Brentford vs Preston North End Preview: The Bees will not give up on automatic promotion
Ollie Watkins of Brentford celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's third goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Middlesbrough at Griffin Park on February 08, 2020 in Brentford, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Brentford host Preston North End in the Championship on Wednesday night in what is a crucial game surrounding the play-offs.

The Lilywhites currently sit 9th in the league and consequently are five points adrift of the play-offs. The Bee’s are in a much more comfortable position, easily perched in the highest play-off spot and only four points away from West Bromwich Albion.

This then means that a win for Thomas Frank’s men would create immense pressure on automatic promotion rivals West Brom whilst three points for the Lancashire side could spark hope of a late surge for the final play-off position.

A crucial match that could define both sides' season, so who looks best approaching the match?

Form

Brentford are in red hot form, winning each and every one of the six games they have played since the restart. A win against Preston would be the first time since 2014 that the Bees have won eight successive league games.

The Lilywhites travel to Griffin Park in completely opposite form to the hosts, failing to win all but one game against Sheffield Wednesday since the restart.

Previous clashes

Historically Brentford just edge past Preston in terms of wins, winning 23 of the 57 total meetings. The Lilywhites are victorious in 21 matches however, leaving 13 draws between the sides.

Recent history massively speaks in the Bees favour, as Brentford have lost just three times against Preston since March 2012.

It is Preston who have had the last laugh, however, beating the London side 2-0 at the Deepdale Stadium.

Key players

Ollie Watkins has been essential this season for Brentford, scoring 24 goals across all competitions. A goal scoring rate of 0.56% subsequently makes the striker the top scorer at Griffin Park this season.

For the Lilywhites, Daniel Johnson has been crucial in midfield and has been directly involved in 20 goals this year. The Jamaican has remained one of Preston’s longest serving players currently at the club making 192 appearances since signing in 2015.

Manager watch

Preston manager Alex Neil has been praising Brentford's attacking force as he told the Accrington Observer in a recent interview: "The amount of goals they've scored between them is incredible and I think when you take them individually, yeah they're good players, but collectively they really complement each other.”

Frank has yet to say anything about the Preston fixture.

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