Championship playoff final
Brentford vs Fulham
Wembley Stadium, London
Wednesday, 04-08-2020 @9:45pm
The football world will once again shift its attention to Wembley Stadium in London as Brentford takes on Fulham in what is dubbed, the richest game in the globe.
Brentford manager Thomas Frank has no fresh injury concerns.
Fulham will have talisman Aleksandar Mitrovic fit for the final. The 26-goal striker has recovered from a hamstring injury which saw him miss the ties with Cardiff. Boss Scott Parker confirmed the Whites have a fully-fit squad to choose from. It means Harry Arter and Ivan Cavaleiro will be available after they missed the second leg against the Bluebirds due to knocks.
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.
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 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.