No club has stronger connections to The Bees than today’s opponents Reading. The Royals current squad has two players who have spent loan spells at Griffin Park, making a total of 71 players who have represented both.
Liam Moore, who is an injury doubt this afternoon after rolling his ankle against Hull City, made ten appearances for The Bees during two loan spells from Leicester City. The first spell came towards the end of the 2012-13 season as Uwe Rosler’s side earned a spot in the League One Play-Offs. Two years later he was back for a three-game stint as Mark Warburton’s side made the Championship end of season Play-Offs. After six years with The Foxes, Moore made a permanent switch to Reading 18 months ago and has gone on to make 76 appearances, scoring four goals, during his time in Berkshire.
Another former Bee loanee, John Swift, will definitely not line-up against his former team this afternoon as he continues to work back from a hamstring injury. The attacking midfielder spent the 2015-16 season at Griffin Park, scoring seven goals in 28 appearances on loan from Chelsea. At the end of that season, Swift left Stamford Bridge for Reading on a permanent deal. He was a key cog in the Reading team which made the Play-Off final last season, scoring nine goals in 42 games, but has been hampered by injuries this campaign.
Off the pitch, the links between the two clubs in the dugouts has been as strong as the links on the pitch in recent years. Martin Allen began his coaching career with Reading before joining The Bees in 2004. Nicky Forster not only played for both clubs but he also led Brentford out for the 2011 JPT Final at Wembley.
The most famous man to sit in both dugouts is without a doubt Steve Coppell. The former Manchester United player led Brentford to the Division Two Play-Off final before embarking on a six-year spell with Reading. He led them to a then-Championship record points haul in 2006 and an eighth-place finish in the Premier League 12 months later. Following relegation the following season, he took Reading back to the Championship Play-Offs but resigned after defeat in the semi-final.
Other players to have played for both clubs include Stephen Hunt, Jay Tabb, Ivar Ingimarsson, Carl Asaba, Terry Hurlock, Lloyd Owusu, Sam Sodje, Ibrahima Sonko, and Steve Sidwell.