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Kick off 17:00 (UK)

15 July 2020 Venue Griffin Park Attendance

Kick off 17:00 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Preston North End

All the info ahead of tonight's Griffin Park encounter

15 July 2020

Following last night's results, victory over Preston North End would move us to within a point of the Sky Bet Championship automatic promotion places. It would also equal the Club record of eight straight league wins in the same season. Below you will find all the info ahead of the visit from North End.



For the third straight season it looks like a late collapse will cost Preston North End their shot at the Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs. 

In late February, Preston sat 6th, with a three point cushion to seventh. However, three straight defeats heading into the season's pause, and a four game winless run on the resumption, threatened to unravel their season rapidly. They did stop that slide with a 3-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday a week ago but the weekend's draw with Nottingham Forest means they are ninth heading into tonight's game, five points off the top six with three to play. 

Only Barnsley (18) have scored fewer goals on the road than North End (19) this term but defensively they have been solid, conceding just 23 in 21 away games. 

Daniel Johnson (pictured above) is their top scorer with 12 with Tom Barkhuizen (9) and Paul Gallagher (6) the only other men with more than five goals to their name this term. 



Alex Neil joined Preston North End in July 2017 to manage his second Sky Bet Championship club at the age of just 36.

Neil has already enjoyed success as a manager, winning promotion on two occasions, most notably to the Premier League with Norwich City in 2015.

Neil's career as manager follows a playing career that saw him win the Scottish Football League First Division in 2008 while at Hamilton Academical, before taking the role of player-manager at the club.

During his playing career, Neil also represented Barnsley and Mansfield Town before making his move to Hamilton in 2005, where he spent ten years.

Last season he led North End to a 14th-placed finish, having narrowly missed out on the Play-Offs during his first season in charge.


Despite the intense fixture schedule, Thomas has no major issues to worry about heading into tonight's game.

It's not the same situation for North End who have major concerns over key players. Ben Davies is out with a hamstring nick while Ben Pearson was withdrawn at half-time on Saturday with a knee issue. Alan Browne (calf) missed that game completely with Patrick Bauer completing the 90 despite a tight hamstring. 


🆚 Ian Seddon of the Lancashire Evening Post previews tonight's game

⚖ Darren England will be the man in charge tonight




Tonight's game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports as well as on iFollow for Season Ticket Holders and Match Ticket Purchasers.

Any Season Ticket Holders or Match Ticket Purchasers who haven't received an email with their iFollow code should email as soon as possible.

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Match Passes are also available for the game against North End.

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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.

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Match Reports

Brentford 1 Preston North End 0

Your Brentford v Preston North End match report, powered by Utilita

15 July 2020

An Ollie Watkins goal inside the first four minutes was enough for Brentford to beat Preston North End at Griffin Park and make it eight victories on the spin. The only goal of the game was lashed home by the top scorer in the Sky Bet Championship with just over three minutes on the clock. And that was all it took to settle a very competitive contest between two teams pushing for promotion.

The Bees maintained their third place in the Championship with the win and are now just a point behind West Bromwich Albion, in second, with two games to go. They had to work hard for the win against a North End side looking to secure a top six spot but defended magnificently and kept the visitors at bay. In a game of few really good chances, Brentford deserved their 1-0 win overall and added Preston to a growing list of teams beaten on a record-equalling run.

Brentford started the game superbly. The Bees dominated the opening exchanges and fully deserved the lead that Watkins gave them inside the first four minutes. The goal was a superbly executed and brilliantly taken one. Ethan Pinnock won the ball and Saïd Benrahma burst away on the left before feeding the ball in to Mathias Jensen, who found Emiliano Marcondes. After a few touches, Marcondes delivered a pass with the outside of his right foot in to the path of Watkins, between two of Preston’s three central defenders and he smashed home first time.

The Bees had gone from one of the pitch to the other in a few seconds, Marcondes picked the lock and Watkins lashed in his 25th goal of the season with Declan Rudd grasping thin air. That set up Brentford to maintain control of the first part of the game. They moved the ball through midfield at pace with Marcondes and Jensen linking the play. Benrahma fired over when well placed for The Bees and when Marcondes found Watkins inside the area, he had a shot blocked on the turn with Jensen waiting for a pass.

Preston were forced to defend deep in the early stages. They had five across the back and the five in front of them were chasing the ball. But as the half wore on, they began to get higher up the pitch, plugging the gaps Brentford were trying to play through and looking dangerous when they won the ball. They would have levelled when Daniel Johnson got on to a loose Pontus Jansson pass and found Tom Barkhuizen in the inside right channel. The Preston man got away from Pinnock, but David Raya rushed out to make a smothering block.

