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The play-off headlines as Brentford’s Thomas Frank dismisses favourites tag and expert says Man City v Chelsea ‘pales into insignificance’ compared to play-off final

Frank dismisses favourites tag

Brentford boss Thomas Frank has dismissed suggestions that his side will be favourites for Saturday’s play-off final with Swansea City.

It’s the second time in as many seasons that the Bees have managed to secure a place at Wembley, having beaten the Swans on the way to last year’s showpiece clash with Fulham.

But despite seeing off the Swans last time out, and receiving the backing of many pundits for this clash, Frank insists his side cannot consider themselves favourites.

“Honestly, I don’t think there is any favourites in the game. We played Swansea twice this season and both times were 1-1. Two tight games,” said the Danish boss.

“Steve Cooper and his coaching team have done fantastic. I think Steve is one of the most promising managers in this country.

“They have done a top job, they have improved from last year, we have improved from last year, and it’ll be down to the finest margins on the day that will decide this game.”

Full story here

Jamal Lowe hoping to take final step at Wembley

Swansea City striker Jamal Lowe admits being one game away from the Premier League has left him pinching himself.

Lowe has enjoyed a meteoric rise, having previously spent much of his career in the lower leagues.

The 26-year old even turned his hand to teaching, but is now on the verge of becoming a Premier League player – four years after joining Portsmouth from non-league Hampton and Richmond.

However, he admits his progress will count for nothing if the Swans can’t do the business on Saturday.

“It’s been a tough season and the schedule has been really hard,” he said.

“To end the season with this would be amazing.

“I don’t know who is favourite. We drew twice and they finished two points above us. There is not much splitting it really, but we’ve prepared our best to win the tie.

“It’s been one hell of a journey. I’m still in the process of striding forward.

“But sometimes I get reminders that few years ago it pops up on your phone that you were doing a PE club and now I’m playing for Swansea in the Championship.

“There are a lot of pinch yourself moments but definitely achieving this goal would the proudest of them all.”

Read our full interview with Lowe here

Wales starlet on Brentford radar

Brentford have reportedly entered the race for Tottenham starlet Elliot Thorpe.

The 20-year-old midfielder was recently called up to Paul Bodin’s Wales under-21 squad for the very first time, ahead of the upcoming clash with Moldova.

Thorpe regularly trained with the first team at Spurs, but has nevertheless rejected the offer of an extension on his current deal, which expires this summer.

Gist Vile understands he is unlikely to stay at the club, with both Leicester City and Hoffenheim expressing an interest.

Now, according to Football Insider, the Bees have joined the race for his signature.

Swansea City have missed out on a place in the Premier League after defeat to Brentford. But we’ll still have all the reaction from Wembley for you.

  • SUNDAY – all the big-match fallout and analysis in Wales on Sunday. Get that here.
  • MONDAY – another eight-page Evening Post special on all the drama and what happens next for Swansea City. Click here to get it.

Play-off final could be worth £300million

Today’s showpiece could be worth up to £300million to the winners.

Dan Jones of Deloitte has spelled out exactly what this games means in financial terms to Swans and the Bees – saying it tops the Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City this evening.

“Whilst Chelsea v Manchester City is for the right to call yourselves champions of Europe, in football terms it is therefore a bigger match, but in financial terms it pales into insignificance next to Brentford v Swansea,” he told Sky Sports.

“The reason for that is £170million minimum for the winner. So that’s a year of being in the Premier League which is basically near enough £100million, then even if you went straight back down it’s two years of parachute payments for another £70million.

“If the winners were able to stay up, as the majority of promoted teams do, even just for one more season, you are then obviously getting two years of Premier League money and three years of parachute payments, and that takes the total to almost £300million.

“So for 90 minutes of football there is a huge amount at stake.”

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