Preview | Brentford v Swansea City
Swansea City will be looking to end their Boxing Day blues by picking up a positive result at Brentford this afternoon.
The Swans have not enjoyed much in the way of festive cheer in recent years, losing their last three games played on December 26.
Those defeats came against West Ham, Liverpool and Aston Villa, but the Swans have a good record at Griffin Park having not lost any game there since 2005.
They won a thrilling clash 3-2 last term and will hope their final visit to the old ground proves to be as successful, travelling – as they do – on the back of consecutive victories over Middlesbrough and Luton.
However, Steve Cooper and his players will need no reminding of how impressive a side Brentford can be.
The Bees have won eight of their last 12 games, including a 3-0 win at the Liberty at the commencement of that string of results.
Swansea will be determined to give a better account of themselves in this meeting.
Swansea City have will wait to see how Sam Surridge, Ben Cabango and Declan John recover from their knocks ahead of the trip to face the Bees.
The trio sat out the victory at Luton with minor issues, but the quick turnaround between games has not left them much time to prove their fitness.
Joe Rodon and Jordon Garrick remain sidelined by ankle and hamstring injuries respectively, but the recent returns of Aldo Kalulu and Wayne Routledge have bolstered head coach Cooper’s options.
Steve Cooper: “It’s one of the toughest games of the season, for me. They have good players, they have invested well over the years and they have a real identity in the way they play.
“As always, it will be about us and what we bring to the game. I respect the opposition and look at their strengths and weaknesses but the focus will be on us.
“If we want to achieve this year and keep growing then we will have to go to places like Brentford and play like we did at Luton and get three points.
“They have players that can hurt you. They have good athleticism and play with a style and identity.”
Thomas Frank: “We are growing massively in our personality. We came in after the draw with West Brom and we were disappointed we had not won.
“That is a tough feeling but you also see that they are growing, and this is an experience we need to build on going forwards.
“I have not seen a team like us come to a place like that and dominate and we should be proud of that. It was impressive.”
Remember the last time?
Swansea City saw off a Brentford fightback to claim a 3-2 victory and end their three-match losing run in a thrilling game at Griffin Park in December 2018.
Graham Potter's side had raced into a 3-0 lead within 27 minutes, with Wayne Routledge tapping them ahead after just 33 seconds.
A Chris Mepham own goal after 22 minutes doubled the advantage before captain Leroy Fer directed home Oli McBurnie's effort five minutes later.
But the Bees weren't finished, and they cut the deficit through Ollie Watkins on the stroke of half-time.
Said Benrahma curled home a fine free-kick with 20 minutes left, and the Swans had to count on the crossbar to deny the hosts an equaliser in the final moments.
The final whistle was met with a huge cheer from the 1,600-strong travelling support, with victory moving the Swans onto 29 points from 21 games.
3 - The Swans have lost their last three games played on Boxing Day, losing to West Ham (1-4), Liverpool (0-5) and Aston Villa (0-1).
45 – Brentford are looking to complete their first league double over the Swans in 45 years, having last done so during the 1974-75 season.