By The Numbers: Brentford are a striker away from success

Despite languishing in 13th, Championship side Brentford are actually well placed to make an assault on the top half. They just need one player to do it.

Ben Turner of Burton Albion celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Burton Albion at Griffin Park on November 21, 2017 in...

Brentford's record so far this season doesn't make for pretty reading. They've played 18, won 5, lost 5 and drawn 8. They have scored 26 goals, conceded 24 and they have a total of 23 points.

They're just a typical mid-table side, right?

Wrong.

Brentford's 26 goals scored puts them 8th in the division, so immediately it's clear that they are a productive team, and more potent than their league position suggests.

Ollie Watkins of Brentford scores his teams first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Derby County at Griffin Park on September 26, 2017 in Brentford, England.

Ollie Watkins is the club's top scorer with 6 goals, but Watkins is actually more of the problem than his goals indicate, but we'll get to that. Neal Maupay is the next highest scorer with 5, whilst Nico Yennaris has 4.

The point is, there's not many goals being scored by Brentford, but that's not for a lack of trying. Yennaris for instance has taken 30 shots to score his 4 goals, a conversion rate of 13%.

That's respectable, and whilst one would expect strikers Watkins and Maupay to improve on that, they've actually done much worse. Maupay has a shot conversion of 12% as his 5 goals have come from 42 shots.

  PositionTotal Scoring AttAttempts IboxGoalsShot ConversionGamesMins
Ollie Watkins FW 61 37 6 10% 18 1,466
Neal Maupay FW 42 29 5 12% 18 1,052
Nico Yennaris MF 30 6 4 13% 17 1,260
Yoann Barbet DF 29 8 3 10% 12 981
Florian Jozefzoon FW 28 21 2 7% 17 1,059
Romaine Sawyers MF 27 9 2 7% 17 1,294
Andreas Bjelland DF 9 8 1 11% 14 1,009
Josh Clarke MF 10 9 1 10% 14 1,038
John Egan DF 7 6 1 14% 13 1,096
Ryan Woods MF 3 1 1 33% 15 1,214

Meanwhile Watkins is the biggest culprit of all, with his team-high 6 goals coming from a whopping 61 shots. His conversion rate of 10% is simply terrible and when your main striker is that profligate, it feeds down through the side.

As a team, Brentford have had more shots than anyone else in the Championship. Considerably so, in fact. Their 322 shots is 61 more than next highest side, QPR. They let fly from range and distance and that all leads to them having a pitiful shot conversion of 8%. Compare that to league leaders Wolves who convert 15% of the shots they take.

It's so hard to create a great side, especially in the maelstrom that is the Championship. Yet Brentford are very nearly there. All they need is a more clinical striker, someone more adept at converting the numerous chances they manage to create.

Lewis Grabban of Sunderland scores Aston Villa goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Sunderland at Villa Park on November 21, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

If Brentford get a goalscorer, perhaps Sunderland's Lewis Grabbin (10 goals with a 31% shot conversion), Ipswich's Martyn Waghorn (9 goals with 29% conversion) or Sheffield United's Billy Sharp or Derby's Matej Vydra (both 8 goals at 31% conversion).

Or hell, if Ollie Watkins tightens things up and becomes a more accurate shooter. Then Brentford would be able to start turning those draws into wins and begin climbing the table with surprising speed.

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