The second-half of the Sky Bet Championship season gets underway on Thursday as Swansea City come to West London for the final ever Boxing Day game at Griffin Park. Only goal difference separates us from The Swans either side of the Play-Off line as we look for a fifth straight home league victory. Below you will find all the info ahead of the game.
- We are looking to complete a league double over Swansea for the first time since the 1974/75 campaign
- Swansea lost their last league match against us in October, having won the previous five prior to that
- Our last home win against Swansea in all competitions was on Boxing Day 2005, winning 2-1 under Martin Allen
- Swansea have lost their last three Boxing Day league matches, scoring just once and conceding 10 goals
- We have won eight of our past 12 league games (D1 L3), winning the past four in a row at Griffin Park
- Since the start of last season, Said Benrahma has provided more assists than any other Brentford player in the Championship (19), assisting two of our past four goals
Swansea City have recovered from an autumn blip to re-establish themselves among the Play-Off contenders heading into the festive period.
Steve Cooper's first Club managerial role started superbly with The Swans taking 16 points from a possible 18 in August to lead the table heading into the first international break. However, they took just six points from their next seven league games, a run which culminated in our 3-0 win at The Liberty Stadium, to drop down to seventh.
Back-to-back wins over Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic preceded a six game winless run as Swansea entered the mid-point of this month down in 11th. Another set of back-to-back wins, this time over Middlesbrough and Luton Town, mean The Swans head to West London within striking distance of the Play-Off places.
Most of The Swans' struggles this season have been on home soil. Swansea have taken three more points (20) on the road than they have earned at home, with West Bromwich Albion the only side to register a home win against them. Despite conceding five at The Hawthorns, Cooper's men have only conceded 12 in total in 11 away matches.
Steve Cooper spent four years playing in Wales before retiring at 23 to become Wrexham's Head of Youth. A UEFA Pro Licence holder at 26, Cooper moved to Liverpool in 2008 and became Academy Manager in 2011. During his time at Melwood he worked with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Wales international Ben Woodburn.
He moved to the FA in 2013 as a youth coach educator and coached the England Under-16s in 2014, before making the step up to under-17 level the following year. He led the Young Lions to the final of the 2017 European Championship, where they lost to Spain on penalties, but they gained revenge later in the year by coming from 2-0 down to beat the same opponents 5-2 in the World Cup final. With Graeme Potter heading to Brighton in the summer, Cooper was handed his first club managerial role after six years with the FA.
Joel Valencia returned to the squad on Saturday after six-weeks out but Pontus Jansson missed out with a minor hip injury. That isn't expected to keep the skipper out for too long but Sergi Canos, Nikos Karelis, and Josh Clarke are definite absentees for Thursday.
Loanees Ben Wilmot and Sam Surridge are to have fitness tests for Swansea City with muscle tightness. Wales international Declan John rolled his ankle in training and is also a fitness doubt. Joe Rodon and Jordan Garrick are both definitely out.
Tickets for our Boxing Day fixture are only available on our resale platform.
Season Ticket Holders who can't make the game can list them on the Ticket Exchange
HOW TO FOLLOW
iFollow Brentford will be live from 2.30pm with Mark Burridge, Marcus Gayle, and Stewart Purvis. Click below to find out more about how you can follow the game wherever you are.
iFollow | Domestic (UK, Ireland, Isle of Man)
- Live audio coverage
iFollow | International (other countries worldwide)
*Thursday's game is live on Sky Sports and other broadcast partners so may not be available in certain territories.