By News Team
25th May 2021
It’s been a long, old slog in the Championship for Brentford and Swansea, but after 48 games this season, the two sides are now just one win away from the Premier League.
Brentford and Swansea meet in the Championship play-off final at Wembley on Saturday afternoon in what is widely regarded as the most valuable one-off match in the world, with a reported £160 million up for grabs in last year’s show piece. The stakes couldn’t be any higher.
We preview the huge clash and pick out some of the best bets on offer.
Brentford favourites to join Premier League’s elite
Is there any other game quite like the Championship play-off final? For the winners, the riches of the Premier League await, but for the losers, it’s the reality of coming so close yet so far, with another campaign of Championship football lying ahead. Brentford know all too well about the heartbreak that can be inflicted on the losing side, having reached this stage last season, only to lose out to Fulham.
Another year on, though, and Bees fans will claim their club are in a better position now to finally make the step up to the elite of top-flight football – something Brentford have gone without quite remarkably since 1947. Of Brentford and Swansea, it’s no doubt the former who have enjoyed the stronger season, racking up a mammoth 87 points – just four points shy of automatic promotion – while their 79 goals during the 46-game campaign were unmatched as they finished third.
It’s no surprise then to see Thomas Frank’s side as the 2/5 favourites to seal promotion to the Premier League. Key to the Bees’ success this term has been Ivan Toney, the Championship’s top scorer this season, with a cool 32 goals and a further 10 assists to boot – and he will no doubt be pivotal on Saturday, having also scored last time out in the semi-final win over Bournemouth. Toney, who looks to be heading to the Premier League one way or another next season having been linked with a number of clubs, is 13/5 to break the deadlock at Wembley.
While Toney is enjoying a stellar debut campaign at the club, a number of Brentford players, as well as their manager, will be fuelled by last season’s play-off final heartache. That could be enough to see them get the job done inside the 90 minutes, where they are 10/11 to claim victory. Would you like to work out your potential winnings? Try our online betting calculator.
Swansea to frustrate the Bees?
Standing in Brentford’s way on Saturday is a club in Swansea who are no strangers to the Premier League, having been relegated from the top division three years ago. That said, Swansea were by no means the favourites to bounce back to the Premier League this season and manager Steve Cooper has to be praised for his impressive work at the Welsh club, which has led to him being linked with the Crystal Palace job.
While Brentford’s season has been built upon goals – scoring 23 more than Swansea during the 46-game season – their opponents have relied a little more on the defensive side of things. Only promoted sides Norwich and Watford conceded less than their 39 goals during the league campaign, helping them to secure fourth spot behind Brentford.
With that in mind, it could be a tight game at Wembley – something backed up by the two sides’ previous meetings this season, which both ended up as 1-1 draws. Under 2.5 goals on Saturday is priced at 4/7, while a Swans clean sheet is 27/10.
Swansea, however, head into the tie as the 7/4 underdogs to gain promotion, while they are 16/5 to win inside 90 minutes. But when there is so much at stake as there is here, it will most certainly come down to who can handle the pressure more on the day – meaning it’s anyone’s game.