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Free agent Matty James being tracked by Bristol City, Swansea and Cardiff
James joined Leicester from Manchester United in May 2012 and went on to feature for them 117 times in all competitions, scoring five goals.

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How Brentford managed to get Premier League football having been in League Two just 12 years ago 
A dozen years ago, Brentford fans had just seen their side win the League Two title. Now the Bees are set for Premier League football for the first time in their history next season.

Brentford are back in the big time - and the plan for next season is to keep calm and carry on  
After the play-off final win manager Thomas Frank - drenched in beer and draped in a white towel - largely resisted looking beyond the next few hours and next few drinks. The plan, though, is clear.

Brentford midfielder Emiliano uncertain on future despite helping fire the Bees to Premier League
The Danish midfielder, 26, who scored the second in the Bees' 2-0 win against Swansea, is out of contract this summer and has yet to agree a deal with the club despite their promotion.

'I just want to get so drunk tonight!': Thomas Frank promises to celebrate Brentford promotion
Frank's Brentford side beat Swansea 2-0 at Wembley on Saturday to reach the top-flight of English football at the second attempt, and the Dane promised to fully celebrate the moment.

Ivan Toney 'can't wait to score goals in the Premier League' after Brentford secure promotion
The striker converted an early penalty against Swansea City to take his season goal tally to 33 as the west London club reached the top division for the first time since the 1946-47 season.

Pontus Jansson reveals he has taken Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa's 'ideas and knowledge' to Brentford
Bees captain Jansson signed for Thomas Frank's outfit after being told he was no longer wanted by Bielsa's Leeds, but the 30-year-old also insisted his relationship with the Argentine was still strong.

Ranking the bookies’ favourites to become the next Crystal Palace manager
frank lampard chelsea premier league

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The post Ranking the bookies’ favourites to become the next Crystal Palace manager first appeared on The Football Faithful.

Journeymen: The six players to have played for seven or more Premier League clubs

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The post Journeymen: The six players to have played for seven or more Premier League clubs first appeared on The Football Faithful.

Five of the best Polish players to play in the Premier League

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The post Five of the best Polish players to play in the Premier League first appeared on The Football Faithful.

Five of the best Ghanaian footballers in Premier League history
best ghanaian footballers premier league essien yeboah partey

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The post Five of the best Ghanaian footballers in Premier League history first appeared on The Football Faithful.

Ranking the six favourites to win promotion to The Promised Land

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The post Ranking the six favourites to win promotion to The Promised Land first appeared on The Football Faithful.

Star Turns: Six players that shone in the FA Cup this weekend

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The post Star Turns: Six players that shone in the FA Cup this weekend first appeared on The Football Faithful.

Brentford vs Swansea City prediction, preview, team news and more | EFL Championship playoff final 2020-21

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Barnsley vs Swansea City prediction, preview, team news and more | EFL Championship 2020-21

Watford vs Swansea City prediction, preview, team news and more | EFL Championship 2020-21

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[Image] Predicted 3-4-1-2 Swansea City XI to face Nott Forest – Can Cooper’s side make cup progress?

Predicted Swansea City XI to face Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup The FA Cup is set to return to action with an intriguing round of fourth-round fixtures as Swansea City play host to Championship rivals Nottingham Forest at the Liberty Stadium.  Steve Cooper’s side head into Saturday’s cup tie high on confidence on the […] More

The post [Image] Predicted 3-4-1-2 Swansea City XI to face Nott Forest – Can Cooper’s side make cup progress? appeared first on Media Referee.

Swansea signing this highly-rated 21-year-old lower league ace would be a fantastic long-term addition

Why Max Watters would be a good long-term signing for Swansea City According to the Daily Mail, Swansea City are among a host of clubs in England keeping close tabs on highly-rated Crawley Town striker Max Watters.  Championship rivals Watford have been mentioned among the potential suitors for the 21-year-old, with Premier League outfits West […] More

The post Swansea signing this highly-rated 21-year-old lower league ace would be a fantastic long-term addition appeared first on Media Referee.

