Will it be Brentford or Fulham in the Premier League next season?
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The Championship play-off final is undoubtedly one of the most highly anticipated matches in football with much at stake. Wembley will be completely devoid of fans, however this certainly won’t detract from what promises to be a high-octane clash.
These West London neighbours are at completely different stages of a journey, Fulham looking to make a return to the Premier League at the first attempt with many of their squad remaining from two seasons ago. Brentford are looking to climb into the Premier League for the first time in their history and manager Thomas Frank will be confident of success following his side’s excellent form throughout the season, form which abandoned them at the business end of the campaign.
Brentford’s recovery in the two-legged semi-final against Swansea City was proof enough that they have an abundance of fighting spirit, however while the quality of the squad isn’t in question, it remains to be seen whether or not they can rise to the challenge when up against streetwise and experienced Fulham.
Fulham talisman Aleksandar Mitrovic isn’t guaranteed a start in this match due to continued fitness concerns and his absence would be a blow for the Cottagers, Mitrovic having been a crucial component in Fulham’s success this term.
Both Fulham and Brentford have been defensively solid on the whole in recent outings and with stakes sky-high, both managers will be looking to keep things as tight as possible at the back. Indeed goals tend to be scarce in Championship play-off finals with just one of the last seven producing over two goals in normal time and as such we envisage a low-scoring clash this time around.
Caution in Abundance
Despite the abundance of top-quality attacking talent in both sides, the keyword here will be caution and we’re expecting a cagey and closely-fought affair. Nevertheless Brentford are slightly stronger than their opponents right now and having lost just once in their last ten games against the Cottagers, we’ll be backing them to edge their way to victory in normal time on Tuesday evening.