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Big Match Preview: Brentford away

City return to the road to take on Brentford in the Sky Bet Championship this evening (7.45pm).

Lee Johnson's side will be looking to get back to winning ways after a narrow 2-1 loss at Birmingham City, while the Bees have lost their opening two league fixtures.

Here's a look at tonight's opponents.

FACTFILE

Formed 1889
Nickname Bees
Website www.brentfordfc.com
Twitter @BrentfordFC
Ground Griffin Park
Capacity 12,573

Honours
Second Division 1934/35
Division Three 1932/33 (south), 1991/92
Division Four 1962/63, 1998/99, 2008/09

Last season
League finish 10th in Championship
FA Cup Fourth round, lost to Chelsea
EFL Cup First round, lost to Exeter City
Top scorer Lasse Vibe, 15 goals
Player of the Year Harlee Dean
Average attendance 10,467

HOW DID THEY GET HERE?

Brentford are beginning their fifth season in the Sky Bet Championship.

The West London club certainly don't boast the highest budget in the division, but under Dean Smith they have secured the services of some excellent players, selling them on for huge profit - the biggest being Andre Gray's £9m switch to Burnley.

The 2017/18 campaign hasn't exactly got off to the dream start, losing 1-0 at newly-promoted Sheffield United on the opening day, before losing a seven-goal thriller against Nottingham Forest at the weekend.

They have progressed into the second round of the Carabao Cup after winning 3-1 at AFC Wimbledon after extra time and can now look forward to a derby at QPR later this month.

Dean Smith has been in charge at Griffin Park since 2015

MEET THE GAFFER: DEAN SMITH

During his playing career, Smith made over 550 appearances as a centre-back playing for Walsall, Hereford United, Leyton Orient, Sheffield Wednesday and Port Vale.

His first taste of coaching came at Orient, before he was poached by Walsall in 2009. Two years later he was appointed their first team manager and he recruited former Walsall captain and City’s current assistant head coach Dean Holden to join his coaching staff.

Smith guided the Saddlers to their first experience at Wembley Stadium when they reached the Football League Trophy Final in 2015, but they suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Steve Cotterill’s City side, who went on to lift the League One title.

In November 2015, Smith and assistant Richard O'Kelly signed contracts with the Bees, achieving a ninth place finish in his first season before finishing 10th in 2016/17.

Lasse Vibe was Brentford's top scorer last season

STAR MAN: LASSE VIBE

Despite being the oldest member in the Bees’ ranks at the age of 30, the Dane is still a huge threat and offers a wealth of experience to one of the youngest squads in the division.

Vibe finished the last campaign on top of the goalscoring charts at Griffin Park, and is looking to build on the 29 league goals he has scored since his arrival from IFK Göteborg two seasons ago.

Lee Johnson’s side will know exactly what to expect from the lively forward after he scored in this fixture towards the back end of last season.

Yet to open his account for the campaign, Vibe will be eager to do so this evening, so he is certainly a player City must keep tabs on, if selected.

Gary Johnson enjoyed a winning start at Griffin Park

MEMORABLE MEETING: 2005/06

BRENTFORD 2-3 BRISTOL CITY
Brooker 66, Sodje 80; Stewart 12, Wilkshire 40, Brooker 74.

Gary Johnson's reign as Bristol City manager got off to a flier as the Robins inflicted Brentford's first home defeat of the season.

Marcus Stewart put City ahead and Luke Wilkshire's free-kick doubled the lead before Paul Brooker's strike gave Brentford a route back into the game.

Steve Brooker restored City's two-goal lead before Wilkshire missed a penalty.

Sam Sodje's header renewed Bees hopes but Bristol City held on for their first away win of the season.

Brentford: Nelson, Osborne, Sodje, Turner, Tillen, Rankin (Campbell 45), Lewis, Pratley (Rhodes 81), Tabb, Owusu (Brooker 45), Gayle. Subs Not Used: Fitzgerald, Bankole.

Bristol City: Phillips, Orr, Heywood, Partridge, Woodman, Cotterill (Murray 90), Wilkshire, Skuse, Brown, Stewart (Brooker 67), Madjo (Keogh 86). Subs Not Used: Bridges, Burch.

Attendance: 6,413.

AND FINALLY...

Officials
Referee: Peter Bankes
Assistant Referees: Daniel Leach and Timothy Wood
Fourth Official: Simon Hooper

Betting (via Sky Bet)
Brentford Evens
Draw 11/4
Bristol City 23/10