Manchester City are well-prepared to deal with Brentford's threat from set pieces... with Pep Guardiola counting on the expertise of a former Bees coach ahead of Monday's clash

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  • Man City have been working on set pieces ahead of their clash with Brentford
  • Thomas Frank's side defeated treble winners both home and away last season 
  • Who is the biggest winner of the January transfer window? It's All Kicking Off Transfer Week podcast 

Manchester City have tapped into expertise from one of Thomas Frank’s former gurus while fine tuning their set pieces as they prepare for an aerial bombardment at Brentford.

The Premier League champions lost both matches against the Bees last season and Pep Guardiola remains wary of the threat posed by Ivan Toney, set to make his third appearance since an eight-month suspension for breaching betting rules.

City used last month’s warm-weather camp in Abu Dhabi to work on corners and free kicks, with that time bearing fruit with goals from dead ball situations against Tottenham and Burnley.

Guardiola praised his coaching staff, thought to include specialists Carlos Vicens and Jack Wilson, after Julian Alvarez scored from a clever free-kick routine during the victory over the Clarets on Wednesday.

Wilson joined City as first-team performance analyst two years ago after flourishing under Frank at Brentford. He undertakes preparatory work before Vicens carries out the plans during training sessions.

Pep Guardiola has leaned on the advice of former Brentford coach as his side prepare to face the Bees

Pep Guardiola has leaned on the advice of former Brentford coach as his side prepare to face the Bees

Pep Guardiola has leaned on the advice of former Brentford coach as his side prepare to face the Bees

The Man City boss heaped praise on Ivan Toney who has scored twice in two games since returning from an FA ban

The Man City boss heaped praise on Ivan Toney who has scored twice in two games since returning from an FA ban

Although there has been an upturn in the result of attacking set plays, City are focused on their defensive responsibilities ahead of Monday’s trip to west London. Guardiola will warn his stars of Brentford’s capabilities from those situations and their ability to cause problems at throw ins.

‘Toney is an exceptional player,’ Guardiola said. ‘Brentford are so dangerous. A lot of direct balls and you have to adapt because they are really good at that.’

The City boss against has Erling Haaland available after the striker made a 19-minute comeback following a two-month layoff with a foot injury.

And he was forced to rubbish suggestions in the Spanish press that the Norwegian was unsettled in Manchester as talk again swirls of a switch to Real Madrid.

Brentford did the double over Guardiola's treble winners in the Premier League last season

Brentford did the double over Guardiola's treble winners in the Premier League last season

‘You have to ask the media from Madrid - maybe they have more info than we have,’ Guardiola added.

‘We don't have that feeling. He could not play for two months because he was injured but maybe the media from Spain, and especially Madrid, have more information than us.

‘We cannot say he didn't adapt quickly and he was not fine since he arrived. It's the level he showed since he arrived on day one. We cannot control what people say. When he's unhappy, he will take his decision.’

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