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Opposition report: Brentford

Blues will look to go six unbeaten against the Bees in West London this evening.

BCFC

A closer look at this evening's opponents...

FORM GUIDE:

Two wins in their last six games puts Brentford 10th in the Championship's overall form guide heading into tonight's game. The Bees have drawn their last three fixtures after being held by Huddersfield, Nottingham Forest and Derby County. 

Before that, they'd beaten Blackburn Rovers, lost against Norwich City and beaten Stoke City. In this six game stint, they've scored seven and conceded on six occasions. 

More broadly, it's been another good season for tonight's home side, who sit third in the table having amassed 19 wins, 12 draws and seven defeats from their 38 games played so far. 

They have some work to do if they're going to make it into the automatic promotion places though, that's after Watford opened up a 10 point lead on the Bees courtesy of a 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough on Easter Monday. 

IN THE DUGOUT:

Thomas Frank has held the role of Brentford head coach since Dean Smith's departure from the club in late 2018. Since then, he's overseen 135 games, watching 63 wins, 32 draws and 40 defeats. His win percentage stands at 46.7%.

In his first campaign in-charge, Frank helped his side to an 11th place Championship finish. But it was last season that saw Brentford really find their identity under the Dane as they finished 3rd, reaching the play-off finals. There, they were pipped to the post by Fulham, falling to a 2-1 defeat. 

Before moving to Brentford in 2016, Frank had managed Danish Superliga outfit Brondby for three years, where he twice took his side into the Europa League. Prior to that position, Frank oversaw the development of Denmark's brightest young players, managing across the U16's, 17's and 19's national age groups for eight years. 

His own playing career was a short-lived affair. Frank played for Frederiksværk, before taking his first coaching position aged just 23.

ONE TO WATCH:

With 28 goals in 37 appearances this season, Brentford striker Ivan Toney leads the line in the goals department across the whole division  this season.

His impressive goalscoring form matches his exploits shown at previous Peterborough United, whom he left last summer to play for Brentford. There, across two campaigns in League One, he scored 49 goals in 94 matches. 

Toney has scored six goals in his last ten games. 

LAST TIME OUT:

It was a winning start to the 2020/21 season for Blues, as they beat the Bees 1-0 at St. Andrew's.

Jeremie Bela scored the only goal of the game, flicking in a near-post header after Ivan Sanchez had delivered an in-swinging corner just before the break. 

It was a case of deja vu for Blues, who'd also beaten Brentford on the opening day of the 2019/2020 season at Griffin Park.

PREVIOUS KNOCKINGS:

The 1-0 win for Blues over Brentford earlier in the season was the 45th meeting between the two sides over the years, 24 of which have been won by Blues. Brentford have 12 wins in total, whilst the spoils have been shared on nine occasions.

Brentford have been playing football for over 130 years but only reached the Football League for the first time in 1920, after several years playing amateur football. After winning the Third Division South title in 1933 and the Second Division title the season after, they spent five years in the first division, finishing fifth in the 1935/36 season. 

But three relegations followed thereafter and by 1962, Brentford were back in the fourth tier. That relegation, in-turn coincided with a spell of 35 years without a fixture between Brentford and Blues.

Recent form is on Blues' side - the last five fixtures have seen three draws and two Blues wins. 

DID YOU KNOW? 

After 18 years of planning, preparation and building, the Bees moved to their  'Brentford Community Stadium' home at the start of the campaign. 

A 71 million pound venture, the stadium also houses the London Irish rugby team. 

This evening's visit is Blues' first trip to the new site. 

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