Brentford currently sit 10th in the Championship after a slow start to the campaign, losing to Birmingham City on the opening day before they beat Huddersfield Town 3-0 and drawing 1-1 with Millwall at the weekend.
Fulham have endured a torrid start to their Premier League campaign, suffering three straight defeats against Arsenal, Leeds United and Aston Villa which has sunk the Cottagers to the basement of the top division. However, the League Cup may be a good distraction in what looks to be a long, dogged season ahead for Fulham.
The Bees will be without left-back Rico Henry, who has suffered a minor hamstring injury. New signing Saman Ghoddos could be involved tonight after receiving international clearance after joining from Amiens SC. Said Benrahma will be participating tonight, confirmed manager Thomas Frank, despite the current transfer speculation surrounding the Algerian as the transfer window nears completion.
Fulham are without Kenny Tete, Harrison Reed and Mario Lemina for tonight’s short trip to Brentford.
Brentford (4-3-3): Raya; Dalsgaard, Goode, Sorensen, Thompson; Dasilva, Baptiste, Marcondes; Canos, Forrs, Fosu-Henry
Fulham (4-2-3-1): Rodak; Odoi, Hector, Le Marchand, Robinson; Onomah, Johansen; Knockaert, Decordova-Reid, Kebano; Kamara
Brentford started their Carabao Cup campaign with a penalty shoot-out win over fellow Championship side Wycombe Wanderers after a 1-1 draw in their first-ever competitive game at their new home.
They won against Premier League opposition in the second round of the competition, beating Southampton 2-0 at St. Mary’s Stadium thanks to first-half goals from Christian Norgaard and Josh Dasilva.
They were then drawn against top-flight opposition again, facing, and beating, West Bromwich Albion on penalties after a 2-2 draw.
Entering the cup in the second round, Fulham beat Ipswich Town 1-0 at Portman Road thanks to Aleksander Mitrovic’s 38th-minute strike to set up a tie with Sheffield Wednesday, who they beat 2-0 at Craven Cottage.
Ones to watch
Brentford – Emiliano Marcondes
Marcondes is a creative spark for the Bees, providing seven assists last campaign and making 1.1 key passes per game – a joy to watch as he cuts through the centre.
Fulham – Bobby Decordova-Reid
Decordova-Reid netted against Wednesday to notch his second goal of the season and help Fulham progress against a heavily-rotated Owls side. His ability through the middle could be key for a rested Fulham side, making an average of 1.3 dribbles per game.
Last time they met
These two sides last met in last season’s Championship play-off final.
An eagerly-anticipation match-up proved to be a tedious affair as the game limped into extra time.
Joe Bryan put Fulham ahead after quick-thinking from the full-back, married with poor positioning from David Raya, which allowed Bryan to fire into an open goal from distance.
Bryan then got his second in the 177th minute to send the Cottagers back into the Premier League at the first time of asking, despite Henrik Dalsgaard’s best efforts to rescue something back for Brentford, with his goal four minutes into stoppage time.
What the managers have said
Frank has stated that he and his side have moved on from their play-off heartbreak, insisting that all his focus is on tonight’s game.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Frank said: “Of course, it is a repeat of the play-off final.
“For me, that is in the past, that’s history and the only thing that we can do to affect that is the game tomorrow which is a huge opportunity for the club and the team to write history.
“We would like to get into the quarter-finals, we have never been there before, so all my focus is on that.
“I said, after the play-off final, congratulations to Scott Parker, his staff, his players and Fulham as a club. Since then, they have moved on, we have moved on and now we are playing in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.”
Fulham boss Parker believes that it will be a “good opportunity” for his side to get players minutes who need them and to try and restore some much-needed confidence in his side.
“It’s a good opportunity for us,” said Parker, speaking to the official Fulham FC website.
“The Cup’s been good for us in that sense, after some poor results – I wouldn’t put it down as poor performances – poor results, it gives us a good chance to go out and play in a very competitive game against a very good team to keep working on the things we need to work on.
“It gets players minutes, but we also want to try and get a result.”
Where to watch
Thursday's tie will be exclusively live on Sky Sports. Fans who do not have Sky Sports can access the game online through Now TV.