Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Championship Play-off Final: Brentford vs Fulham Preview

Championship Play-off Final: Brentford vs Fulham Preview

Brentford vs Fulham Preview

Local rivals Brentford and Fulham will battle it out in the Championship play-off final at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday night for a place in the Premier League.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports 

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Thomas Frank's Bees, who finished third in the Championship and just missed out an automatic promotion, are looking to get back in England’s top tier for the first time in 74 years, while Scott Parker’s Cottagers are aiming to make an immediate return to the Premier League after one season away.

Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion were promoted automatically from the Championship after finishing as the top two in the regular season.

Championship play-off final
Tuesday 4 August 
Wembley Stadium 
20:45

To Win (90 mins)
Brentford 21/20
Draw 9/4
Fulham 26/10

Brentford
Brentford just fell short of an automatic promotion place despite recording eight wins a row following the restart. The Bees had the best attack throughout the season, netting 80 goals, while remaining solid in defence, conceding three goals more than Championship title-winners Leeds, who had the tightest defence in the league.

The signings of centre-backs Pontus Jansson and Ethan Pinnock (from Leeds and Barnsley, respectively) helped the Bees concede 21 fewer goals this year, providing the defensive boost the team needed, while their ‘BMW’ frontline of Said Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo and Ollie Watkins, who scored 57 league goals and 20 assists between them, turned them into Championship contenders.

The West London club have had an incredible season and with just a victory away from their Premier League dream, the Bees will be buzzing for this game.

Fulham
The bookies have made Fulham the underdogs going into this game and that’s probably because they lost both league meetings with Brentford this term – plus the Bees pipped them to third. But the Cottagers have numerous players that experienced Premier League relegation last year and will be hungry to be back in the top flight.

You could even say that Fulham know how to handle the pressure having been in this situation before, when they earned promotion by beating Aston Villa 1-0 in the 2018 final, with captain Tom Cairney getting on the scoresheet that day.

The Cottagers will be looking to repeat that feat on Tuesday, but will know they’ll need to be more defensively organized against Brentford's 'BMW' attack than they were against Cardiff, while Parker will hope to have Aleksandar Mitrovic available for the clash. The Serbian striker was the Championship’s leading goal-scorer, netting 26 goals.

Probable line-ups:

Brentford: 4-3-3
Martin; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry; Marcondes, Norgaard, Jensen; Mbeumo, Watkins, Benrahma.

Fulham: 4-2-3-1
Rodak; Christie, Hector, Ream, Bryan; Reed, Cairney; Knockaert, Onomah, Kebano; Mitrovic.

Verdict: Brentford (21/20)
I’m expecting a cracking contest as both teams put everything on the line in order to reach the big time, but my money will be on Brentford. The Bees are unbeaten in five league meetings with Fulham and did the double over the Cottagers this term, and I just think the ‘BMW’ front line of Benrahma, Mbeumo and Watkins will be the difference.

Written by Chad Nagel

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