Meet the opposition | Brentford

21st October 2019
First team

As Swansea City prepare to host Brentford at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday night, we take a closer look at the Bees.

What's their story?

David Raya

The Bees are in their sixth season in the second tier, having secured automatic promotion from League One under Mark Warburton in 2014.

They made the Championship play-offs the following season, and have yet to finish outside the top half since their return to the division.

The West London club have become renowned for their ability to remain competitive on a budget while producing an attractive brand of football.

Arguably the finest spell in their history came during the 1930s when they finished in the top six of the top flight in three consecutive seasons.

How's their form?

Pontus Jansson

Frustrating. Brentford have one of the best defensive records in the division, but a lack of goals at the other end has prevented them from profiting.

They cut loose in wins over Derby, Charlton and Millwall, but otherwise they had not scored more than once in any game this season at the time of writing.

That has seen some strong performances go unrewarded and they will be keen to start turning that trend around sooner rather than later.

Who’s the boss?

Thomas Frank

Thomas Frank. Having taken over from Dean Smith following the former manager's departure for Aston Villa, 45-year-old Dane Frank overcome a difficult start to lead the Bees through a strong run of form.

Frank studied sports psychology and worked extensively at youth and development level - including a spell in charge of Denmark Under-19s - before making the step up to senior level when handed the manager's job at Brondby in 2013.

He twice guided them to top-four finishes in the Danish Superliga, securing Europa League qualification in the process, before departing to become Smith's assistant at Griffin Park.

He assumed the top job when Smith left for pastures new in October 2018. Frank lost eight of his first 10 games, but a marked improvement followed.

Who are the key men?

Ollie Watkins

The acquisition of Pontus Jansson from Leeds provided a big boost to Brentford’s defensive ranks, while they also brought in Blackburn keeper David Raya as replacement for Daniel Bentley, who moved to Bristol City.

Up front they have the speed and trickery of Ollie Watkins and the intelligence and guile of Sergi Canos to call upon, while the dangerous Said Benrahma has been utilised from the bench so far this season.

New signing Bryan Mbeumo has been a regular since joining from Troyes, with winger Joel Valencia still finding his feet after arriving from Polish champions Piast Gliwice.