Thomas Frank’s preview
“We need to win. Of course we will attack. We are playing against a very good side that gave us a very good game three days ago. I’m pretty sure Steve is coming to attack too. So we will see a very open match. If we can win it by two in normal time, then great. If not, we are prepared to go to extra-time and penalties if needed.” He concludes with a prophesy: “I’m pretty sure that one of the BMW is going to score tonight.”
Steve Cooper’s pre-match thoughts
“We’re going to set up normally. It’s difficult to play for a draw. We have a vision for how we want the game to go: we want to score goals and we want to keep a clean sheet. I really believe in the players; I think we can win every game we play … I thought the first leg was a very good game with both teams playing attacking football with good tactical ideas. I think this will be the same. The game is in the balance. We have an advantage from the first game but its only an advantage if we use it well.”
Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry; Jensen, Norgaard, Marcondes; Benrahma, Watkins, Mbeumo
Subs: Canos, Daniels, Da Silva, Dervisoglu, Fosu, Jeanvier, Valencia, Zamburek, Rasmussen
Swansea: Mulder; Naughton, Van der Horn, Guehi; Roberts, Fulton, Grimes, Bidwell; Gallagher; Brewster, Ayew
Subs: Cabango, Celina, Cullen, Dyer, Dhanda, Garrick, Gould, Kalula, Rushesha
Referee: C Kavanagh
Hello. One hundred and sixteen years ago Griffin Park staged its first competitive match, a 1-1 draw between Brentford and Plymouth Argyle in the Western League. Today the dear old ground hosts its last game and if things go as the home side hope, then Brentford will be a step closer to the Premier League. So today is about a farewell and a potential happy return for a club who have been estranged from the top-flight since 1947. But Swansea want to get back there, too, and they have the advantage of a 1-0 lead from the first leg thanks to André Ayew’s goal and Rico Henry’s sending off. The red card has been rescinded but it’s up to Brentford to overturn the score.
Brentford certainly have the firepower to do it. They were the highest scorers in the Championship thanks mainly to their celebrated “BMW” strikeforce (Said Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo and Ollie Watkins). But no member of that trio has scored in their last three matches, all of which Brentford lost, just as promotion seemed theirs for the taking. And if you want to talk about form, let’s also mention Brentford’s ominous playoff record: they’ve been in playoffs eight times in various divisions and never emerged with promotion.
Swansea, meanwhile, took this route to the Premier League as recently as 2011 and, to get back to more relevant times, have hit form at just the right time, sneaking into the playoff places thanks to a 4-1 away victory on the final day of the regular season (and a Nottingham Forest collapse), which they followed up with that 1-0 first-leg win. We have ourselves a proper showdown, folks. Let’s be having you!
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