Brentford v Fulham: Premier League – live | Premier League
Both sets of players are warming up in #HerGameToo T-shirts, part of an initiative to mark International Women’s Day. Brentford’s matchday programme features interviews with director Monique Choudhuri and Fulham groundsperson Rachel Woods.
At half-time, fans will get the chance to hear from Fulham goalkeeper Edie Kelly as well as Amber Lloyd, a Brentford player and female football development manager for the club’s Community Sports Trust.
You can find out more about #HerGameToo and their campaign work in football, cricket and rugby over here.
Sky has a chat with both managers. Thomas Frank thinks that both teams’ lofty positions will add “fun – if that’s the right word”. He wants his team to play with confidence, earned during an unbeaten league run stretching back to before the World Cup, and put on “another show under the lights, at the Gtech.”
Marco Silva, the understated opposite of the effusive Brentford manager, has picked Manor Solomon for his first league start, and is happy with the competition for places in his squad. Silva expects a lively atmosphere tonight “like at our home game in August”. Fulham won that game 3-2, and very entertaining it was too (apologies for the partisan commentary on these highlights).
Thomas Frank makes one change from the team that picked up a late point against Crystal Palace in mid-February, with Mikkel Damsgaard replacing Josh Dasilva for just his second Premier League start.
For the visitors, Aleksandar Mitrovic is back after missing the last two league games – although he featured in the Cup win over Leeds. His Serbian compatriot, Sasa Lukic, steps into central midfield to cover João Palhinha, who is suspended.
Brentford (4-3-3): Raya; Hickey, Pinnock, Mee, Henry; Nørgaard (c), Jensen, Damsgaard; Mbeumo, Toney, Wissa.
Subs: Cox, Schade, Dasilva, Onyeka, Jansson, Ajer, Baptiste, Janelt, Roerslev.
Fulham (4-2-3-1): Leno; Tete, Diop, Ream (c), Robinson; Reed, Lukic; Willian, Pereira, Solomon; Mitrovic.
Subs: Rodak, Wickens, Cédric, Adarabioyo, Harris, Wilson, James, Decordova-Reid, Vinícius.
In recent years, the battle for supremacy in west London has been monopolised by Chelsea. You have to travel deep into the Premier League’s baggy-shirted, Alive-and-Kicking past to find a season when the Blues weren’t kings of their manor. The 1994-95 season, to be precise, when QPR (and, at a stretch, Wimbledon) finished above them in the top-flight table.
For Fulham and Brentford, moments outside the shadow of Stamford Bridge have been few and far between. The Cottagers last finished above Chelsea in 1982-83, down in the second tier. For tonight’s hosts, the wait has been far longer – Brentford have not finished above the Blues since 1937-38, during a brief pre-war run as west London’s top team.
Despite being London’s oldest club, Fulham have never had that honour – but records are there to be broken. This is shaping up to be a historic season for both of these sides, sitting above Graham Potter’s drifting side and chasing European adventures, any faint fears of relegation long since banished. Fulham are seventh, four points above Brentford having played two games more.
A win for either side tonight would put them in the rear-view mirror of fourth-placed Tottenham, who are hardly blazing a trail towards the Champions League. In fact, finishing above Chelsea should be the least of their expectations. As west London derbies go, this is a big one. Kick-off is at 8pm, GMT; team news to follow.