Swansea interested 26-year-old lower league ace would be a useful move for the club

Why Swansea City should make a move for Jorge Grant in January According to TEAMtalk (h/t Nottinghamshire Live), Swansea City are among a host of Championship clubs understood to be chasing Lincoln City playmaker Jorge Grant ahead of the January transfer window.  Reading, Norwich City and Brentford are among the other potential suitors for the […] More

The post Swansea interested 26-year-old lower league ace would be a useful move for the club appeared first on Media Referee.

Swansea signing this 28-year-old free agent star would be a shrewd piece of business

Why Swansea City should snap up free agent Warner Hahn Back in May, Dutch outlet AD (h/t Wales Online) mentioned Swansea City among the potential suitors for goalkeeper Warner Hahn, who had been nearing the end of his contract at Eredivisie club Heerenveen.  Belgian giants Anderlecht, as well as several clubs in Turkey and the […] More

The post Swansea signing this 28-year-old free agent star would be a shrewd piece of business appeared first on Media Referee.

Swansea signing this 29-year-old Italian star for free would be a fantastic coup for Cooper

Why Swansea City should go all out for free agent Fabio Borini According to BBC, Swansea City are currently in talks to bring former Liverpool and Sunderland forward Fabio Borini back to English football. The 29-year-old is currently a free agent following his release from Hellas Verona earlier in the year, meaning the Swans would […] More

The post Swansea signing this 29-year-old Italian star for free would be a fantastic coup for Cooper appeared first on Media Referee.

Swansea winning the race for this 29-year-old free agent star would be a really good boost

Why Swansea City should complete a deal for Rajiv van La Parra According to claims from Dutch outlet Voetbal International (h/t Berkshire Live), Swansea City are one of the three Championship clubs interested in completing a deal for Rajiv van La Parra, who is currently a free agent following his departure from Red Star Belgrade […] More

The post Swansea winning the race for this 29-year-old free agent star would be a really good boost appeared first on Media Referee.

Swansea City Latest News


  • Sat, 29 May 2021 18:08:09 +0000: Thomas Frank hopes Brentford’s promotion helps other clubs to dream - Swansea City | The Guardian
    • Frank says club’s journey ‘is absolutely unbelievable’
    • Swansea manager Cooper says defeat can galvanise club

    Thomas Frank said Brentford’s fairytale promotion to the Premier League should encourage clubs across the world to dare to dream, after they returned to the top flight for the first time in 74 years. Brentford’s victory over Swansea City in the Championship play‑off final is worth £178m but Frank said they will not stray from their shrewd data-led philosophy.

    “The journey the club has been on is absolutely unbelievable,” the manager said of a club who were in the third tier in 2014 and the fourth tier in 2009. “A lot of credit should go to [the owner] Matthew Benham.

    Related: Brentford promoted to Premier League for first time after stinging Swansea

    Continue reading...
  • Sat, 29 May 2021 17:43:36 +0000: Ivan Toney, Brentford’s smooth operator, leads the way at Wembley | Paul Doyle - Swansea City | The Guardian

    The striker moved with minimum waste and maximum joy in the play-off final, menacing Swansea in both boxes

    The last time Brentford played in the top flight, the future Queen Elizabeth II had yet to announce her engagement to Philip Mountbatten; Charlie Chaplin was being threatened with deportation from the United States for suggesting that capitalism caused wars; and Derby County were about to make Billy Steel the subject of British football’s first £15,500 transfer.

    Minds were blown a few months later in 1947 when Notts County paid Chelsea £20,000 for Tommy Lawton so football inflation was already in effect. But anyone trying to convince people that Brentford would one day win a match carrying a reward of at least £170m across three years might have been told to ease off the Burton.

    Related: Brentford promoted to Premier League for first time after stinging Swansea

    Related: Thomas Frank hopes Brentford’s promotion helps other clubs to dream

    Continue reading...
  • Sat, 29 May 2021 16:41:21 +0000: Brentford 2-0 Swansea City: Championship play-off final – as it happened - Swansea City | The Guardian

    First-half goals from Ivan Toney and Emiliano secured Brentford’s promotion to the Premier League as they ended their play-off hoodoo

    Related: Ivan Toney, Brentford’s smooth operator, leads the way at Wembley | Paul Doyle

    Ben Fisher was at Wembley Stadium to see Brentford secure promotion to the top flight of English football for the first time in 74 years. Here’s how he saw the fairytale unfold ...

