|It's a battle of Ivan Toney and Andrew Ayew at Wembley for the biggest prize in English football. (Photo credit: @FA)
How in God’s the famous English Championship playoff is richer than any other game within the sport is to be discussed another day but on Saturday, Swansea City will square up against Brentford in a game that means everything to the two sides.
Brentford beat Bournemouth in the first semifinal after two legs with a 3-2 aggregate score line but you won’t feel sorry for the Cherries as they pressed the self destruct button in the second leg when they were well placed to go on and win after taking the lead in the second leg.
Brentford holds the record for the most playoffs appearance without a win, they were actually in danger of losing to Bournemouth, they conceded so early on from a strange position – Brentford had a corner kick and conceded from it;
Bournemouth got a needless red card and then went on to concede from the spot and two more to lose 3-2 on aggregate, this ruined the narrative of the three teams that went down from the premier league the season before as the trio would have gotten instant promotion if Bournemouth came correct.
Swansea went down with Sunderland and Westbrom, they are within 90 minutes of another opportunity to return Sunderland are battling to even get to the Championship from League 1 while Westbrom are being sent down from the premier league, different folks, different strokes.
Swansea best Barnsley over two legs, they still have that casual approach that relegated them few seasons ago and they could have thrown themselves into trouble with a weak second leg display at the semifinal, they can’t afford that against a very energetic Brentford side.
The race to join the elite is heating up, 3pm is the time and all eyes will be on Ivan Toney who is on the radar of too many top clubs, he has scored over 30 goals in the last one year and is ready to step up to the big league but first, he has a big job on his hand at Wembley.
Last season’s playoff winners Fulham have been relegated from the premier league, they failed to follow the footsteps of Aston Villa, who didn’t only stay up the following season but gave a solid account of themselves in the next one.
How will they line up? Brenford will attack all day, they have that “Leeds United” thing in them and they will be exciting to watch in the Premier League.
Swansea are experienced, they’ve been in the Premier League and they mixed well with the big boys, Brendan Rodgers did a great job pushing them hard before he moved on to Liverpool, but do they have what it takes to contain Brentford?
There’s not so much to choose between them on recent head to head although Brentford has two wins but the last two have been identical stalemates, 1-1 on either grounds and that could be the story when these two meet at Wembley.
It’s grit against pragmatism, one will try to soak up the
pressure and hit on the break while the other will depend on the pace and
agility in the team, who wants it more?