West London rivals Fulham and Brentford will slug it out in the SkyBet Championship Playoffs at the Wembley Stadium after both clubs overcame their counterparts in the semifinals. Fulham defeated Cardiff City 3-2 on aggregate while Brentford matched the result with an aggregate 3-2 win over Swansea City.
Fulham, playing in the playoffs for the 2nd time in 3 seasons, finished 4th on the league table, hence, took on Cardiff City who finished 5th. The Cottagers put themselves in pole position when they recorded a crucial 2 nil victory away at South Wales, a Josh Onomah brilliance and Neeskens Kebano freekick doing the damage.
No team has ever overturned a 2 goal deficit in the championship playoffs, Cardiff was close to doing just that with a 2-1 lead just after the restart at Craven Cottage. Curtis Nelson's 8th-minute header was immediately cancelled by Neeskens Kebano(9'). Lee Tomlin then restored Cardiff lead(47'), however, Fulham held on to keep a date with Brentford.
Brentford narrowly missed out on automatic qualification by finishing 3rd, just 2 points behind West Brom. They then got lucky to have lost their 1st-leg tie against Swansea City by just a lone goal with Andre Ayew failing to convert a spot-kick. Though Ayew made amends for the spot-kick missed with the lone goal of the match, a 2nd-leg 1-3 defeat means heartbreak for Swansea and delight for Brentford.
Ollie Watkins (11'), Emiliano Marcondes (15') and Bryan Mbeumo (46') staged the 2ng-leg turnaround for The Bees as they aim for their 1st ever playoffs success in nine(9) attempt. Rhian Brewster with Swansea's lone goal.
Brentford vs Fulham
Fulham recovered their Premier League status last season having played in the championship for the previous 4 seasons, however, they were immediately relegated for the 2019/20 season. The Cottagers are one match away from an immediate return to the EPL yet again.
Brentford has not played English 1st tier football since world war 2. The closest they've gotten to play in the Premier League was a playoff semifinal defeat to Middlesbrough in 2015/16 season having finished the regular season in 5th. Brentford has a big shout of breaking the hoodoo come next Tuesday.
Both return legs of the league saw The Bees triumph 3 nil on aggregate over The Cottagers(1-0, 2-0) and while Fulham manager Scott Parker and his wards would aim to thwart a 3rd defeat, Brentford manager Thomas Frank would surely relish a 3rd win over their West Londoner.
Clever money would be on a Brentford win
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