Football League World’s Sam Rourke will be live at the Vitality Stadium this evening as Bournemouth take on Brentford in their Championship play-off semi-final first-leg.
Tonight’s fixture on the south coast kicks off a whole week of play-off action in the EFL with the other second tier semi-final between Barnsley and Swansea kicking off at 8:15pm.
The Bees travel to Bournemouth in excellent form having won their last four consecutive Championship games, going 12 games unbeaten in the process, whilst the Cherries head into this clash having lost their last three league games.
For Thomas Frank and Brentford, it’s the west London club’s second consecutive play-off campaign after they were narrowly defeated in last season’s final at Wembley, as Fulham secured promotion.
Indeed, Brentford will be keen to avenge last season’s disappointment and secure promotion to the top-flight, whilst Jonathan Woodgate’s Bournemouth are looking for an immediate return to the Premier league following relegation last term.
Team and injury news
Junior Stanislas in unlikely to feature in this evening’s clash for Bournemouth with the attacker nursing a hamstring strain.
Speaking with regards to Stanislas to the Bournemouth Echo, Cherries boss Woodgate said:
“Junior Stanislas may be a week or two, but we will have to see closer to the time.
“Apart from that, they are okay.”
When asked whether Stanislas could be back before next Saturday’s second leg, Woodgate said: “Maybe, let’s see. He’s just got a slight hamstring strain.”
Lewis Cook is out with a long-term injury and will not feature for the Cherries, though other than the aforementioned duo, Bournemouth do not have any other injury concerns.
As for Brentford, Henrik Dalsgaard, Rico Henry and Josh Dasilva are all absent through injury and will not play a part for Frank’s side.
Mbeumo is pushing for a start in this evening’s clash having started the last game on the bench, with the Frenchman scoring the only goal as Brentford beat Bournemouth last time out at the Vitality Stadium.
Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Begovic; Stacey, Cook, Carter-Vickers, Kelly; Wilshere, Lerma; Brooks, Billing, Groenveld; Solanke
Brentford possible starting lineup:
Raya; Jansson, Norgaard, Pinnock; Rasmussen, Janelt, Jensen, Mbeumo; Fosu-Henry; Forss, Toney
Where to watch the game
Tonight’s fixture is being broadcasted live on Sky Sports Football with kick-off scheduled for 6pm.
It’s all set to be an incredibly close semi-final this, with both sides possessing a seriously strong attacking armoury.
The Bees have done the double over Bournemouth this season and I’ve got this feeling we could see another win for the west London club.
Ivan Toney has been in scintillating form for Brentford this season and the likes of Carter-Vickers and Steve Cook are going to have a real job on their hands containing him, if he gets one chance, he’ll score.
Mistakes have started creeping back into the Cherries’ play in recent weeks whilst Brentford have looked back to their best of late, so I’m envisaging an away win this evening. 0-1.