Leeds United and West Brom booked their tickets to the Premier League through automatic promotion. Now, one place is left up for grabs for promotion to the Premier League and the path to the top flight goes through Wembley. The EFL Championship Playoff Final will take place on Tuesday night at Wembley as Brentford and Fulham clash in a west London derby in northern part of the city.
How fitting it is that the EFL Championship’s third-place and fourth-place finishers will meet for in the final. So, how did we get to a Brentford and Fulham final?
Thomas Frank’s Bees came back from a 1-0 loss at Swansea City to win the second leg 3-1. The second leg was a nail biter as Swansea City nearly levelled the aggregate score late to force extra-time.
Fulham also overcame Welsh opposition by defeating Cardiff City 3-2 on aggregate. The Cottagers won at the Cardiff City Stadium 2-0 in the first leg only to experience a difficult second leg at Craven Cottage. Cardiff City won the second leg 2-1. They were victorious in the battle but lost the war to Fulham. Now, we have two west London rivals fighting over one place in next season’s Premier League.
Brentford have reached the EFL Championship Playoff Final on their own terms. Since the club’s takeover in 2009 by Matthew Benham, Brentford have done things different using their own version of Moneyball. The club uses statistics to recruit players and even on the pitch to exploit weaknesses in opposing teams. According to Thomas Frank, statistical analysis is used during games to influence the team’s tactics.
When Brentford did away with their academy and began using stats to influence their player recruitment, they were the laugh of English football. They are now one step away from the Premier League and it is possible more lower league teams will adopt their ways.
Fulham’s last trip to the Premier League was not a good one. They ridiculously overhauled the squad spending over £100 million on players that got them relegated. If Scott Parker gets them up, will Fulham spend big again or stick with a hard-working squad?
Brentford won both matches in the EFL Championship against Fulham outscoring the Cottagers 3-0 over the course of 180 minutes of football. Will the Bees get the best of their west London rival again?
Brentford received a piece of good fortune prior to their 3-1 win against Swansea City on Wednesday night. Full-back Rico Henry had been sent off in the first leg of the playoff semifinal. The Football Association rescinded the red card before the second leg allowing him to play.
Manager Thomas Frank’s only player missing through injury is Nikos Karelis. The player is out of action until next term. It is unknown just how the Brentford model may change if they achieve promotion. The Bees front office claim they must make £15m in player sales prior to every season. Both Ollie Watkins – scorer in the second leg against Swansea City – and Said Benrahma. Benrahma is being tracked by both Chelsea and Arsenal.
Parker has one injury issue heading into the EFL Championship Playoff Final. Forward Neeskens Kubano scored against Cardiff City in the ninth minute of the second leg but went off in the first half with a hamstring injury. The severity of it could keep him out of action versus Brentford. Otherwise, Fulham have no issues and Parker will be able to select his best players on Tuesday.
Both teams to score - BET NOW
The two EFL Championship matches between Brentford and Fulham during the season saw Brentford win both matches. The Bees won to nil in both games. The Bees are unbeaten in five straight games against Fulham. Although they have kept back to back clean sheets versus the Cottagers, the final should be a closer fixture with both teams finding the back of the net similar to the semifinal second legs.
Over 2.5 goals scored @23/20 - BET NOW
Tuesday night’s playoff final is likely to follow a similar format to the games Brentford and Fulham played in the semifinals. Both games saw both clubs play matches that finished with over 2.5 goals scored. Brentford led the EFL Championship in goals with 80 in 46 matches. They averaged 1.7 goals per games in the regular season. Fulham averaged 1.4 goals per fixture in the regular season. If these two sides play like they did in the semifinals, this game could see goals.
Ollie Watkins to score anytime - BET NOW
Ollie Watkins has starred for Brentford this season scoring 26 goals in 49 games in all competitions. Twenty-five of those goals came in the EFL Championship. Watkins is another low-cost signing made by Brentford that could see them rake in the profits. Watkins was signed for £1.8m from Exeter City and is now valued at £11m by Transfermarkt.
It is likely that Watkins could go for double that fee. Last summer saw Brentford sell Neal Maupay to Brighton for £20m. Rather than shrinking in the race for promotion, Brentford did even better despite selling their 2018-19 top scorer.
Brentford have a great record against Fulham and are unbeaten in five straight games. The Bees have won three of those last five games including back to back games in the EFL Championship this season. Can the Bees win a third time this season? It won’t be easy to win the rubber match but Brentford certainly have the ability to claim a victory at Wembley.
Fulham have the experience of winning promotion to the Premier League, they did it two seasons ago. However, it is Brentford’s time to gain promotion and have their chance in the top flight. The Bees are a team in the ascendency and should play well on Tuesday to win the playoff final.
Sign up to Easyodds to use our odds comparison service for all your betting choices!
You can grab any new customer offer in our free bets section to place a wager on this match. Thank you for reading and good luck betting today!
Get all the best Championship odds at our extensive football betting centre.
Wembley Stadium is the venue for Tuesday's Championship play-off final between Brentford and Fulham.
Brentford are priced up at 23/20 to beat Fulham.
Fulham are priced up at 29/10 to beat Brentford.
This match will be live on Sky Sports
No, you can not live stream this match with any bookmaker.
Brentford beat Swansea 3-2 on aggregate to reach Wembley.
Fulham beat Cardiff in the play-offs 3-2 on aggregate to reach Wembley.
The kick-off time for Brentford vs Fulham is 19:45 on Tuesday 4th August.