Swansea City vs Brentford preview: Play-offs begin as Swans battle Bees
Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Brentford must put the disappointment of missing out on automatic promotion behind them as they make the trek to the south coast of Wales to face Swansea City in the first Championship play-off game.

The Bees needed just one win from their last two games against relegation-threatened Stoke City and Barnsley, however, both ended in defeat for Thomas Frank’s side. Thomas Oduor’s injury-time winner for Barnsley secured their Championship status and condemned the hosts to a third-place finish and the dreaded play-offs.

Brentford enjoyed an eight-game winning streak before the loss to Stoke and notched up 80 goals throughout the campaign - 25 of those for the talented youngster Ollie Watkins, who just missed out on the Golden Boot by one goal to Fulham’s Serbian destroyer Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Unlike their next opponents, the Swans had a final day to remember as they snuck into the final play-off spot thanks to a six-goal swing between them and Nottingham Forest. Steve Cooper’s side hammered 10-man Reading 4-1 while a despondent Forest side lost to Stoke by the same scoreline which ended their season and capped off an awful run of just four wins in 17 games.

Team news

Kyle Naughton will serve the final game of his three-match suspension for the play-off semi-final first leg, while goalkeeper Freddie Woodman remains sidelined with a hip injury, meaning Erwin Mulder will remain in goal for Swansea.

Wayne Routledge and Mike van der Hoorn both had to be forced off in the victory over Reading, but Cooper has confirmed that the pair could be in contention to feature on Sunday. Routledge impressed on the final day – scoring two vital goals against the Royals.

Aside from striker Nikos Karelis, Frank has a full squad to choose from but could still make one change to the side that lost 2-1 against Barnsley on the final day with central midfielder Mathias Jensen hoping for a recall.

Predicted line-ups

Swansea City (3-4-1-2): Mulder; Hoorn, Cabango, Guehi; Roberts, Grimes, Fulton, Routledge; Gallagher; Ayew, Brewster


Brentford (4-3-3): Martin; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry; Jensen, Norgaard, Dasilva; Mbuemo, Watkins, Benrahma

Ones to watch

Swansea City – Erwin Mulder

The Swans stand-in goalkeeper will have to be on top form to keep out one of, if not the most prolific forward line in the Championship of Watkins, Said Benrahma and Bryan Mbuemo.

The trio have amassed a stunning 56 goals between them, which makes up exactly 70% of the team’s total goal tally this season, which was the highest in the division.

Mulder will be busy in goal and has a chance to stake his claim to remain in goal for the rest of the play-offs.

Brentford – Jay Dasilva

Outside the front three, Dasilva has been one of Brentford’s standout performers this season, with 14 goal contributions from central midfield (10 goals and four assists).

With an 86% pass succession rate from an average of almost 40 passes a game, the 21-year-old’s distribution is one eye-catching element to his game.

Last time out

The Bees can take heart from the fact that they have beaten Cooper's side twice already this season, with an impressive 3-0 away win in October followed by a 3-1 success at Griffin Park on Boxing Day.

Watkins scored twice that day as Brentford won their first home game against Swansea since Boxing Day 15 years ago, and the Swans lost a fourth consecutive game on the 26 December.

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