Well, I think it is fair to say that at around 845pm on Wednesday night this was not a match preview I was planning on penning but thanks to one of the most mad half hour periods of football that I have witnessed here I am looking forward to a Championship semi final this evening against Brentford.
The game against Reading will have been one of those that will pen many a “where were you” question over the years but thanks to a global pandemic and pubs not being allowed to have people inside then for most people it was on their sofa and probably – if you are like me – running round the house like a lunatic especially when Routledge headed home his second.
This evening though those moments of madness need to be forgotten and it is time to re-group and see if we can take a step towards the play off final and potentially another crack at the ‘richest game in football’
Steve Cooper awoke this morning knowing full well that three more wins and the Swans will regain their place in the Premier League, a place that they lost a little over two years ago. The first of those games is this evening at the Liberty where Brentford are our opponents, themselves wondering how they managed to lose both their last games to deny themselves automatic promotion.
It is fair to say that if the Swans are going into this game on a high then Brentford are on a definite low. A defeat against Stoke was followed by a home defeat against Barnsley and they had to watch as West Brom joined the Leeds party in the Premier League. That has to hurt and whilst it can be seen as a spur for the Bees it is a position that can be very difficult to recover from.
It was two weeks ago today that the Swans lost at home to Leeds to put a dent in their own promotion hopes but seven points from nine after that game was enough to go past Forest and into the play offs and with the goals of Rhian Brewster then I really do believe that once again anything can be possible.
The bookies will have us as second favourites over the two legs and whilst that will also be fuelled by us losing twice already to Brentford this season when you reach this stage of the season any league results so far this campaign go out of the window.
Steve Cooper will be hoping that he can call on both Mike van der Hoorn and Wayne Routledge after both picked up knocks in the win over Reading and the Swans boss has said he is giving them both as much chance as possible to prove their fitness.
We, of course, have form with Brentford in the play offs having met them at this stage of the League One play offs in 2005/6 where a late Sam Ricketts goal at the Liberty and two early Leon Knight goals at Griffin Park were enough to take us to the Millennium Stadium and a final against Barnsley. But we don’t talk about that particular game…
This is the Swans 7th time in the end of season play offs and we head in search of our third promotion via this route whilst for Brentford they have been in 8 previous play offs and are yet to win one.
The game at the Liberty kicks off at 6.30pm, live on Sky Sports.