Andre Ayew’s stunner has put this tie very much in the balance with Swansea taking a narrow lead into the second leg. Although Brentford have been in incredible form since the restart, they’ve now lost three on the bounce when automatic promotion was a very distinct possibility, and now eyebrows have been raised over their play-off capabilities. Two of those defeats came against struggling sides Stoke and Barnsley, with the latter being saved from relegation due to their last gasp winner over the Bees.
Swansea will definitely feel like they have the upper hand after the first leg, though records suggest that may not be as big of an advantage as first thought. Of the 21 play-off semi-finals since 1992/93 where the home side has taken an advantage into their second leg on the road, they’ve only won four of those away matches, losing 13.
If this were a European tie, Swansea would have a serious leg up here, though as away goals don’t count in the play-offs, we might have to side with the home team.
Only Leeds had a better home record than Brentford this campaign, with 47 of their 81 points picked up on home soil. This is the first time all season that they’ve lost three on the bounce, and we’d be surprised if a team of their quality crumbled to four successive defeats.
Swansea do possess the fourth best away record in the league, though aside form an impressive victory at Elland Road back in August, they haven’t beaten anyone worthy of note, with many of their points being pick up through stalemates.
What’s more, teams taking a single-goal advantage into an away second leg don’t quite have the record of qualifying for the final that you would expect.
Only nine of the 15 teams to take that goal advantage through have qualified for the final since the 1992/93 season, with the two of the last three since 2012/13 failing to do so.
Brentford To Beat Swansea
Brentford won both the regular season matches by an aggregate scoreline of 6-1, and although they lost the first leg, they had to play the final 24 minutes with 10 men after Rico Henry was controversially sent off, which ultimately aided Swansea in their pursuit of a winner.
Henry may well have his ban overturned given he actually appeared to win the ball, but Swansea still have Wayne Routledge as a doubt, as well as injuries to centre-backs Joe Rodon and Ben Wilmot, goalkeeper Freddie Woodman and central midfielder George Byers.
We can’t see a repeat win for Swansea on the road and the home win looks the most likely here, even if they are quite short.
Indeed, Swansea went W1-D4-L8 against the top eight in the table from September onwards during the regular season, so Brentford are capable of bouncing back from their first leg disappointment.