Brentford must overturn a 1-0 deficit to reach the Championship play-off final when Swansea City visit Griffin Park on Wednesday evening.
The Swans edged out a heated affair in south Wales a few days earlier when André Ayew, who had earlier in the game seen his penalty saved, produced a stunning volley to hand Steve Cooper’s side the most slender of advantages in the 82nd minute.
In what is the final game at Brentford’s home for 116 years, the The Bees must dig deep and end an 11-match winless run in the Football League play-offs, their last victory having come in May 2002 against Huddersfield.
Where to watch Brentford vs Swansea City on TV:
- UK: Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event
- US: ESPN+
Brentford & Swansea City’s first-leg line-ups:
- Brentford (vs Swansea City): Raya; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry; Dasilva, Jensen, Nörgaard; Mbeumo, Benrahma, Watkins.
- Swansea City (vs Brentford): Mulder; Van der Hoorn, Cabango, Guehi; Roberts, Grimes, Gallagher, Fulton, Bidwell; Ayew, Brewster
Rico Henry is available after Brentford’s appeal following his straight red in the first leg was successful. Nikos Karelis, though, remains on the sideline as he continues to recover from a serious knee injury. Kyle Naughton, meanwhile, is back for Swansea after he completed a three-match suspension. Wayne Routledge and George Byers are both doubts while Joe Rodon, Ben Wilmot and Freddie Woodman are ruled out.
Players to watch:
Brentford: The good news for Brentford, who it goes without saying need to score, is that they haven’t been shut out at home since Nottingham Forest left Griffin Park in January with a 1-0 win. From that day forward, they’ve been averaging 2.1 goals (19 across nine matches) per game. Stepping up for Thomas Frank’s men during that run was Saïd Benrahma with six goals, including a hat-trick against Wigan (his second treble of the campaign). He was unfortunately anonymous for the Bees in South Wales, managing just one shot on goal and failing to create a single chance. There is no greater time to make amends, though.
Swansea City: The mark of a mentally tough footballer is to not to let whatever setback they may face in the course of a game affect them. André Ayew could have easily crawled into his shell after seeing his penalty expertly saved by David Raya in the first leg, but he didn’t. The Ghanaian’s redemption was made that bit more easier by the referee’s controversial decision to reduce the opposition to 10 men.
However, as we have seen many times before, playing with a one-man advantage is not always so simple. Especially if the other team is defensively sound. Brentford in the regular season conceded just 38 times across 46 games. Only Leeds United (35) had a meaner defence, and this occasion seemed to be heading towards a goalless draw before Ayew produced a volley to remember in the final 10 minutes, his first goal from open play in 13 appearances.
Scoreline prediction: Brentford 2-1 Swansea City
Championship 2019/20 recent form:
- Brentford: WWLLL
- Swansea City: LDWWW