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Ivan Toney’s recent renaissance will boost Brentford’s survival bid

Tim Krul stood between Ivan Toney and his first Premier League hat-trick. The Norwich City goalkeeper plunged promptly to his right but Toney planted his penalty so emphatically into the bottom corner that the Dutchman was left clutching thin air.

Toney strutted over to the beleaguered Norwich supporters, beating his badge profusely, and wearing a presumptuous glare of determination.

There were plenty of grounds for further optimism at Brentford. Christian Eriksen started his first game since his traumatic cardiac arrest against Finland at Euro 2020 and could yet prove an effective signing by Thomas Frank.

The 3-1 victory against fellow relegation rivals Norwich also ended a run of eight league matches without a win and hoisted them six points clear of the drop zone.

Frank will be under no elusions about the task ahead but victory at Turf Moor against another relegation candidate in the shape of Burnley on Saturday will go a long away to boosting their survival hopes.

Brentford are yet to register back-to-back wins in the Premier League, while 18th place Burnley boast two games in hand. Nonetheless, a victory will send them nine points clear of the relegation zone, depending on Watford’s result against Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday.

The Bees were tipped as potential dark horses when they registered victories against Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham respectively across their opening seven games.

They also recorded an impressive 3-3 draw against Liverpool at the Brentford Community Stadium but have somewhat lost their way following their scintillating start in the Premier League.

A dismal run of just three wins from their next 20 league fixtures drew them precariously close to the relegation zone. The margin for error has decreased drastically but the recent renaissance of Toney could prove decisive in their quest to retain their top-flight status.

While Brentford seek to regain their early season momentum, Toney is determined to rediscover the goal scoring form showcased last season in the Championship.

Toney, as previously mentioned, scored a record 31 league goals in 2020-21 – a record that has since been surpassed by Fulham marksman Aleksandar Mitrovic during the current campaign.

He illustrated his quality with a goal and an assist in September’s 2-0 victory over Wolves at Molineux but has largely been underwhelming.

His consolation goals against Manchester United and Wolves in January were overlooked due to their insignificance but his show-stopping performance against Norwich signified that the beast has been awoken.

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