HEAD TO HEAD
On and off the pitch, Sheffield Wednesday's fortunes have taken a decided downturn in 2020.
On Christmas Day, Wednesday sat third, leading the pack that was chasing down Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion. Fast forward 13 Sky Bet Championship matches, which have seen The Owls take just nine points, and Garry Monk's side are now peering over their shoulders with a potential points deduction for Financial Fair Play breaches hanging over them.
That relates to their sale of Hillsborough during the 2017/18 season. Even without that threat, 2020 has not been a great year for the Blue half of the Steel City. The Owls have won just twice in the league, suffering heavy defeats at home to Blackburn Rovers, Reading, and Derby County in recent weeks.
The Emirates FA Cup offered some solace with wins over Brighton and Hove Albion and Queens Park Rangers but that run ended on Wednesday night at home to Manchester City.
Wednesday's plight hasn't been helped by the absence of top scorer Steven Fletcher in recent weeks. The Scottish international missed most of January and February but returned to net the 90th minute-winner against Charlton Athletic last Wednesday, as The Owls won for the first time in nine league games.
A central defender during his playing days, Monk began his career with Torquay United before moving on to Southampton in 1996. Following loan spells with Stockport County, Oxford United and Sheffield Wednesday, he joined Barnsley on a permanent deal. After making just three appearances for The Tykes, he joined League Two side Swansea City in 2004 and went on to play in every division for The Swans until they reached the top flight in 2011, the majority of his later appearances coming as captain.
Stepping into the dugout, Monk saved Swansea from relegation and took them to the Europa League Round of 32, having taken over from Michael Laudrup in 2014. The following year saw league doubles over both Arsenal and Manchester United as City finished eighth. After a run of one win in 11 games he left Swansea in 2015, ending a 12 year association with the Welsh club. A season-long stay at Leeds United, where he guided The Whites to their highest league finish in six years, and a short spell at Middlesbrough followed before his arrival at Birmingham City in March 2018. After saving Blues from relegation during the first few months of his reign, he led City to a 17th-place finish last term, despite the second city Club picking up a nine-point deduction. After his services were dispensed with in the summer, Monk joined The Owls in September.
Julian Jeanvier is fit for a return tomorrow while a decision will be taken on Pontus Jansson as he nears fitness. Mathias Jensen is still a few weeks away, joining Sergi Canos, Nikos Karelis, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Marcus Forss, and Ellery Balcombe on the absentee list.
Kieran Lee (calf) and Julian Borner (hamstring) were both forced off during Wednesday's FA Cup defeat to Manchester City but the latter is expected to be fit for tomorrow's game. Massimo Luongo and Moses Odubajo missed out despite having returned to training after calf and hamstring problems respectively while Adam Reach remains sidelined with a toe injury.
THOMAS' PRESS CONFERENCE
PRE-MATCH BUILD UP
🆚 Hot off the Press: Andy Giddings previews tomorrow's opponents
⚖ Keith Stroud to take charge at Griffin Park
Saturday's visit from The Owls is SOLD OUT.
Our Ticket Exchange is open, reselling returned tickets. Season Ticket Holders who can’t make Saturday's fixture can now return their tickets by logging into their account here.
Buy your tickets here
Find out more information in our Ticket Exchange how-to-guide here.
Please note: tickets are only available at adult rates and Adult Membership discount will not be applied.
HOW TO FOLLOW
iFollow Brentford will be live from 2.30pm with Mark Burridge, Sam Saunders, and Geoff Buckingham bringing live commentary from TW8.
Click below to find out more about how you can follow the game wherever you are!
iFollow | Domestic (UK, Ireland, Isle of Man)
iFollow | International (other countries worldwide)
Download the Official Brentford FC App to get notifications direct to your phone, plus all the latest news, views and reaction from the game. Visit the Play Store or iTunes App Store now to download.
Due to the ongoing concerns surrounding Covid-19, we will be making slight changes to tomorrow's matchday operation at Griffin Park