    Related: Brentford promoted to Premier League for first time after stinging Swansea

    Thomas returns: Asked how his team is fixed for their Preemier League adventure, he doesn’t beat around the bush. “Right now I just want to get so drunk tonight and tomorrow I will worry about the Premier League.”

    Thomas Frank speaks: “Right now I’m empty,” says Brentford’s manager, upon being asked to describe his emotions in an interview on Sky Sports.

    “I’m completely empty. It’s been such a long journey. I’ve been here with these fantastic players and staff members and everyone involved in Brentford. Last season I thought we deserved to go up and we didn’t, but that’s football. Then we had the shortest turnaround ever ... Covid ... various ups and downs ...”

    Ivan Toney speaks: ““I’m in the Premier League with the best bunch of boys I could ever dream of,” says the Brentford striker. “I’m a Premier League striker now and I can’t wait to score goals there.

    Emiliano speaks: “It’s unreal,” says the scorer of Brentford’s second goal in an interview with Sky Sports. “It’s amazing. I can’t believe it. It’s been a very tough season. Last year’s disappointment was so crazy. We were so low. I never cried so much in my life but for us to be here again in a play-off final and be cool and clever in situations .... it’s unbelievable. It shows that we have very good character. We have an unbelievable squad; we’ve had so many injuries this season and we still managed to play well and to win a lot of games and go all the way.”

    Brentford’s captain speaks: “It’s unbelievable, I’m so proud,” says the big Swede that is Pontus Jansson in an interview with Sky Sports. “It’s been a hard year but we’re finally there. This year we had a very strong group and we believed in it from day one.

    “I could go home to Sweden and retire now as this is what I have dreamed of. A lot of people questioned my move here but I saw something in Brentford and I brought things here that I learned from Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds. I brought his ideas here with me.”

    Match recap: Brentford benefitted from a slow start by Swansea City, who gifted them their opener when Freddie Woodman brought down Bryan Mbeumo to concede a penalty that was scored by Ivan Toney. The Bees doubled their lead on the back of a counter-attack, with midfielder Emilioano slotting home with precision.

    Swansea grew into the game and were much improved in the second half, but any chance they had of overturning the deficit evaporated when Jay Fulton was shown a straight red card for what looked a bad foul on Mathias Jensen.

    Peep! Peep! Peeeeeeeeeeeeep! It’s all over at Wembley, where Brentford have bounced back from last season’s disappointment to return to the top tier for the first time in 74 years. They were deserving winners on the day and the final whistle of referee Chris Kavanagh has prompted scenes of jubilation among Brentford’s players, staff and fans. Congratulations to them and commiserations to their Swansea counterparts.

    It’s all over at Wembley! At the tenth time of asking, Brentford have finally progressed through play-offs and in doing so earn their place in the top flight for next season.

    90+5 min: Cabango rolls the ball wide of the far post from an offside position. The flag goes up.

    90+4 min: Swansea get the ball upfield but are unable to muster a goal threat due in no small part to dogged Brentford defending.

    90+3 min: Brentford corner. They take it short ... and who can blame them?

    90+2 min: Brentford throw on another sub in a bid to waste time. Man of the match Emiliano is replaced by Mads Bidstrup.

    90 min: Into the knockings we go but we’ll have a minimum of SIX added minutes.

    89 min: Yan Dhanda shoots high over the bar from the edge of the Brentford penalty area as the ball was cleared his way from a Swansea City free-kick.

    88 min: The jig looks well and truly up for Swansea City, who did well just to make the play-offs on a fairly small budget. They keep plugging away as full time approaches.

    85 min: Manning wins his side a free-kick wide on the left, in line with the left side of the Brentford penalty area. Manning floats the ball straight into the gloves of Raya with a woeful delivery.

