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Brentford have bottled automatic promotion; there are no two ways about it. With Watford facing a tricky run-in – including a trip to the Brentford Community Stadium – Brentford appeared to be in pole position to make up for last season’s failures and secure a place in the top two.
However, a run of six draws in seven games against sides predominately from the bottom half of the table resulted in Watford building an insurmountable lead, consigning Brentford to the Play-Offs for the second year running.
To make matters worse, Thomas Frank’s side subsequently recorded an impressive victory at Bournemouth when the race was already over, and such a win was irrelevant. With no pressure on Brentford between now and the Play-Offs, chances are they’ll start playing their best football again, which is bad news for relegation-threatened Rotherham.
Tuesday 19:00 – Brentford v Rotherham
Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Football
The Millers have been in the bottom three since the middle of February, but that has been with the caveat of a handful of games in-hand. Those games in-hand are running out quickly however, and they desperately need to start picking up wins if they are to catch Derby County before the end of the season.
A run of four straight defeats – including three consecutive home losses – has not helped that cause. They are probably coming up against The Bees at the worst possible time and could suffer a fifth defeat in succession as Thomas Frank’s side attempt to build up a head of steam before the play-offs.
Goals have deserted Rotherham at the worst possible time. Paul Warne’s men have failed to score in three of their last four games, while they have managed to net in just two of their previous nine outings.
Many of these games have been against sides in the lower half of the table with little to play for and such a barren spell in front of goal at such a crucial stage could prove fatal. Brentford, meanwhile, have been relatively watertight at the back in spite of their poor recent form.
The Bees have kept clean sheets in four of their last five league games and will look to continue their impressive defensive record ahead of the play-offs.
Brentford’s recent goalscoring record at home leaves a lot to be desired. The Bees have managed to score just twice at home in their last four games, while their record is especially poor in the first half.
They have scored just one first-half goal at home in their last five games – a penalty against Nottingham Forest – with most of their goalscoring exploits saved for after the interval.
Rotherham, on the other hand, have kept clean sheets in six of their last nine first halves – conceding six times after the break in that nine-game spell. They have gone in at 0-0 on five occasions in their last eight games, only to concede the game’s first goal after the break on four occasions.
These second half performances have resulted in costly defeats to Birmingham, Coventry, and Millwall leaving Rotherham stranded in the bottom three. They will attempt to dig in at Brentford on Tuesday, but will enjoy little possession or territory and should be broken down eventually.
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