Brentford seek EPL half century, but face club well used to partying at Griffin Park


Backdrop: Brentford hope to become the 50th side to play in the EPL but host a Middlesbrough side, who have won six of their last seven games at Griffin Park.

There are some big names at the sad end of the 2019/20 Championship. Above the bottom three of Luton, Barnsley and Wigan who you may perhaps have expected to historically see struggle in England’ second tier, are some bigger names.

Above them lie the likes of Stoke, Huddersfield, Birmingham and Middlesbrough, either traditionally or recently EPL teams.

Wigan’s recent upturn, including an incredible win at Leeds and a home victory over Sheffield Wednesday, has alarmed the sides above them when perhaps the bottom three seemed to be cast adrift.

Those two wins over Yorkshire sides appeared in the Yorkshire Post, the esteemed regional paper which of course covers Middlesbrough, a city in the North Riding geographically, despite its footballing association with other clubs in the north east.

So Jonathan Woodgate’s side and its supporters will be well aware of the Wigan revival that threatens to drag them back into the pack. The Smoggies are without a win in four league games and secured only two points out of six in two recent home games against Birmingham and Blackburn, neither of which are among the league’s better sides.

In short they are in a dog fight and on Saturday face a much tougher test as they visit Brentford’s Griffin Park for the last time.

The Bees lie fifth and are well placed for a play-off place but an automatic promotion spot is also well within their grasp. They are currently only two points behind neighbours Fulham in third and only one behind Nottingham Forest in fourth.

These are incredibly exciting times for the Middlesex club as they prepare for life in their new stadium at the north end of Kew Bridge which they will share with rugby club London Irish. Their youth recruitment policy has received widespread praise in the national press.

There are even possibilities, albeit distant, that the new Crossrail development may eventually place a station in their stadium’s heartland making the club far more accessible to traveling fans than the somewhat difficult Griffin Park.

They have Leeds at home on Tuesday but any benefits of repeating last year’s famous victory over the White Rose side would be lost if they drop points against Boro and see Fulham, Leeds and Forest win.

Luckily they can’t, as Forest host Leeds on Saturday. That result can only bring joy for Bees fans on Saturday as they download updated Championship tables in one of the pubs famously located on each corner of Griffin Park.

[See: Excellent Brentford stall Leeds Promotion Drive]

Abdi Rashid has been covering Brentford for Prost. He noted:

“Brentford started the season really slowly having lost their main man Neal Maupay to Brighton.

“They haven’t looked back since then. BMW (Benrahma, Mbuemo, Watkins) have taken the league by storm scoring a combined 38 goals, more than 11 championship sides.

“The prospect of promotion is definitely on the cards. They are only six points behind top of the table West Brom and with Leeds known for falling off towards the end of the season, Brentford can push for the automatic spots.”

If Brentford are to become the 50th club to play in the EPL, they will have bigger games than this. Leeds, Fulham, West Brom and Preston are yet to come. No amount of hyperbole can term this a must-win for Brentford. However, it is the kind of game you look back on if you don’t win it, and subsequently miss promotion by two points.


Brentford won the first meeting on August 10th. Ollie Watkins scored the only goal of the game in the 54th minute at the Riverside.

A look at the stats rather suggests Boro were the better side., outshooting the Londoners 14-9 with five shots on target to the Bees’ two.

Boro however have a good record at Griffin Park, winning 2-1 on their last visit in 2018, Jordan Hugill and Marcus Tavernier being the men on target. Neither men are still at the club. Their previous visit earned the Yorkshire side a point.

Middlesbrough have not lost here in the league since 1938 and are unbeaten on their last seven visits, winning six, in all competitions as you can see in the table below.


03 Dec 1938 L 2-1
League Division One
26 Apr 1947 D 0-0
League Division One
24 Jan 1948 W 1-2 FA Cup
08 Jan 1949 L 3-2 FA Cup
04 Jan 1964 L 2-1 FA Cup
21 Dec 1986 W 0-1
League Division Three
01 Oct 2002 W 1-4 League Cup
31 Jan 2015 W 0-1
League Championship
08 May 2015 W 1-2
League Championship Play-Offs
12 Jan 2016 W 0-1
League Championship
17 Mar 2018 D 1-1
League Championship
24 Nov 2018 W 1-2
League Championship


The league table suggests three points for Brentford and an eager anticipation of that Forest v Leeds result, followed by 72 hours of unparalleled impatience for Leeds to arrive in Middlesex for their last visit to Griffin Park.

History points to Middlesbrough taking hoe three much needed points to ease away from the drop zone.

Follow us on Twitter live from Griffin Park.


About Author

Comments are closed.