Brentford vs Fulham: What are the stakes?
The 2020/2021 season will see either Brentford or Fulham featuring in the Premier League. Depending on the outcome of Tuesday's clash, one side could
be battling the top guns in England's elite league while the other will renew their fight to land a spot in the top-flight after another season in the Championship.
Indeed, the EFL Championship play-off final's tag as the 'most valuable football match in the world' is no fluke considering the fiscal significance as well as the pedigree associated with earning promotion. For both Brentford and Fulham, the stakes are as exclusive as they can get taking into account the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had as far as the finances of clubs are concerned.
In the past five months, none of the clubs have amassed any revenue from stadium ticket sales. Football fans are still banned from attending games while a limited number may be allowed to return, the earliest being in October 2020. With this being amiss, broadcast revenues will come to the rescue this time unlike the lower leagues which rely heavily on revenue generated on matchdays.
A study by Deloitte's Sports Business Group has revealed that victory for Brentford will see them earning about £160m over three years, whereas a Fulham win would merit £135m. There is the potential for that to rise to £265m over five years should they escape relegation in their first and second seasons.
The allotment of funds is due to the fact that Brentford, who have never played in the Premiership, have not been receiving parachute payments, unlike Fulham who were demoted to the Championship at the end of the 2018/2019 season. With that established, let's look at how both teams stand in terms of their promotion chances:
Brentford vs Fulham match preview
Tuesday's West London Derby might have come at an opportune time for in-form Fulham to put in one of their top performances in order to seal their Premier League return. The Cottagers successfully secured a fourth place finish in the Championship last season after a remarkable unbeaten run following the resumption of the league.
After losing the first two matches played within the period, Scott Parker's men managed to go through seven consecutive games without recording a defeat. Five of them ended in wins with four being draws. In the playoffs semifinals, a 3-2 aggregate win over Cardiff was enough to book them a spot at Wembley although the 2-1 win by the former in the last game exposed some of their shortcomings.
In essence, the possibility of Brentford capitalising on this development can not be overruled. The Bees are so far unbeaten in their last five meetings with Fulham and could potentially turn up once again with the stakes higher than ever.
Indeed, they could be buoyed by the jubilations that followed their last-ever game at the historic Griffin Park which concluded with them overturning a 1-0 defeat to Swansea in the other playoff semifinal game. Cruising to a 3-2 triumph, Thomas Frank's men managed to end a three-game winless run ahead of the final at Wembley. Prior to the first of the three defeats suffered, they had taken all 24 points in their last eight matches.
Finishing as the team with the most goals scored and the second with the least conceded after West Brom, Fulham do have a lot of work to do in keeping their London rivals at bay.
Team newsPossible starting XI
Fulham's chances have been significantly boosted with the return of Golden Boot winner Aleksandar Mitrovic. The striker should earn a starting berth for the Cottagers after missing the playoff semifinal through injury.
Relatively, Kebano should be lined up in the clash with Brentford after he picked up a hamstring problem in the first half of last Thursday's outing. Ivan Cavaleiro could also be available for selection after a short-term injury stint.
Just like Fulham, Brentford come into the clash with a healthy squad. No player is suspended for either of the sides.
Possible starting XI
Brentford: Martin; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry; Marcondes, Norgaard, Jensen; Mbeumo, Watkins, Benrahma.
Fulham: Rodak; Christie, Hector, Ream, Bryan; Reed, Cairney; Knockaert, Onomah, Kebano; Mitrovic.
Brentford are aiming for their first spell in the English top-flight in 73 years.
For the past 29 years, Brentford have lost in all eight of their play-off campaigns.
Fulham have reached the Championship play-off final twice in the last three seasons.
Fulham have lost as many games against Brentford in their last four meetings (3) as they managed in the previous 12 matches beforehand (W5 D4 L3).
Broadcast information: Where to watch Brentford vs Fulham live
United States: ESPN+
Australia: Kayo Sports, beIN Sports Connect
France: beIN Sports 2, Free, beIN SPORTS CONNECT
Germany: DAZN, sportdigital, LAOLA1.TV Italy: DAZN
Nigeria: DStv Now, SuperSport 1 Africa, SuperSport 3 Africa, SuperSport 9 Africa, SuperSport 3 Nigeria
United Kingdom: Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Football, SKY GO Extra, Sky Ultra HD.
Check below if the broadcast listings for your country is not seen above:
Match details, result and original broadcast info
This match has ended. Below are the original Live broadcast details for this match.