To be played on Monday 6th April 2015 at 15:00. Venue: Griffin Park, Brentford
Odds: Brentford 21/20, Draw 12/5, Forest 12/5
Few may have tipped Brentford to be among those pushing for promotion to the Premier League come early April, but Mark Warburton’s side have shrugged off a surprise package tag to become serious contenders for a top-six finish.
With there just six games remaining in their first season back in the second tier, the Bees have edged themselves into fifth place.
Looking upwards, they are only five points adrift of the top two, but below them are three sides bunched together on 68 points and it could be that Warburton’s men end the Easter weekend back on the fringes of the chasing pack, rather than firmly wedged within it.
It has, however, been a steady and consistent march through the campaign that has carried them to this point, with performances pretty evenly spread on home soil and on the road.
They have also shown that an adventurous approach will pay dividends, with 13 defeats – no side in the top-half has suffered more – countered by 21 wins and a league-low six draws.
In contrast, Monday’s opponents Nottingham Forest have been held 12 times, while also suffering 13 setbacks.
They will be aware that far too many points have been allowed to slip through the net to mount a sustained push for a top-flight return, with any outside chance they had of staging a late surge all-but ended by a 2-1 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Good Friday.
An 11-point gap now separates the Reds from the play-off places and that looks to be a bridge too far, especially when you consider that three of those above them would have to suffer dramatic collapses in order for the door to be opened.
Dougie Freedman is, at least in public, refusing to throw in the towel, but his attention is likely to have turned towards the summer and preparations for 2015/16.
He must, however, ensure that those under his guidance do not follow that lead, with it important that Forest end the season positively, even if they are now playing for pride.
- David Button
- Jake Bidwell
- Harlee Dean
- James Tarkowski
- Stuart Dallas
- Toumani Diagouraga
- Jonathan Douglas
- Moses Odubajo
- Alex Pritchard
- Andre Gray
- Karl Darlow
- Jamaal Lascelles
- Eric Lichaj
- Michael Mancienne
- Kelvin Wilson
- Michail Antonio
- Chris Burke
- Henri Lansbury
- Ben Osborn
- David Vaughan
- Dexter Blackstock
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