    84 min: Swansea substitution: Jake Bidwell is replaced by Ryan Manning.

    82 min: Toney picks up the ball in space on the right side of the Swans’ penalty area, but has his shot on goal blocked by Jake Bidwell. From the ensuing corner, both Toney and Mbeumo are wrestled to the ground by defenders but neither player is awarded a penalty.

    80 min: Ivan Toney chases a long hoof upfield from Mads Roerslav. He hads the legs of Ben Cabango, who manages to head the ball back to Freddie Woodman before Toney can chase him down.

    78 min: There’s a break in play as Brentford captain Pontus Jansson receives treatment for an injury that spells the end of his afternoon at the office. He’s replaced by Winston Reid.

    76 min: Just 14 minutes to go and it’s looking extremely sweet indeed for Brentford, who are two goals and one man to the good. Not even they can blow this ... can they?

    74 min: Brentford double-substitution: Marcus Forss and Saman Ghoddos on for Sergi Canos and Vitaly Janelt.

    73 min: Emiliano takes the free-kick, curling the ball up and over the bar.

    71 min: Brentford win a throw-in, deep in Swansea City territory. From that, they win a free-kick three or four yards outside the penalty area for a Guehi foul on Ivan Toney. It’s almost straight in front of goal.

    70 min: Vitaly Yanelt is booked for deliberately obstructing the progress of Connor Roberts out by the touchline. Free-kick for Swansea, near enough to the corner flag. Brentford clear.

    What on earth was he thinking? Shocking on first view, but looking at it again perhaps I was a little harsh. The Swansea City midfielder slipped while chasing a loose ball, then went through Mathias Jensen from behind, appearing to stamp on his achilles. Whatever the intent or lack of it, it is definitely a sending-off offence.

    Swansea are down to 10 men following a shocking challenge from Jay Fulton.

    64 min: Swansea City substitution: Yan Dhanda on for Conor Hourihane.

    62 min: Mbeumo’s corner fizzes right across the face of goal. The ball breaks to Ethan Pinnock, who was having his shirt vigorously pulled by his marker. He escapes and gets a ashot off regardless but his effort is unwittingly blocked by Pontus Jansson, his own team-mate. Such was its velocity that it flattened the Brentford defender, who needs treatment.

    61 min: Brentford win a corner, the ball going out off Jake Bidwell.

    60 min: Swansea substitution: Liam Cullen on for Kyle Naughton.

    59 min: With his back to goal, Jamal Lowe shoots on the turn from the right edge of the Brentford six-yard box. He fires across the face of goal and wide.

    57 min: Mbeumo spins and fires over from 14 yards out for Brentford after receiving a pass from the left wing.

    57 min: Swansea City free-kick, wide on the right. Hourihane’s delivery is over-hit and bounces wide of the far post.

    53 min: Emiliano goes down after contesting a high ball with Conor Hourihane, who stands over the stricken Brentford goalscorer shouting angrily in his face. Replays confirm Emiliano shipped a blow to the back of the head and he’s fit to carry on after receiving medical treatment.

    51 min: Some first half admin: EMiliano Marcondes was booked for something or other in the 22nd minute but I missed it a time of great goalscoring excitement. I mention it now because I won’t be hugely surprised if he gets a second yellow. In fact I will be astonished if both teams finish this game with 11 men on the pitch.

    50 min: Jamal Lowe cuts inside from the wing, beats two defenders and sends his shot high and wide. Much better from Swansea but they’re still lacking composure.

    48 min: That was a wonderful cross from Roberts, who was given the freedom of the right wing by Sergi Canos, who made no effort whatsoever to close him down. In the penalty arera, Pontus Jansson was stauesque as Andre Ayew beat him to the ball. Awful, awful defending from Brentford.

    46 min: So close! Andre Ayew gets between defenders to head wide of the upright after connecting with a Connor Roberts cross from the right touchline. He should have scored!!!

