Meet the opposition | Brentford

24th December
First team

As Swansea City prepare to face Brentford at Griffin Park on Boxing Day, we take a closer look at the Bees.

What's their story?

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

Very good. The Bees have won eight of their last 12 Championship fixtures, a run of form that has propelled them into the top six.

They were hugely impressive in winning at the Liberty back in October at the start of their good run, and a recent 7-0 hammering of Luton and victory over Fulham underlined the west London side are firmly in the promotion mix this season.

They have lost just twice at home all season in what is their final campaign at their Griffin Park home.

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 has followed.

Who are the key men?

Ollie Watkins

The acquisition of Pontus Jansson from Leeds has 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 13-goal forward Ollie Watkins, while the dangerous Said Benrahma has been in outstanding form with three goals and five assists.

Impressive new signing Bryan Mbeumo has been a regular since joining from Troyes, scoring eight goals along the way, with Christian Norgaard – another new recruit - also making a seamless transition.