Brentford’s draft schedule for the 2018/19 season was revealed at 9am this morning and Bees fans have begun planning their weekends, their trips up north and their Christmas holidays around the games. The Bees start at home to Rotherham United and finish at home to Preston North End and there are derby fixtures and renewal of rivalries against teams that haven’t been to Griffin Park for more than a decade. We take a look at some of the dates that Bees fans have in their diary:
Saturday 4 August – Brentford v Rotherham United
The first day of the season is always one that fans look forward to. Brentford have been away from home for the past two seasons but kick-off the campaign at Griffin Park this time. Rotherham were promoted from League One last season. They finished fourth in the table but reached the Play-Off Final and defeated Shrewsbury Town 2-1 after extra time.
The Millers bounced back to the Championship at the first attempt after relegation in 2017. They had come up with Brentford in 2014 and spent three seasons in the second tier before dropping back. Brentford won all three games between the teams in the Championship at Griffin Park, including a 4-2 win in 2017.
Saturday 3 November – Brentford v Millwall
The first London derby of the season sees Millwall at Griffin Park. The South London side finished eighth in the Championship last season, their first one after promotion. They were always clear of the drop zone but went on a 17-match unbeaten run and climbed in to the Play-Off places with three games to go. But two defeats in those final games saw them slip away.
The spoils were shared between the teams last year with The Bees winning 1-0 at Griffin Park and losing 1-0 at The Den. Romaine Saweyers scored the only goal of the game at Griffin Park. The teams also met in the second tier in 2014/15 with Brentford winning at The Den and drawing at Griffin Park. The return fixture is on Good Friday, 19 April.
Saturday 10 November – Queens Park Rangers v Brentford
With Fulham winning promotion, Brentford and Queens Park Rangers are the two West London representatives in the Championship this season. The first meeting this season comes at Loftus Road, Brentford’s second London derby in two weeks. And The Bees will be hoping to extend their current run against QPR.
Brentford won 2-1 at Griffin Park last season and 4-1 in the Carabao Cup at Loftus Road at the start of the campaign. Between the two there was a 2-2 draw when QPR scored two stoppage time goals to earn a point. Brentford also won both games in 2016/17. The return fixture at Griffin Park is on 2 March.
Saturday 12 January – Brentford v Stoke City
This game comes as the first one after the Christmas schedule and the Emirates FA Cup Third Round fixture. It will be the second meeting between the teams in the season. Brentford’s first away game of the campaign is away to Stoke on 11 August.
The Potters were relegated from the Premier League last season and are in the second tier for the first time since 2008. Stoke’s game at Griffin Park next season will be their first competitive visit since 2002. At that point the two teams were battling for promotion from the third tier and Brentford won 1-0 but Stoke got their revenge, and some, by beating The Bees in the Play-Off Final a few weeks later.
Sunday 5 May – Brentford v Preston North End
Brentford will finish the season at Griffin Park. All Championship games have been moved to the Sunday and will kick-off at 12.30pm with some televised by Sky Sports. Preston will be the visitors and will be, like Brentford, hoping to build on a top ten finish last season. PNE finished seventh in the table last season, two places and four points ahead of The Bees.
Brentford have great memories of Preston, having beaten the Lancashire side to secure promotion to the second tier in 2014. North End followed The Bees up a year later but have only won one of the games between the teams since. That came in early 2017 – a 4-2 win at Deepdale – while last season the spoils were shared at Griffin Park and Brentford won in Lancashire. The return fixture between the teams is on 24 October.
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