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Meet the opposition: Brentford

What’s their story?

Brentford are enjoying their fifth consecutive Championship season having won promotion from League One in 2013-14.

The Bees reached the semi-finals of the play-offs in their first season back in the second tier, but an aggregate defeat against Middlesbrough saw them miss out on a trip to Wembley.

Their most successful spell came back in the 1930s, when they achieved back-to-back top-six finishes in the top flight.

 

How’s their form?

No side outside the Championship‘s top eight have scored more league goals this season than Brentford (31), yet they find themselves in 17th in the table after a difficult run.

The Bees started the campaign in style, playing some superb football as they lost only one of their first 10 games in all competitions.

They then failed to win in five – drawing three and losing two – before Dean Smith left for Aston Villa in early October.

Since then, Brentford have lost six of their eight games.

Their one victory since mid-September came at home against Millwall in early November, while they claimed a creditable point at West Brom on Monday night.

 

Who’s the boss?

Thomas Frank. The Dane had been an assistant coach at Brentford under Smith since 2016.

When the manager left for Villa Park, Frank took the reins.

The 45-year-old started his career as a youth coach in his homeland, taking charge of the national side’s youth set-up before being named manager of Danish league side Brondby in 2013.

He left Brondby in the spring of 2016, joining Brentford nine months later.

 

Who are the key men?

Brentford goalkeeper Dan Bentley has been a consistent performer in recent times.

In defence, Henrik Dalsgaard featured heavily for Denmark as they impressed in the World Cup and has a regular for the Bees this season.

Promising Welsh international Chris Mepham is likely to feature in central defence alongside 21-year-old Ezri Ngoyo, who has recently been touted as an Arsenal target.

In midfield, former Swansea loanee Josh McEachran could feature while Romaine Sawyers, who plays his international football for St Kitts and Nevis, is a key figure for the Bees.

Ollie Watkins and Alan Judge offer threats from the flanks, while French forward Neal Maupay.

Maupay, 22, is the Championship’s second-top scorer this campaign with 13 goals, while he also has six assists to his name.

*Please note, there are currently weekend closures of the A4, in both directions, between Clayponds Avenue and Ealing Road. There is also one lane closed Eastbound between Boston Manor Road and Ealing Road. These closures will affect Saturday's game.

To get to Griffin Park, supporters heading East down the M4 are advised to come off at Junction 3 and use the A312 and A4, bearing in mind there may be more traffic than usual on this route. Those supporters using the North Circular or A4 from the North/Central London should exit at the Chiswick Roundabout and use the South Circular and A315 to approach Griffin Park via the Ealing Round.

 

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Meet the opposition

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