    46 min: Brentford kick off, with Swansea City hoping to become the only team to come from two down at half-time to win a Championship play-off final since Bolton Wanderers in 1995. No changes on either side yet.

    Michael Appleton masterminded Lincoln City’s win over Sunderland in the League One play-off semi-final and should be barracked in the street for that act of heinousness. However, he is a very scary looking man, so do so at your peril. You can find out more about the Imps boss by reading this interview he did with Ben Fisher ahead of tomorrow’s final against his former side Blackpool.

    Related: Lincoln’s Michael Appleton: ‘My time with the Oystons was difficult as any’

    Peep! Brentford are on top after the opening 45 minutes, having opened their account with an Ivan Toney penalty, before making Swansea’s job a lot harder with an Emiliano Marcondaes strike to finish a blistering counter-attack. Swansea City are down but far from out – they’ve played reasonably well since going two behind.

    45 min: Sergi Canos concedes a very cheap free-kick wide on the right not too far from the corner flag. Hourihane’s ball towards the far post bounces of the back of the leaping Andre Ayew, loops up in the air and bounces out of play off the cross-bar. Brentford keeper David Raya was very indecisive there.

    44 min: Swansea press forward with Hourihane on the ball but he can find no way through the massed ranks of Brentford’s defence and ends up passing the ball backwards.

    42 min: With so much at stake, this is a surprisingly open play-off final. The second half should be fantastic.

    41 min: A kamikaze headed back-pass towards Woodman by Marc Guehi almost puts Mbeuma through on goal. Swansea recover and scramble the ball clear, but only just.

    39 min: Oof! An attempted Mbeumo cross from the byline takes a deflection and loops up in the air, looks perilously like it might spin beneath the cross-bar and into the goal but goes out for a corner instead. Nothing comes of it.

    38 min: Jay Fulton receives a pass in space outside the Brentford penalty area and tries his luck. His shot is blocked by Ethan Pinnock.

    35 min: Following a period of frenetic first-half activity, there’s something of a lull. Swansea City have had more possession since conceding the second goal but have yet to give Brentford’s defence much to think about.

    34 min: Another corner for Swansea, of course. Apologies!

    33 min: Another corner for Brentford. Raya gathers this one at the far post.

    32 min: Connor Roberts takes a long throw-in towards the Brentford penalty area, having been admonished by the refereee for trying to steal a few yards. Ethan Pinnock half-clears the ball but Swansea win a corner. Raya punches the inswinger clear.

    30 min: Swansea City win a free-kick about 35 yards from the Brentford goal. Connor Roberts pings the ball into the penalty area, where Toney heads clear again. There’s a touch of the N’Golo Kantes about the Brentford striker - there appears to be two or three of him on the pitch.

    28 min: Free-kick for Brentford, wide on the left. Mbeumo sends the ball towards the far post but a Pinnock foul on Ayew allows Swansea to clear their lines.

    26 min: Swansea City desperately need to get a foothold in this game or they could be embarrassed. Steve Cooper has just changed his team formation to the 4-3-3 most expected them to line up in from the get-go. They had, until now, been mirroring Brentford’s 3-5-2.

    23 min: Let’s go back to Brentford’s second goal. They broke up field at the speed of light after defending a Swans free-kick with Bryan Mbeumo on the ball. He played the pass to Mads Roerslev in the penalty area and the Dane picked out Emiliano up in support at the back post. Using a combination of precision and power, he fired inside the upright, giving Woodman little or no chance.

    21 min: Swansea are in all sorts of bother. They almost concede a third as Ivan Toney catches the bouncing ball and hits a wonderful side-footed effort from just outside the penalty area off the bar. The ball bounces down on to the line and away from goal. That is a serious let-off for Swansea City.

    Brentford double their lead! Emiliano smashes home to finish a sensational counter-attack.

    19 min: Swansea City free-kick, wide on the right. Connor Roberts swings the ball into the Brentford penalty area, where Ivan Toney heads it clear.

    17 min: Advantage Brentford in these early stages, their players seeming to have settled better of the two teams due in no small part to that early goal. Swansea look rattled and have yet to offer anything in the way of a goal threat.

