Fulham v Brentford: Eyes on Championship promotion prize ahead of West London showdown
Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

Fulham take on West London rivals Brentford at Cravan Cottage on Friday night and with both teams still harbouring Championship promotion aspirations, there's more than just bragging rights up for grabs. 

The Cottagers lost ground on the automatic promotion spots following their 1-1 draw with Bristol City last week. Scott Parker's side are now six points adrift of 2nd place. 

The Bees are a place and four points further back in 4th but will be full of confidence following their 5-0 demolition of Sheffield Wednesday at Griffin Park

  • Story behind the game

Third-placed Fulham look the most-likely side to gatecrash the Championship's top-two, but to have any hope of catching them they must improve their dismal record against Brentford. 

Scott Parker's side have won just one of their last 18 home games against the Bees in all competitions, a 1-0 success back in 1990. 

The Cottagers will fancy their chances of putting that record right after winning four of their last five matches on home soil. 

 The Bees were victorious in the last meeting between the sides three months ago, courtesy of Bryan Mbeumo's strike. 

They will have their sights set on a first league double over their rivals since the 2014-15 season. 

Thomas Frank's men saw their promotion hopes derailed during a winless February which stretched to five matches. 

This is a pivotal stage of the season for Brentford who face Fulham and West Bromwich Albion, in what could be a defining week in their campaign. 

  • Team news

Fulham will be without Maxime Le MarchandTerence KongoloAlfie Mawson and Joe Bryan, which will no doubt give boss Scott Parker a defensive headache. 

Josh Onomah has missed the past month with a knee injury and is still another fortnight away from featuring. 

Shandon Baptiste is back in contention for Brentford, with Pontus Jansson also closing in on a return. 

  • Predicted line-up

Fulham: 

Rodak, Christie, Hector, Ream, Odoi, Arter, Cairney; Kamara, Reid, Cavaleiro, Mitrovic. 

Brentford: 

Raya, Dalsgaard, Pinnock, Jeanvier, Henry, Marcondes, Norgaard, Dasilva, Mbeumo, Watkins, Benrahma. 

  • What the managers have said

Fulham head coach Scott Parker told the club's official website

"It’s a massive game for us, a London derby against a team that’s just behind us in the table, a team who when we played them earlier in the season put in a very good performance against us.

“I felt that day we were a little bit off it, but I think they were well worthy of the three points. They’ve done very well this year, so there’s a big task ahead of us. There’s always challenges ahead, and Friday will be that certainly.”

Brentford boss Thomas Frank is looking forward to coming up against a side he's labelled as 'one of the best in the division. 

He told The Sutton & Croydon Guardian

“Every game has its own history but this game’s important, it’s a local derby, they’re one of the best teams in the division, I’m looking forward to it.

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