Match Preview | Cardiff City vs. Brentford
The Bluebirds face Brentford on Boxing Day, who sit in fourth position in the Championship table. Neil Harris’ men will meet the Bees on Saturday afternoon, with a 3pm kick-off at Cardiff City Stadium.
How do I watch the match?
A Cardiff City TV Match Pass can be purchased now for just £10 in the UK & Ireland. International Match Passes are available for just £7 per game, or £20 a month.
Cardiff City TV's broadcast includes a pre-match show ahead of a multi-camera production, with commentary and replays.
Supporters in the UK & Ireland can also purchase a Commentary Pass for £5 a month, or for just £30 for the remainder of the 2020/21 campaign.
How can I purchase the matchday programme?
There are two ways to get hold of the Cardiff City vs. Brentford matchday programme. The Bluebird – edition 11 for 2020/21, featuring Sean Morrison as cover star and feature interview, can be ordered and delivered in its traditional print format from Cardiff City FC SuperStore. Click here to buy your copy!
Matchday programme bundles are also now available. With your programme subscription, you’ll have each print edition delivered to your door for the rest of the 2020/21 campaign.
You can buy your programme bundle here for just £49, including delivery for all 13 editions!
The Bluebird is now available digitally as well as in its traditional print format.
To purchase, download the MatchDayInfo App, visit 'My Teams', and click 'Season Programme Pass'.
You can purchase a digital subscription for The Bluebird, receiving all 23 copies for 2020/21 direct to your phone or tablet for just £24.99. Alternatively, individual digital copies of The Bluebird can be purchased before each game for £1.99 per edition.
Harris pre-Brentford | We have to be at our best
Bluebirds boss Neil Harris held a pre-match press conference on Wednesday, explaining how he and the squad have used the rarity of a full week of training to prepare for our Boxing Day clash.
“After a quieter week in the schedule, and a few days back on the training pitch, I expect to see more legs in the team.
“To actually have a few days training in a smaller environment and with a smile on your face has been really enjoyable for them.
“We’re mindful that we have to be at our best, and better than we were at Norwich. We know Brentford are a good side as well. We’ve played other good sides recently in Stoke and Watford and we expect similar against Brentford.”
Opposition Focus: The boss
Thomas Frank became the Bees’ boss in October 2018, and has been in charge of the team for 115 matches. The Dane enjoyed an amateur playing career in his native country, featuring as a midfielder for Frederiksværk BK. He began his coaching career at the age of 20, taking charge of his former club’s U8 team in 1994. After four years with Frederiksværk, Frank moved on to Hvidovre IF, and later coached at Boldklubben 93 and Lyngby BK. In 2008, Frank was appointed as coach of Denmark’s U16 and U17 teams, reaching the semi-finals of the 2011 UEFA European U17 Championship with a side which included former Cardiff City striker Kenneth Zohore. He was soon promoted to take charge of the Danish U19 side, before earning his first job in professional first team management with Brøndby IF in 2013.
Frank spent three seasons in charge at the Danish Superliga club, recording a fourth place finish during the 2013/14 campaign and reaching the qualification rounds of the UEFA Europa League. Despite not making the Group Stage, Brøndby went one better in 2014/15 by finishing third. Despite his promising tenure, Frank left the club in March 2016. He arrived at Brentford in December of that year, becoming Assistant Head Coach to Dean Smith. Frank stepped up to the top job when Smith departed for Aston Villa in 2018, leading the Bees to the Play-Offs during his first full season in charge.
Opposition Focus: Season so far
Brentford have bounced back well from the disappointment of losing last season’s Play-Off Final, and currently occupy fourth position in the table. With 35 points to their name thus far, Frank’s men are just two points behind second place AFC Bournemouth, but will be looking over their shoulders at Middlesbrough, Stoke City and Reading, all of whom are sitting on 33 points and could replace the Bees in the top six by the end of Boxing Day.
Enjoying their first season at their new home, the Brentford Community Stadium, the Bees will arrive in South Wales on a 14-match unbeaten run in all competitions. On Tuesday, a famous 1-0 Carabao Cup victory over Newcastle United earned Frank’s side a spot in the semi-final of a major trophy for the very first time. In the league, Brentford’s form over the past 10 matches has earned them 20 points, a record only bettered by Norwich and Bournemouth. They have recorded six wins and seven draws since October 24th, and secured a 3-1 win over Reading in their most recent fixture.
The Bees lost two of their main men in the summer window, as Ollie Watkins and Saïd Benrahma departed for Aston Villa and West Ham United respectively. However, Frank recruited like-for-like attacking options to replace the duo; Ivan Toney arrived from Peterborough United, and Saman Ghoddos came in from Amiens. The Dane also added another two players to his first team squad – promising defender Charlie Goode signed from Northampton Town, whilst defensive midfielder Vitaly Janelt was acquired from VfL Bochum.
Opposition Focus: Ones to watch
Ivan Toney has made a remarkable start to life in the second tier since arriving from Peterborough United in September. The 24-year-old has netted 16 league goals so far this season, and, alongside Cambridge United’s Paul Mullin, is the joint-top scorer across the Premier League and EFL divisions. Toney was crowned the League One Player of the Year for 2019/20, and will surely be in the running to repeat the feat in the Championship this term if he continues his current form.
Marcus Forss spent the 2019/20 season on loan at AFC Wimbledon, and has displayed a keen eye for goal since returning to Brentford. The centre forward has found the back of the net on five occasions in his 16 Championship appearances, with a ratio of 77 minutes per goal – the best record in the division. The 21-year-old Finland international committed his future to the Bees earlier this week, signing a new contract until 2026.
Josh Dasilva netted Brentford’s solitary goal against Newcastle in midweek, booking the club’s historic spot in the Carabao Cup semi-final. The 22-year-old has become a first team regular since Frank took the reins in late 2018, making 92 appearances for the Bees in that time. The midfielder will be looking to match the 10 Championship strikes he recorded last season; he has scored four goals and provided three assists in the current campaign.