The heartache of last year’s final, with Fulham edging out their London rivals 2-1 thanks to a double from Joe Bryan, sets up a redemption story for Thomas Frank’s side in what is known as ‘The Richest Game in Football’.
And the Danish coach believes last year’s experience, despite being negative, will boost their chances of finally jumping up to English football’s top tier: “I think it is a plus – how big a plus you don’t really know. That experience from being there last year will help in a way, but it is not like we are suddenly 20% better. It might help in the decisive moments. It will be a tight game which will go down to the finest of margins. It is very important we do everything we can to be brave and make sure that when we look back we do not regret anything.”
While Swans head coach Steve Cooper insists promotion “would mean everything” for the Welsh club: “The club has been there before, long before I was here, and that journey was a special one. Then it was taken away through relegation, the club has had to re-establish itself with a different identity and rebuild. We’ve got to this last game of the season and given ourselves a 50-50 chance of winning. It’s something we’ve got to really go for. It would mean everything to the city and everything to the club, and everyone’s aware of that. It’s a massive motivation for us to get the job done.”
Follow live minute-by-minute updates from Wembley Stadium with analysis and reaction from this huge match:
Swansea get the final underway at Wembley
Kick off: The Swans kick off the match and work the ball out to the right wing. A long ball down the line goes out of play and Brentford are awarded a throw in.
Michael Jones29 May 2021 15:02
The players are out on the pitch, the anthems are over and kick off is a couple of minutes away. Who will gain promotion to the Premier League?
The Championship play-off final gets underway next…
Michael Jones29 May 2021 14:59
Will the kits play a part?
Perhaps the most bizarre stat concerning this game is that no side who normally wear red-and-white striped shirts and black shorts, as Brentford do, has ever won a play-off final.
Between them, Brentford, Sunderland, Sheffield United, Exeter and Lincoln have had 16 attempts with no victories.
In contrast Swansea who will wear their turquoise and raspberry away colours today have won nine and drawn three of their 12 outings in that kit this season.
Michael Jones29 May 2021 14:56
Including play-offs, Ivan Toney has been directly involved in 42 goals in 47 Championship appearances for Brentford this season with 32 goals and 10 assists.
Toney’s only previous appearance at Wembley was for Barnsley against Millwall in the 2016 League One play-off final as a substitute, ending on the winning side that day.
Michael Jones29 May 2021 14:54
Leading the line
Swansea City striker Andre Ayew has scored 17 Championship goals this season (including play-offs), three more than any other Swans player.
Ayew has scored twice previously at Wembley, netting a brace there for West Ham against Spurs in a League Cup match that saw the Hammers come from 2-0 down to win 3-2.
Michael Jones29 May 2021 14:51
A very long wait
Brentford are looking to reach the English top flight for the first time in 74 years; since the 1946/47 season when they finished 21st and were relegated. If they are promoted, it will be 86 years since their last promotion to the top flight (1934/35), with only Bradford City having a longer gap between top-flight promotions (1908/1999, a gap of 91 years).
Michael Jones29 May 2021 14:49
Brentford manager Thomas Frank could be the first Danish manager to win a Football League promotion, while Swansea’s Steve Cooper could be only the second Welshman to win promotion to the Premier League, after Tony Pulis in 2007/08 with Stoke City.
H would also bevome only the third Welshman to lead a Welsh club into the top flight (Bill Jones in 1959/60 with Cardiff and John Toshack in 1980/81 with Swansea).
Michael Jones29 May 2021 14:45
Third vs fourth
This is the 10th different occasion the sides finishing third and fourth in the second tier have met in the play-off final, with the third-placed sides winning promotion on six of the previous nine occasions. However, last season saw third-placed Brentford lose 2-1 to fourth-placed Fulham.
Michael Jones29 May 2021 14:42
An awful record
No team has lost more Football League play-off finals than Brentford (four, level with Reading and Sheffield United). They lost in 1997 to Crewe Alexandra, 2002 to Stoke City, 2013 to Yeovil Town and 2020 to Fulham.
This will be Brentford’s eighth major final match in all competitions. They have lost all seven previous finals – three in the Football League Trophy and four in the play-offs.
Can they get their first win today?
Michael Jones29 May 2021 14:39
A return to the top flight?
Swansea City are looking to return to the Premier League after their relegation in the 2017/18 season. They won in their only previous Championship play-off final appearance, beating Reading 4-2 in the 2010/11 final under Brendan Rodgers.
Michael Jones29 May 2021 14:37