Following an exciting final day of the regular season, the Championship play-offs get underway with Swansea City hosting Brentford on Sunday at 6:30pm.
For Brentford, this will feel like a consolation as they missed out on the chance to gain automatic promotion to the Premier League. After building up to the climax with an eight-game winning run, the Bees lost their final two matches of the season including on the final day to relegation battlers Barnsley when a win would have secured their Premier League spot.
And they must quickly shake off any disappointment from Wednesday night’s drama as they travel to Wales to face a Swansea side who will undeniably be on a high. The Swans went into the final day knowing they needed to win their game against Reading and hope one of Cardiff City or Nottingham Forest lost with a big goal swing (five for the latter).
And that’s exactly what happened with Swansea’s 4-1 win coinciding with Forest’s 4-1 defeat at the hands of Stoke City, sending Steve Cooper’s side into the play-offs.
Where to watch Swansea vs Brentford on TV:
- UK: Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports Main Event
- US: ESPN+
Swansea & Brentford’s previous line-ups:
- Swansea (vs Reading): Mulder; Guehi, Cabango, Van der Hoorn; Roberts, Grimes, Fulton, Bidwell; Gallagher; Ayew, Brewster.
- Brentford (vs Barnsley): Raya; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry; Norgaard, Dasilva, Marcondes; Mbeumo, Watkins, Benrahma.
Wednesday’s hero Wayne Routledge is a doubt for Sunday’s game after picking up an injury following his goal against Reading, but the Swans cane still remain unchanged.
Player to watch:
Brentford’s defeat to Barnsley came as the Terriers brilliantly nullified their opponents attack, including the highly sought-after Said Benrahma. The 24-year-old has spent a lot of the summer linked with a move away from Brentford and into the Premier League, with West Ham United, Chelsea and Aston Villa among those credited with interest.
In 43 Championship appearances for Brentford this season, the Algerian international scored 17 goals and provided a further eight assists, with only Ollie Watkins being directly involved in more goals for the Bees. Benrahma was also one of the trickiest players to defend against for Championship defenders, with only Queens Park Rangers’ Eberechi Eze (136) completing more take-ons than his 132 – though the Nigerian played 500 more minutes.
But Benrahma’s fine regular season will not count for much in Brentford’s eyes unless he can help the Bees into the Premier League, something he hopes he can do.
“I was really flattered,” he told Metro of his Premier League links.
“But, at the same time, I am so focused about getting out of the Championship with Brentford that I do not pay too much attention. But it gives me confidence.
“It has always been a target of mine to play in the Premier League and I really wish to play in the Premier League with Brentford.
“It would be magnificent for Brentford because it would be the first time and we have really been working hard on it.”
Scoreline prediction: Swansea 1-1 Brentford
Championship 2019/20 recent form:
- Swansea: WLDWW
- Brentford: WWWLL
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