Prediction and odds for the game: Swansea (14/5) v Brentford (21/20)
We fancy the home side to pull off a victory
When: Sunday, 26th July 2020, Kick-off 18:30
Where: The Liberty Stadium
On Sunday evening, Swansea and Brentford go head-to-head at the Liberty Stadium, in the first leg of one of the Championship play-off semi-finals.
The Welsh side booked their play-off spot in incredible circumstances, as an amazing six-goal swing on the final day of the campaign moved the home side above Nottingham Forest. A 4-1 win at Reading last time out proved to be a decisive result for Steve Cooper’s team.
The Swans top-six bid was built on a strong finish to the season, as only champions, Leeds United defeated the Welsh team in the last seven games of the Championship campaign. They also head into the clash unbeaten in three matches in the second tier, having recorded two straight victories.
Swansea have struggled for consistency of late at the Liberty Stadium in the Championship, as they have won just two of their previous five league matches on home soil. Their recent league games on home soil have been tight, low-scoring affairs, with under 2.5 goals scored in four of their last five home games in the Championship.
The Bees blew their chances of automatic promotion in the final three games of the league campaign. Back-to-back defeats against struggling Stoke and Barnsley cost the visitors the chance of automatic promotion, as they failed to capitalise on slips from second-place West Brom.
The defeats came as a surprise, as Thomas Frank’s team has eight consecutive league wins and looked to have the momentum to go up automatically. Brentford finished the campaign with the joint-best goal difference in the Championship alongside champions Leeds. Therefore, it was no surprise that the Bees had scored at least twice in six of those aforementioned eight victories.
The 1-0 defeat at Stoke in their penultimate game of the season ended a three-game winning run for the visitors away from home in the second tier. Before the defeat in the Potteries, the Bees had also scored at least two goals in each of their previous four away matches.
The Bees will be wary of this tie, as Swansea have beaten them in four of the last six meetings in all competitions. They will have to improve that record if they are to win promotion.
Sometimes when it comes to the play-offs it is the team with the best momentum that goes up. Although they may not win promotion, Swansea head into this game in with major momentum. That is why we are backing the Swans to record a first-leg victory. We are also expecting goals, so the other bet we are backing is over 2.5 goals scored.
Verdict: We are backing the home win at odds of 14/5 and/or over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 11/10. (All odds are taken from Bet365).
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Who will draw first blood in this Championship semi-final play-off first leg?