Brentford vs Fulham: Predictions, betting tips, odds & match preview
Promotion to the Premier League is the prize on offer at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday night as West London rivals Brentford and Fulham face off in the Championship play-off final.
Brentford have enjoyed a magnificent second half of the campaign and came so close to winning automatic promotion only to stumble at the final two hurdles. Having returned from lockdown with seven consecutive victories, the Bees proceeded to lose their final two games against Stoke City and Barnsley when a win in either of those two games would’ve taken them into the Premier League.
In the end, they finished on 81 points, exactly the same amount as their play-off opponents Fulham. The Cottagers had been in the race all season, whilst lacking the consistency to really push Leeds and West Brom for the top two spots, unlike Brentford who started very slowly but rose up the table in the second half of the campaign.
In fact, Scott Parker’s men had actually entered the play-offs on the back of one of their better runs of form of the campaign, going unbeaten in their final seven fixtures of the normal league campaign. They got off to a perfect start in their semi-final against Cardiff City too, winning the first leg 0-2 away from home.
However, the Bluebirds’ 1-2 victory at Craven Cottage in the second leg showed Fulham’s lack of consistency. Brentford, on the other hand, have to come from a goal down from their first-leg loss against Swansea City, winning 3-1 in the final ever match at Griffin Park to secure their spot at Wembley Stadium.
The Bees have never competed in the Premier League before and would love nothing more than to enter the big time just in time for the move to their new state-of-the-art stadium but they come up against a more wily, experienced opponent looking to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Expect fireworks in the capital.
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Saïd Benrahma to assist 1+ goals @ 9/4 with Sky Bet
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Brentford vs Fulham Predictions
Squawka Stat: Six of Fulham’s last eight Championship matches have seen Under 2.5 goals scored.
Given the reputation that these two teams have for attack-minded football and with the top two scorers in the league on show in Ollie Watkins and Aleksandar Mitrović, you may be forgiven for expecting goals in this game – but we certainly aren’t.
Not only is it a myth that games involving either of these sides are particularly high-scoring (only 50% of Brentford’s league fixtures have seen Over 2.5 goals scored, with Fulham at an even lower 44%), it’s certainly true that Championship play-off finals tend to be low-scoring affairs.
Perhaps understandably with so much on the line, these tend to be nervous matches with no player wanting to be the man who makes the mistake on the big stage. So much so, that Aston Villa’s 2-1 win over Derby County last season was the first in seven Championship play-off finals to see more than two goals scored.
Given that six of Fulham’s last eight matches have seen Under 2.5 goals scored and three of Brentford’s last five, we feel comfortable backing a low-scoring affair at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday night.
Enough shots for you? If Fulham are to pose a goal threat in this game it’s likely to come through Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Squawka Stat: Saïd Benrahma tops Brentford’s assists charts this season with nine.
Ollie Watkins may lead the way in terms of goals for Brentford this season, but he has perhaps arguably been outshone on the whole by Saïd Benrahma, who leads the way in terms of assists with nine but has racked up a hugely impressive 17 goals himself to boot.
Should the Bees fail to win promotion on Tuesday night, you have to feel that the Algerian star has done enough to earn himself a move to a top-tier club in England or abroad this summer, but for now his focus will be on completing the job he has worked so hard to do throughout the campaign.
Having laid on the second goal for Emiliano Marcondes to head home in the second-leg win over Swansea City in the semi-finals, the 24 year old will now be out to show the world his capabilities and we’re backing him to make it double figures in assists for the campaign with another in the biggest match of the season here.