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29 December 2016

Our guide to the Bees

NORWICH City visit Brentford on Saturday, December 31 (5.30pm) in the Sky Bet Championship.

Here we take an in-depth look at The Bees ahead of the game at Griffin Park.

Dean Smith says his team will be searching for revenge over the Canaries on New Year's Eve.

City cruised to a 5-0 win at Carrow Road only four weeks ago, Brentford's heaviest defeat of the Sky Bet Championship campaign so far.

"We took the big hit at Norwich and we had a good chat after that," Smith told reporters on Thursday.

"The players have responded magnificently; they have shown a determination and a desire to get better.

"It is an important game for us because we want to exorcise the demons from the Carrow Road defeat. We are at home so we want to go and win it and we will try to win it."

Nelson Oliveira and Alex Pritchard netted their first league goals for the Club to help City end a run of five straight league defeats at the beginning of December.

A John Egan own goal and a Graham Dorrans tap-in after his initial penalty was saved settled early nerves at Carrow Road, before Robbie Brady struck the decisive blow soon after the interval.

Oliveira turned and slammed a shot beyond Daniel Bentley, and there remained time for Pritchard to cap an outstanding individual performance by converting Jacob Murphy's pass.

He said afterwards: "We put in a great performance, played some good football and 5-0 was a fair result. The second half was key today as we’d been good in the first half of a lot of games."

Brentford were formed in 1889 when Brentford Rowing Club voted on a new winter activity for its members, with association football narrowly edging rugby union.

They were founding members of the Football League's Third Division in 1920, and the 1930s was a very successful era for the team as they rose to fifth place in the First Division, still their highest placing to this day.

After the war, they slipped back through the divisions, in the 1960s becoming the first side to have played competitive matches against each of the other 91 Football League clubs.

In more recent times the Bees have flitted between the leagues, but they have established themselves in the Championship since being taken over by supporter-investor Matthew Benham in 2011.

Betting professional Benham also controls the majority shareholding at Danish outfit FC Midtjylland, and his use of mathematical models to give both teams an edge in player recruitment has largely been a success.

Goalkeepers: Daniel Bentley, Jack Bonham.

Defenders: Maxime Colin, Callum Elder, Andreas Bjelland, Harlee Dean, John Egan, Yoann Barbet, Tom Field, Jan Holldack.

Midfielders: Lewis MacLeod, Sam Saunders, Nico Yennaris, Josh McEachran, Alan McCormack, Ryan Woods, Konstantin Kerschbaumer, Alan Judge, Romaine Sawyers, Josh Clarke, Sullay Kaikai.

Forwards: Scott Hogan, Philip Hoffman, Lasse Vibe.

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