    14 min: Swansea City right midfielder Jay Fulton goes in hard on Vitaly Janelt down by the touchline with his studs up, but escapes a booking from referee Chris Kavanagh.

    13 min: Brentford free-kick, wide on the left. Pontus Jannsson curls the ball across the face of goal but nobody can get on the end of it.

    11 min: Ivan Toney scores his 33rd goal of the season to put the Bees on top. Swansea’s defenders were caught ball-watching as Mbeumo nipped between them to dart on to a perferctly weighted through ball from Canos. Woodman dived at the striker’s feet but didn’t get near the ball and brought him down instead. Toney’s penalty was excellent, beating Woodman despite the goalkeeper guessing the right way and diving at full stretch.

    IVAN TONEY SCORES! He strokes the ball into the bottom left-hand corner to give Brentford the lead.

    Freddie Woodman brings down Bryan Mbeumo as the Brentford striker got between defenders to run on to a through ball.

    7 min: Now Grimes needlessly pings the ball wide from deep, perhaps pondering his good luck in not getting sent off or his bad luck in being on a card already while playing in central midfield. He’ll have to watch his step.

    6 min: Swansea City captain Matt Grimes gets booked for a nasty, reckless challenge on Sergi Canos. I think he’s very lucky not to get sent off for what looked a really wild lunge.

    5 min: David Raya hacks the ball out for a Swansea City throw-in under pressure from their high press.

    4 min: More Brentford pressurte and Kyle Naughton heads clear a cross from the right intended for Ivan Toney.

    2 min: Mads Roerslav tries to steal in behind the Swansea defence and collect a throw-in at the byline. The ball sails out of play for a goal-kick. Now Swansea keeper Freddie Woodman gets his first touch .

    2 min: Brentford goalkeeper David Raya gets an early touch, receiving the ball from a throw-in taken by Sergi Canos.

    1 min: The ball is rolling in this play-off final with Swansea City doing the honours and despite having no dog in the fight I am a bag of nerves on behalf of all involved. Here’s hoping it’s a good one ...

    Not long now: The lucky 10,000 fans present erupt as the teams march out on to the Wembley sward led by their managers Steve Cooper and Thomas Frank. There are pensive faces everywhere to be seen on this grand occasion, with kick-off just a few minutes away. First, though ... the national anthems of the UK and Wales.

    Membership Event: Football Weekly Live Euros preview special

    Some pre-match punditry: “I never saw the Brentford I recognised in last year’s final,” says Sky Sports pundit Don Goodman, of the Bees’ defeat at the hands of Fulham last season. “That can’t happen again.” Twelve of today’s Brentford squad were involved in that final and it remains to be seen whether or not the experience will stand to them.

    Those teams: Thomas Frank names the same team that started the semi-final second leg against Barnsley, leaving Marcus Forss, who scored the late winner, on the bench. There had been talk he might come in for Bryan Mbeumo.

    Steve Cooper, makes one enforced change, with Connor Roberts replacing Wayne Routledge, who did his knee a serious mischief in their win over Barnsley. Good luck to him in his recovery.

    Brentford: Raya, Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Roerslev, Jensen, Janelt, Canos, Marcondes, Toney, Mbeumo

    Subs: Daniels, Goode, Norgaard, Forss, Ghoddos, Reid, Fosu, Stevens, Bidstrup



    Your Bees for this afternoon's Play-Off Final#BrentfordFC #BeeTogether pic.twitter.com/aNNFMd7Wt5

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    Here's how we will line up for this afternoon's play-off final #Believe pic.twitter.com/yumbQQWHvx

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    “We are excited,” said the Brentford manager. “I was thinking about it driving home from training yesterday, that the atmosphere was calm and focused. There is that good focus with the understanding we are facing a Swansea team that has done a fantastic season.

    “We want to get to the Premier League,” said Swansea’s manager. “There are two ways of doing it, either automatically or through the play-offs, and we have managed to give ourselves a chance of getting through the play-offs. It would mean everything. The club has been there before, quite some time before I was here, and that journey was a special one.

