MX23RW : Saturday, September 18 09:36:45| >> :120:68035:68035:
Aug 4, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at Wembley Stadium
Dalsgaard (120+4')
Jensen (88'), Norgaard (103')
Bryan (105', 117')
Reed (29'), Cairney (67'), Hector (98'), Knockaert (102'), Mitrovic (104'), Cavaleiro (120+2'), Rodak (120+4')

Preview: Brentford vs. Fulham - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Championship playoff final between Brentford and Fulham, including team news and predicted lineups.

The 2019-20 Championship season reaches its conclusion on Tuesday as Brentford and Fulham lock horns at Wembley Stadium in the playoff final.

Brentford reached the final courtesy of a 3-2 aggregate victory over Swansea City, while Fulham saw off another Welsh side in Cardiff City by the same scoreline over two legs in the last four.

Match preview

Brentford boss Thomas Frank on February 8, 2020© Reuters

Brentford's last ever game at the historic Griffin Park ended in jubilation as the Bees overturned a 1-0 deficit against Swansea to book their spot in the playoff final.

Andre Ayew had given the Swans the upper hand in the first leg, but Thomas Frank's side gave their home of 116 years the perfect send-off as Ollie Watkins, Emiliano Marcondes and Bryan Mbeumo turned the tie on its head on Wednesday evening.

The Bees were unable to celebrate with the Griffin Park faithful following their 3-1 victory on the night, but Brentford's supporters can now look forward to seeing their side step foot onto the Wembley turf in the playoff final, albeit behind closed doors.

Brentford are dreaming of a first ever promotion to the Premier League and will endeavour to end a 73-year absence from the pinnacle of English football, having last plied their trade in the top division during the 1946-47 season.

In order to do so, Frank's men will have to overcome a Fulham side looking to make an immediate return to the top flight, and the two sides could only be separated by goal difference after 46 matches in the regular season.

Fulham manager Scott Parker pictured on July 22, 2020© Reuters

Even though Fulham's eight-game unbeaten streak came to an end at the hands of Cardiff last week, the damage had already been done in the first leg and Cardiff's 2-1 victory at Craven Cottage did little to dampen the spirits of Scott Parker's men.

Curtis Nelson and Lee Tomlin netted for Cardiff either side of a Neeskens Kebano strike, but Fulham's 2-0 victory from the first leg ended up proving decisive as they kept their hopes of an immediate return to the big time alive, while dashing Cardiff's similar promotion aspirations in the process.

The Cottagers will have fond memories of their playoff final victory over Aston Villa just two years ago, but the free-scoring Brentford represents a different kettle of fish for the Cottagers who are winless in five against their Wembley opponents.

The atmosphere at an empty Wembley Stadium is sure to be eerie as the players emerge from the tunnel on Tuesday evening, but both Brentford and Fulham will give no thought to the abnormal circumstances as they bid to achieve victory in what is billed as the richest game in football.

Brentford came out on top in both meetings earlier in the Championship campaign, with a 1-0 victory at Griffin Park followed up by a 2-0 win in Fulham's backyard following the restart.

Brentford Championship form: WWLLLW

Fulham Championship form: WDWDWL

Team News

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic goes down injured in July 2020© Reuters

Brentford are likely to stick with the same lineup that got the job done in convincing fashion over Swansea in their semi-final.

That would mean another start in the middle of the park for Marcondes, who replaced Josh DaSilva for the second leg and repaid his manager's faith in him by notching up Brentford's second goal on the night.

The prolific trio of Watkins, Mbeumo and Said Benrahma all contributed to Brentford's impressive second-leg victory, with Watkins and Mbeumo both finding the back of the net while Benrahma provided the assist for Marcondes's header.

As for Fulham, Parker has confirmed that he has a clean bill of health for the final, meaning that Golden Boot winner Aleksandar Mitrovic should come back to lead the line for the Cottagers.

Kebano was forced off with a hamstring problem at half time last Thursday but has recovered in time, and Ivan Cavaleiro could also feature in some capacity for Parker's men after a short-term injury layoff.

Brentford possible starting lineup:
Martin; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry; Marcondes, Norgaard, Jensen; Mbeumo, Watkins, Benrahma

Fulham possible starting lineup:
Rodak; Christie, Hector, Ream, Bryan; Reed, Cairney; Knockaert, Onomah, Kebano; Mitrovic

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Brentford 3-2 Fulham

Fulham are yet to register a goal against the Bees during the 2019-20 campaign, but Parker's men will no doubt feel confident in their ability to break down the Brentford defence with Mitrovic returning to the squad at the perfect moment.

However, Frank's men have given a terrific account of themselves all season long and are no doubt worthy of Premier League status, so we are backing Brentford to come out on top and seal promotion to the top flight alongside Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion for the 2020-21 season.

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Fulham manager Scott Parker pictured on July 22, 2020
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Scott Parker looks ahead to playoff final with Brentford

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