most recent encounter ended in a thrilling 3-3 stalemate with Aston Villa in the United States, while Les Dogues' winning run came to an end in a 2-1 loss to Empoli last time out.

Match preview

One of six English top-flight teams invited to take part in the inaugural edition of the Premier League Summer Series, Brentford cannot consign their transatlantic crossing to history quickly enough, as Thomas Frank's side finished dead last without a single victory to their name.

Following back-to-back defeats to Fulham and Brighton & Hove Albion, the Bees played out a terrific watch for the neutrals against Aston Villa, with no fewer than five goals flying into the back of the net before the half-time whistle blew.

Bryan Mbeumo and Josh Dasilva's early efforts were initially rendered inconsequential by Ezri Konsa, Moussa Diaby and Matty Cash, but Shandon Baptiste ensured that Brentford would at least post a solitary point before the long flight back to base, where preparations for a third Premier League campaign are hotting up.

Prior to their United States stopover, Brentford were also quelled in a 1-1 draw with Boreham Wood and are at risk of going through pre-season without a single win to their name - potentially a concerning omen as they continue to work around Ivan Toney's lengthy suspension.

Frank's squad will not experience any hangovers from taxing journeys in the next few weeks, though, as their opening three Premier League fixtures are all against London-based teams in Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace and Fulham.

While Brentford have not been able to buy a victory in pre-season, Paulo Fonseca's Lille took on Empoli last weekend possessing that winning feeling, having come up trumps in all three of their summer exhibition fixtures on familiar soil.

Opening their friendly account with a 3-1 win over Dunkerque before thumping Cercle Brugge 7-2 on July 22 - where Jonathan David came up with a fabulous four goals - Lille then pitted their wits against Le Havre and maintained their unblemished record in a 3-2 triumph.

However, Lille's luck ran out during a 2-1 loss to Empoli last weekend, as Remy Cabella's goal was rendered inconsequential by Roberto Piccoli and Francesco Caputo, and Fonseca's side will soon learn their Europa Conference League playoff round opponents before beginning Ligue 1 duties against Nice on August 11.

While several recognisable names in Jonathan Bamba, Jose Fonte and Timothy Weah have moved onto pastures new, Lille are seemingly set to retain David's services for another year, while French World Cup winner Samuel Umtiti has also returned to his homeland with Les Dogues.

Brentford friendly form:

Lille friendly form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Team News

Amid talk of a potential £40m switch to Arsenal, Brentford number one David Raya was nowhere to be seen against Aston Villa and may very well have played his final game for the club, although a move hinges on whether the Gunners are prepared to pay the Bees' asking price.

Mark Flekken and Thomas Strakosha should continue to swap gloves for the time being, while midfielder Christian Norgaard is yet to recover from the Achilles injury that has kept him in the treatment room since the end of April.

With Toney on the naughty step until January, Mbeumo and Kevin Schade will continue to shoulder the goalscoring burden for Frank's side, while Yoane Wissa and Keane Lewis-Potter are also aiming to provide some attacking impetus.

As for Lille, Portuguese defender Tiago Djalo is still out for the long-term as he recuperates from an ACL injury, but Les Dogues are otherwise in strong shape for their Channel crossing and have found an Icelandic gem in the shape of Hakon Arnar Haraldsson.

The 20-year-old arrived from Copenhagen this summer and has already struck five times in pre-season - following up a Cercle Brugge hat-trick with a brace against Le Havre - but he was nowhere to be seen against Empoli for unexplained reasons.

Fellow new signing Tiago Santos - a Portuguese right-back - was also absent from that defeat, so ex-Barcelona man Umtiti may very well occupy a wide role for the French team in London.

Brentford possible starting lineup:
Flekken; Roerslev, Mee, Pinnock, Henry; Janelt, Jensen, Damsgaard; Mbeumo, Schade, Wissa

Lille possible starting lineup:
Chevalier; Umtiti, Diakite, Yoro, Ismaily; Baleba, Andre, Cabella; Ounas, David, Yazici

We say: Brentford 1-1 Lille

Having failed to assert their dominance over a quartet of English opponents, Brentford are unlikely to fare much better against a Lille side possessing a taste for goals in pre-season.

Returning to play in front of the Gtech faithful should no doubt work in the Bees' favour, though, and Frank's side can grind out a hard-fought draw to close out an underwhelming summer period.

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Read more about Thomas Frank Bryan Mbeumo Josh Dasilva Ezri Konsa Moussa Diaby Matty Cash Shandon Baptiste Ivan Toney Jonathan David Hakon Arnar Haraldsson David Raya Paulo Fonseca Mark Flekken Thomas Strakosha Christian Norgaard Kevin Schade Yoane Wissa Keane Lewis-Potter Timothy Weah Jose Fonte Jonathan Bamba Samuel Umtiti Francesco Caputo Roberto Piccoli Remy Cabella Tiago Djalo Tiago Santos Football
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Premier League Table
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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