Barkhuizen also blasted wide after cutting inside and there was a chance for Ryan Ledson when a free kick was half cleared. His volley was travelling and may have tested Raya but for a fine block from Watkins. With Preston needing to win the game to maintain a realistic chance of making the Play-Offs, they were increasingly positive as the first half wore on and the game was end-to-end at times.

Brentford were having plenty of chances of their own, with the game opening up. Marcondes saw a shot deflect just wide and, following a short corner, Jansson set up Watkins to blast wide. A clever flick from Watkins then appeared to be sending a Jensen pass in to the path of Marcondes but Andrew Hughes made a superb last-gasp tackle to stop the shot.

Raya had to make a good save low to his right to keep out a powerful free kick from Darnell Fisher and, as Preston recycled possession, Johnson then saw a shot blocked. But it was Brentford that came closest to a second goal at the end of the first half. After a series of passes, maybe as many as 30, with The Bees keeping possession and pulling Preston this way and that, space was worked on the left, Rico Henry found Benrahma 20 yards from goal and he played a one-two with Watkins before letting fly, but his powerful shot was well saved by Rudd. The Preston goalkeeper was then alert to get to the ball as it looped up, to prevent Watkins scoring.

There were signs of players from both teams tiring as the second half got underway and the pace of the game was noticeably slower than many in recent weeks. Preston maintained their positive outlook and looked to get as many players in to attacking areas as they could as often as they could. They won a lot of set pieces early in the second period and the balls in to the penalty area did pose Brentford problems.

From a free kick just after half time, a misdirected Pinnock header was in its way towards goal before Watkins cleared deep inside the six-yard box. The ball hit Marcondes, ricochet around the penalty area and bounced out for a corner. Johnson had a shot blocked by Henrik Dalsgaard from another set piece and Raya had to make a low save from Ledson after good play on the right by the visitors.

Preston had their full backs higher up the pitch and that left space for Brentford to exploit. Benrahma and Bryan Mbeumo tried to stay wider and leave space for Brentford’s midfield players to step in to. The Bees were pushed back a fraction but broke quickly when they could and probably had the better of the first part of the second half.

Marcondes had a shot blocked after a free kick was played low. There was then link up between Mbeumo and Benrahma to create a shooting chance for Watkins, but he lashed over the bar. Benrahma then put Watkins away in the left and was there for the return pass, but he curled a shot wide from 25 yards.

Benrahma shot wide after getting on to a Dalsgaard pass and then fizzed an effort just off target after getting on to a Marcondes pass and weaving his way across the penalty area. Preston made a series of substitutions and increasingly played longer, looking to get the ball to newly introduced striker Jayden Stockley. Jansson and Pinnock had to head a lot of balls away as the minutes ticked down with Christian Nørgaard sweeping up in front of them.

Watkins shot wide at the other end after an exchange of passes with Joel Valencia and then, after another long spell of patient possession, Nørgaard found Benrahma and he turned and fired over the crossbar. There was another chance in the dying seconds for The Bees when Benrahma found Josh Dasilva inside the penalty area, but his shot lacked the necessary power to trouble Rudd.

There was some late defending to do for The Bees to get their win and equal the record for most games they have ever won in a row in a single Football League season. A deep free kick was nodded back to Josh Harrop ten yards out, but his header lacked the power to beat Raya. And a late free kick found Patrick Bauer but was headed wide. And that was Preston’s last chance gone, meaning Brentford took the win.

Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry; Jensen (sub Dasilva 67 mins), Nørgaard, Marcondes (sub Žambůrek 87 mins); Mbeumo (sub Valencia 75 mins), Watkins, Benrahma

Subs (not used): Daniels, Roerslev, Jeanvier, Fosu, Canós, Dervişoğlu

Bookings: Benrahma (63 mins) (fifth of season), Watkins (90 mins) (fourth of season)

Preston North End: Rudd; Fisher (sub Stockley 74 mins), Storey, Bauer, Hughes, Rafferty; Ledson (sub Harrop 84 mins), Johnson; Barkhuizen (sub Sinclair 74 mins), Browne (sub Potts 74 mins), Maguire (sub Bodin 84 mins)

Subs (not used): Hudson, Gallagher, Huntington, Nugent

Bookings: Rafferty (53 mins)

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