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Brentford are in the final for a second season running, having beaten Swansea in the semis last year, and after also finishing third last term, will take confidence from their consistency.
This time around they were a clear next-best after the already promoted duo of Norwich and Watford, finishing seven points ahead of fourth-placed Swansea, and are understandably the bookies’ favourites ahead of this clash.
The Bees will have to overcome a sorry record in the play-offs though. This is their 10th attempt to move up a league via this method since 1990/91, but they’ve failed to gain promotion from the previous nine.
However, this is the second time here under current boss Thomas Frank, and they’ll hope to have learnt from their defeat in extra time to Fulham last year following a goalless stalemate.
Brentford can certainly boast the better form of the two sides having lost just once in 14 appearances, winning five of the past six.
That includes three wins from four against top-six finishers as they beat Bournemouth twice, lost to the Cherries once, and also secured victory over Watford.
They will need to asses Rico Henry and Christian Norgaard though, after both missed the second leg with Bournemouth, while Josh Dasilva remains a long-term absentee.
Swansea suffered their own setback as experienced winger Wayne Routledge was stretchered off against Barnsley last time out.
They’re a much more mediocre W4-D3-L6 over their last 14, with just two wins from their past seven appearances, though form isn’t always the best guide to success in the play-offs.
Brentford To Beat Swansea
Still, across the past 10 play-off finals, the team that finished higher in the league has a W6-D3-L1 record over 90 minutes in the showpiece event.
When the sides that finished third and fourth in the league have met in the final, the higher-ranked outfit has triumphed in six of eight meetings this century.
Understandably, with so much at stake, these can quite often be tense affairs and we wouldn’t expect a goal glut here.
Brentford might have been the highest scorers across the regular season, but conversely, Swansea held the worst offensive record amongst the top nine in the division.
Both Teams To Score (No)
Seven of the past eight play-off finals have seen fewer than three goals, as six of these featured a maximum of one strike, while at least one team failed to score in seven of them too.
Both teams to score (no) has actually landed in 16 of the past 20 finals now, and the recent form of both sides would also suggest a contest short on clear cut chances.
At least one team has failed to score in seven of Brentford’s past 10 appearances, as seven also featured fewer than three goals.
Meanwhile, 10 of Swansea’s past 14 also saw at least one side draw a blank, as nine of these saw under 2.5 goals land.
Ivan Toney To Score Anytime
One man who might well fancy his chances of scoring though is Ivan Toney, after netting a record-breaking 31 goals during the regular season and adding another strike in the comeback win against Bournemouth in the second leg of Brentford’s semi-final.
After a dry spell of four games without a goal, he’s now struck three times in four outings, and looks well placed to add to his tally here.