    Long term absentees Shandon Baptiste and Josh Dasilva remain sidelined for Brentford, while left-back Rico Henry has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. The participation of central midfielder Christian Norgaard is in doubt after he pulled up lame in the warm-up ahead of his side’s semi-final second leg win over Bournemouth.

    Related: Swansea’s top defence faces Brentford entertainers in play-off collision

    Very superstitious, but is the writing on the wall for Brentford? They will be wearing their customary home kit of red and white shirts, and black shorts today and will have to break something of a hoodoo if they are to win. No team wearing those colours has won a play-off final in their past 16 attempts to do so. Swansea, by contrast, have not lost while sporting the spearmint ensemble they’ll be trotting out in today.

    No team wearing red and white stripes with black shorts has won a play-off final in the last 16 attempts, add to that the Swans haven’t lost in their turquoise and raspberry kit this season. Will the kit curse be broken? #EFLPlayOffs #EFL https://t.co/hrtGDGmOqD

    A highly prized place in the Premier League is up for grabs for whoever can prevail in today’s Championship play-off at Wembley. Always the bridesmaids, Brentford have contested nine different play-offs without success and are hoping to make it 10th time lucky as they bid to return to the top flight for the first time since 1947.

    Their opponents, Swansea City, last played in the top flight in 2017-18 but are slight underdogs today having finished seven points behind Brentford in the Championship table. Both league games contested by the side finished all square at 1-1 so today’s match may come down to a test of who can hold their nerve in a stressful game worth – apologies but we’re obliged to mention it – around £170m to the winners.

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  • Sat, 29 May 2021 15:55:36 +0000: Brentford promoted to Premier League for first time after stinging Swansea - Swansea City | The Guardian

    One half of this arena was a picture of dejection, the other pure disbelief: for the first time since 1947, Brentford will play in the top flight of English football. There were tears of joy in the stands and on the pitch, Mathias Jensen among those overcome with emotion. Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo rushed inside to fetch their phones to share the moment and by the time Henrik Dalsgaard led his teammates to collect their winners’ medals, the Swansea end had long since emptied.

    Half an hour after the final whistle, Emiliano Marcondes and Jensen pretended to hoist a giant 12ft replica of the Championship play-off final trophy before a sun-drenched sea of red and white. Shortly after Dalsgaard and the Brentford captain, Pontus Jansson, ambushed Thomas Frank midway through an interview before giving their head coach the customary celebratory bumps. “Right now, I just want to get so drunk and then tomorrow we can think of the Premier League,” said Frank when the interview resumed moments later. Matthew Benham, the Brentford owner and lifelong fan, high-fived players on the pitch. As the pyrotechnics fizzed into the sky behind the winners’ podium, players made sure to drench Peter Gilham, aka Mr Brentford, the club’s matchday announcer since 1969.

    Related: Ivan Toney, Brentford’s smooth operator, leads the way at Wembley | Paul Doyle

    Related: Thomas Frank hopes Brentford’s promotion helps other clubs to dream

    Continue reading...
  • Fri, 28 May 2021 18:00:03 +0000: Swansea’s top defence faces Brentford entertainers in play-off collision - Swansea City | The Guardian

    The Bees are looking for a first successful play-off in 10, but expect fine margins to be key against Swansea at Wembley

    Thomas Frank had not long finished wagging an index finger at ecstatic Brentford supporters on a victory lap last weekend – the message being that they are still one game from the Premier League – when the million-dollar question, or, in this case, £178m question, was put to him pitchside: how do you guarantee getting over the line this time? “One thing is for sure,” he replied, “I can’t make sure of anything, because this is football.”

    That absurd game was categorical evidence of that. Frank booted a bin in fury as Bournemouth bounced into a two-goal aggregate lead inside five minutes before Chris Mepham’s sending-off helped Brentford wrestle the tie in their favour. Amid the bedlam that followed Marcus Forss’s winner, Ivan Toney tried to chuck what he presumed was a bucket of water over his teammates but inadvertently showered himself in disinfectant meant for the match balls.

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