Sky Sports EFL pundit Andy Hinchcliffe has suggested that he believes Brentford should have too much quality for Swansea City and will edge the play-off final at Wembley.
Brentford head into what it was one of the biggest games in the footballing calendar aiming to go exercise the ghost of last season where they were beaten in the play-off final by Fulham. The Bees did not handle the pressure of playing at Wembley and the magnitude of the occasion last term and as a result, they were on the end of an agonising 2-1 defeat.
Swansea, meanwhile, will be aiming for revenge after their dreams of reaching the Premier League last term were ended by Brentford in the play-off semi-finals. Steve Cooper’s side are more solid now and they showed against Barnsley over two legs that they are very difficult to break down and play against. That means that it should be set for a nerve-racking 90 minutes at Wembley.
Can you name the Brentford player who has been carded the most in each of the last 16 seasons?
Speaking to Sky Sports’ latest EFL podcast, Hinchliffe suggested that he feels that Brentford should have just about too much quality for Swansea if they deal with the pressure and play to their maximum.
He said: “I do think Brentford are the better side. You saw against Fulham last season that they didn’t turn up and weren’t themselves, and Swansea will have a gameplan and have the character to beat Brentford.
“Brentford absolutely battered Swansea at the Liberty but they drew the game 1-1. That might be the Swansea approach. Brentford have more threats, but it’s not about being the best team, it’s about getting the job done. If Brentford turn up and play to their strengths, they will win.”
It is going to be very difficult to call this season’s play-off final, and you feel that it could very much go either way really. Hinchcliffe is right and many Swansea fans would probably agree that Brentford do have that bit better quality than the Swans in terms of individual players. However, that does not always make that crucial difference on occasions such as this.
As we saw last term, Brentford did not respond well to the pressures of playing in the play-off final and they failed to deliver their usual quality of performance. That means it is crucial that Swansea make a strong start and frustrate them early on as they were able to do with Barnsley throughout the two legs of their play-off semi-final.
If Brentford turns up at their best then it would be a difficult task for Swansea to edge the game and secure their place in the Premier League. However, Cooper is more than capable of making his team very hard to beat and ensuring that they dig in and look to take their chances on the break. Personally, I believe the Swans have it in them to frustrate the Bees and come out on top.