Why Brentford Can End This Season Strongly

In this article, here is why Brentford stand a very good chance of finishing this season on a high. 

After Tuesday’s morale-boosting display and victory against Sheffield Wednesday, it certainly gave food for thought that Brentford can compete with the “so called big boys” between now and the end of the season.

Between, now and the end of March, Brentford play Ipswich Town, Nottingham Forest, Huddersfield Town and Burton Albion before the international break begins.

With all due respect to the other teams, Huddersfield is probably the most difficult of Brentford’s tests. They host the Terriers at Griffin Park on Saturday 11th March, although that could be rearranged if they beat Manchester City in their FA Cup replay.

If that game does go ahead, Brentford will take encouragement from their performances against sides at the top end of the table and believe they can beat David Wagner’s side, who haven’t won at Griffin Park since October 2011.

Now we look forward to April and Brentford will play Bristol City, Leeds United, Cardiff City, Derby County, Barnsley, QPR and Fulham. Seven difficult fixtures to call.

First off, let’s look at Bristol City, who we host on Saturday 1st April. The Robins, who made the headlines for this, signed striker Matty Taylor from arch-rivals Bristol Rovers.

Lee Johnson’s side were in the play-off chasing pack at the start of the season, but have since been flirting around the relegation zone.

They remain a place outside the drop, only two points above Wigan Athletic and three above Blackburn Rovers so they will really need to start looking over their shoulders over the coming weeks.

Brentford won at Ashton Gate when these two last met in December, a Maxime Colin strike giving the Bees a 1-0 victory.

Our second successive home game will be against Leeds United on Tuesday 4th April. When the fixtures came out, this game was the one I was really looking forward to.

It’s generally a good atmosphere when Leeds come to Griffin Park, but this could be a potential banana skin for them.

Not being biased at all, but they have struggled when they come to Griffin Park. They lost 2-0 when Brentford met them in 2014/15, goals courtesy of Jota and Alan McCormack.

Last season, they were fortunate to get a point when a poor clearance was acted quick upon by Mustapha Carayol and he curled home into the bottom right corner to give the Whites a point.

If Leeds were to win this game, it could have a huge say in the promotion race, whether they reach the play-offs or go up automatically.

Next up is a trip to South Wales to face Cardiff City. Brentford and the Bluebirds played out a Boxing Day thriller when Sullay Kaikai’s equaliser earned the Bees a draw.

Neil Warnock, who now manages the Bluebirds, has transformed their fortunes entirely. When the 68 year old took charge, Cardiff were 19th in the table. Since that, Warnock has taken them to 12th and pulled off some scalps along the way.

Despite Warnock’s revival, a play-off bid seems unlikely with Cardiff 13 points off the top six. However, they’ll be delighted with Warnock extending his deal until the end of next season.

When these two meet in April, it’s very likely neither side will be playing for nothing but pride.

Next up is another play-off hopeful and it’s Derby County. The Bees host the Rams on Good Friday and is bound to exciting and exhilarating.

Derby were another side who had a really slow start, but since the return of Steve McClaren, Derby’s league form has improved but remain 10 points off the top six.

When these two met in October, they played out a dour 0-0 draw, a game that could have been won by either side.

Derby do have a game in hand but must start winning games sooner rather than later if they are to stand any chance of sneaking into the top six.

Easter Monday takes us to Oakwell, where we face Barnsley. Despite losing Conor Hourihane and Sam Winnall, Paul Heckingbottom has done a remarkable job since losing the duo.

Barnsley’s play-off hopes aren’t completely dead in the water, and they remain eight points off the top six.

When these two met at Griffin Park in October, Barnsley recorded a 2-0 victory, Winnall getting the crucial second goal to seal the win.

It’s still mathematically possible for Barnsley, but they must start hoping their rivals around them start dropping points and making sure they capitalise at the same time.

Next up, QPR at home. There is no other game Brentford fans want to win so desperately than this one. There is no holding back the rivalry and history these two have between them.

This could also mark the return of Jake Bidwell, who left Brentford to join QPR in the summer. Brentford fans, understandably, were furious at the decision to sell their captain to their bitter rivals.

When these two met at the end of October, Brentford recorded their first win at Loftus Road since October 1964. A truly historic day for everyone associated with Brentford Football Club.

QPR are level on points with Brentford in the table but the Bees hold a much better goal difference than the Hoops.

When this game arrives, Brentford will be desperate to do the double over their bitter rivals and make sure they have the bragging rights.

From one enemy to another, Fulham. Brentford’s final away game of the season will be against the Whites and they’ll be eager to get revenge for their 2-0 defeat back in November.

Fulham have also been in play-off contention, only five points off the top six with a game in hand.

There could be huge pressure on Fulham to win, not just because it’s a derby, but for their play-off aspirations.

Brentford could very much have a say in it, and they’ll be extra motivated to put an end to Fulham’s play-off hopes.

I have a feeling this one could be the most frantic and exciting clash these two have encountered, and I witnessed Jota in the Last Minute. Dare to dream again?

Finally to end the season, we host Blackburn Rovers at home. Rovers recently parted company with manager Owen Coyle, and appointed Tony Mowbray as his replacement.

When these two met in November, Rovers edged a tight encounter by winning 3-2 at Ewood Park.

Blackburn still remain in relegation trouble, and are likely to have something to play for when these two meet again on the final day of the season.

Brentford may want to get their revenge and send them down after what happened in November when they suffered defeat at Ewood Park.

But on the other side, Brentford will just want to win to end their season on a high and set the tone going for next season and see what that brings them.