Meet the opposition | Brentford
As Swansea City get ready for a crunch Championship clash with Brentford, we take a look at the history and form of the Bees.
What's their story?
Now in their seventh season in the second tier, the Bees are aiming to go the extra step this term and secure promotion to the Premier League.
They looked set for promotion to the top flight last season only for a run of crucial defeats to condemn them to the play-offs, where they lost to Fulham in the Wembley final.
Arguably the finest spell in their history came during the 1930s, when they finished in the top six of the old First Division in three consecutive seasons.
How’s their form?
Impressive. Right in the promotion mix, Brentford are unbeaten in their last 16 Championship matches, winning five of the most recent six.
They continued their momentum with a brilliant run to the Carabao Cup semi-finals – knocking out three Premier League sides along the way in Southampton, Fulham and Newcastle – before eventually succumbing to Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham.
However, they have looked a little vulnerable defensively in recent times, with one clean sheet in six games after keeping six in their previous 11 outings.
Who’s the boss?
Thomas Frank. Having taken over from Dean Smith following the former manager's departure for Aston Villa, the Dane overcame a difficult start to make the Bees a real Championship force.
Frank studied sports psychology and worked extensively at youth and development level 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 before departing to become Smith's assistant at Griffin Park.
He assumed the top job when Smith left for pastures new in October 2018.
Who’s the captain?
Pontus Jansson. The Sweden international has proved an astute signing since his arrival from Leeds in 2019, and he came within a game of helping Brentford reach the Premier League last season.
Jansson emerged at Malmo – playing against Swansea in the Europa League ties between the sides in 2013 – before making the move to Torino.
His time in Italy did not work out as he would have liked, but he was rejuvenated by a move to Leeds – initially on loan – under Garry Monk in 2016; racking up 120 appearances at Elland Road.
Who are the key men?
Tasked with filling the shoes of Ollie Watkins, striker Ivan Toney has done a good job of it so far with his tally of 16 goals putting him joint-top of the Championship scoring charts.
Marcus Forss and Sergi Canos have also been in the goals for the Bees this term, while Bryan Mbeumo – part of the potent ‘BMW’ partnership alongside Watkins and Said Benrahma last season – continues to pose a great threat, with only Reading’s Michael Olise bettering his tally of six assists in the second tier.
Elsewhere, Rico Henry is a dynamic force from left-back with his ability to get forward and support attacks providing yet another dangerous weapon for Frank’s side.