Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Brentford vs Fulham, Championship Play-Off Final Preview

Posted on 31 July 2020 by Hamish Percy
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West London rivals Brentford and Fulham will contest this season’s Championship Play-Off Final on Tuesday 4 August (kick-off 7:45pm) with the winner securing their place in the Premier League.

Brentford’s club captain, Pontus Jansson, knows this is a game which ‘means everything’ to the club and is going into the fixture with his eyes on the most lucrative prize in English football.

If Brentford win, they will move to their new stadium as a Premier League club, with the Bees now one game away from a place in the top flight for the first time since 1947. While opposition Fulham are experienced both in the Premier League and the play-offs, winning the fixture back in 2018.

The Cottagers reach the final after beating Cardiff City 3-2 on aggregate, while the Bees enjoyed a magical send off to Griffin Park with a 3-2 aggregate victory over Swansea.

Fulham’s star striker Alexksandar Mitrovic is expected to be back for the final, recovering from a hamstring problem which kept him out of both semi-final legs.

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“It means everything, this is what we have been fighting for as a club for a lot of years, especially this year,” Jansson said.

“We know the financial implications for winning, one of the biggest fees, if not the biggest fee in the world. For us, the players, coaches and the staff this is what we have been fighting for the whole season.

“It will hopefully be a dream come true to get to the Premier League, but we are 90 minutes away with a tough opponent, it is going to be a tough fight.”

 The West London sides have played each other 60 times in total, with Brentford triumphing over Fulham twice this Championship season, 1-0 back in December at Griffin Park and a 2-0 away win recently in June.

“We need to go out and give everything we have and a little bit more to win the game. It is going to be a tough test, but for me personally this is what I have been fighting for since last year when I lost the semi-final with Leeds.”

Brentford go into the fixture on Tuesday having had a six day break after their semi-final game, something which Jansoon explained will be to his sides advantage.

“We know, when we have energy and feel fit we normally play good and now we have six days between the games which is a lot. We had a good session today and one tomorrow and then Sunday and then we will be ready to go for Tuesday.”

The Bees go into the game as underdogs, but if they play with the same style, fight and passion they have done all season, there is no reason the side from West London will not be moving into the 2020/2021 season as a Premier League side for the first time.