Tom Love has two tips for the second leg of Brentford vs Swansea play-off semi-final
Brentford vs Swansea
Brentford have been that side that have fallen foul of just missing out on automatic promotion. They had the opportunity to go up automatically if they beat Barnsley given the West Brom result but they ended up losing that 2-1 in the last minute.
Often momentum can be a deciding factor in play-off games, in many cases it’s an equaliser for the unfancied sides. Swansea sneaked into the final play off place by dramatically thrashing Reading and Nottingham Forest crumbling against Stoke. It was an extraordinary turn of events on that final day and summed up this league quite well. Competitive, calamitous and compelling.
That will have naturally given a psychological boost to the Welsh side whilst it would’ve no doubt had the adverse effect on the Bees. That proved to be the case in the first leg with Brentford going down to ten men and Swansea taking advantage with a 1-0 win. It’s in their hands now.
However, when the West London side are hot, they are piping. The ‘BMW’ front line of Benrahma, M’Beumo and Watkins are probably the most feared trio in the league and if Brentford don’t make it into the promised land I’d be positive that the former and the latter will be.
Brentford are naturally favourites here at 3/5 and I do think that’s fair given their need for a win. It makes it tantalisingly poised though and the top qualify’ market is of interest. Brentford are actually favourites to make the final at 10/11 whereas Swansea are even-money to be playing at Wembley.
Swansea have a threat too with the impressive Rhian Brewster in scintillating form and Andre Ayew will be buoyant after his scorcher in the first leg. It’s hard not to be impressed by the form of Steve Cooper’s men at the minute. I do think Brentford on the whole are the better side but it’s too close to call in the outright markets so I’ll head elsewhere.
One thing I do like betting on in second legs are corners. When the first leg doesn’t end all square, there’s a team that need to press and get a result and when you have that pressure you tend to get corners with shots being fired in and crosses being attempted. Brentford usually like to rack them up, especially at the tight dimensions of Griffin Park.
Brentford games average 10.7 corners per game this season and Swansea 11.4, so even if these was a normal league game I’d be looking at the 10/11 available on over 10.5 corners with interested eyes. It’s as short as 4/7 with some firms, some may not have factored in the often desperate nature of second legs. I’m happy to have a point at that price.
I’m also going to head to the goalscorer market as it’s hard to ignore the odds-against 5/4 quotes on Brentford striker Ollie Watkins to score anytime. The former Exeter man and EFL young player of the year has been superb since he joined the Bees and is testament to their excellent, in-depth recruitment efforts.
He came second only to Aleksander Mitrovic for the top scorer gong but he averaged over a goal every other game, finding the net an impressive 25 times. He’s great at getting into the most dangerous positions to score, he’s equally adept with his head as his feet and has great players around him to supply the ammunition.