Leeds have made a solid start to this season, after surviving relegation on the final day of last season by winning at new Griffin Park/the BCS.
They have overcome the summer sales of key players Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha to earn eight points from their first five games.
United are undefeated so far at Elland Road, where they have beaten Wolves 2-1 and Chelsea 3-0 before drawing 1-1 with Everton on Tuesday.
On the road, they drew 2-2 at Southampton before suffering their only defeat, 1-0 at Brighton.
They will meet Wolves again in the third round of the Carabao Cup – this time at Molineux – after beating Barnsley 2-1 in round two.
While two key players have left Elland Road, there are plenty of new faces who have joined the club over the summer.
They include four midfielders – American duo Brenden Aaronson, from RB Salzburg, and Tyler Adams, from RB Leipzig, along with Marc Roca from Bayern Munich and Darko Gyabi from Manchester City.
Full-back Rasmus Kristensen arrived from Salzburg, while winger Luis Sinisterra came in from Feyenoord and marked his first start on Tuesday with a goal.
On deadline day, they also signed 18-year-old Italian striker Wilfried Gnonto from Swiss champions FC Zurich.
Leeds still have three ex-Bees on the books in Adam Forshaw, Stuart Dallas and Ian Poveda.
Forshaw has been plagued by injury during his time at Elland Road and after recovering from a fractured kneecap at the end of last season, missed out on the start of this one after picking up another injury in pre-season.
He bounced back to make three substitute appearances in the Premier League so far, but sat on the bench throughout Tuesday’s game against his former club Everton.
Forshaw played exactly 100 times for us in all competitions, and was a regular in our 2013/14 promotion-winning team.
Dallas suffered a serious leg injury in April from which he is slowly recovering but will be out of action until at least next year. His absence is a big blow for Leeds, as he has played more than 250 games for them since joining them from us in August 2015.
Like Forshaw, he was a regular in our side which went up from League One in 2013/14.
Poveda’s move to Manchester City was one of the reasons Brentford decided to scrap our academy, because we lost him for a small fee after we had developed him over the years. He is currently on loan at Blackpool.
Promotion for Leeds as champions of the Championship in 2020 ended a 16- year absence from the top flight, during which they also spent three seasons in League One.
Leeds were founder members of the Premier League in 1992, having been the last champions of the old Division One the previous season.
WHO’S IN CHARGE
Jesse Marsch replaced Marcelo Bielsa as Leeds manager in February.
He started his managerial career in the MLS with Montreal Impact, before moving to New York Red Bulls, where among other players he was in charge of ex-Brentford loan striker Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Jessie left in the summer of 2018 and became assistant to former Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick at German side RB Leipzig, but left after a year to become head coach of Austrian club RB Salzburg.
He returned to Leipzig as their new head coach at the start of this season, before leaving in December and then joining Leeds a couple of months later.
As a player, he spent all his career in his native USA as a midfielder for DC United, Chicago Fire and Chivas, winning two international caps.
WE’VE MET BEFORE
Leeds have been regular opponents of ours in recent years.
We met them in six of our seven seasons in the Championship, as well as in one year in League One in the previous decade.
We had the better of the 12 Championship encounters with five wins, four draws and three defeats – all of which came at Elland Road – while both the third tier matches were drawn.
Last season’s first Premier League meeting also ended up level after Leeds equalised in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time to earn a 2-2 draw.
Tyler Roberts gave the hosts the lead in the 27th minute, but two goals in eight minutes around the hour mark from Shandon Baptiste, his first for the Bees, and Sergi Canos, turned the game in our favour.
But Patrick Bamford denied us victory when he struck from close-range from a corner.
Leeds arrived at the then Brentford Community Stadium in May, knowing that their fate was out of their hands and that they needed to better Burnley’s result against Newcastle to remain in the Premier League.
The Clarets started the day level on points with Leeds but with a massive goal difference advantage.
However, they lost 2-1 at Turf Moor while Jesse Marsch’s side grabbed a last-gasp 2-1 victory to stay up.
Raphinha, in what turned out to be his final game for the visitors, gave them the lead with a 56th-minute penalty, but second-half substitute Sergi Canos equalised for us in the 78th minute. Sergi was booked for taking off his shirt to celebrate his goal, but two minutes later he was shown a second yellow card after chopping down Raphinha.
The point would have been enough to keep Leeds up, but deep into injury-time Jack Harrison made sure by drilling home their winner.
That was Leeds’ first victory in 12 matches against us in west London.
They failed to win any of their last 11 league and cup visits to Griffin Park, although they have beaten us in recent times at Elland Road.
We did the double in 2014/15 – winning 2-0 at home and 1-0 away – while both the following season’s matches ended 1-1.
There were two home wins in 2016/17 – with Leeds triumphing 1-0 at Elland Road and the Bees earning a 2-0 victory in TW8 – and the same pattern the following season, with the Bees winning 3-1 at Griffin Park and Leeds taking the return 1-0.
In 2018/19, we played at Elland Road in early October and were within minutes of earning a 1-0 win, before a late header by future Bee Pontus Jansson ensured that the game finished 1-1.
Neal Maupay had put us ahead from the penalty spot in the 62nd minute with his 10th Championship goal of the season, making him the quickest player to reach the landmark in all four divisions that season. However, we couldn’t quite hold on and Pontus levelled before the hosts’ Luke Ayling was sent off in injury-time after picking up a second yellow card.
The Easter Monday return was crucial to Leeds in their hopes of trying to win automatic promotion, but – after they lost at home to Wigan on Good Friday – their holiday period became even worse as the Bees earned a 2-0 win in another televised game.
Brentford took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Sergi Canos set Maupay free, and the striker slotted home his 27th goal of the season.
Maupay returned the compliment just past the hour mark when he fed Canos, who doubled the lead and wrapped up a victory which left the Bees 15th in the table.
Leeds earned their third 1-0 home win over us in four seasons on a Wednesday evening in August 2019.
Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah scored the only goal on his Championship debut in the 61st minute – four minutes after coming off the bench. The victory took the Whites to the top of the table, while our second defeat in four games from the start of the season dropped us down to 18th.
The return the following February turned out to be the last-ever floodlit game at Griffin Park with fans, and finished 1-1.
Leeds goalkeeper Kiko Casilla let a backpass from Liam Cooper slip under his foot and Said Benrahma pounced to give us a 25th-minute lead, but Cooper equalised from a corner before the break.
The point left Leeds second in the table, two points ahead of us in fourth.
Leeds manager Jesse Marsch has said he is expecting a hard game against the Bees on Saturday.
He told the club’s official website: “Brentford have had a great start and great season last year. You have to talk about set-pieces and how effective they are, our preparation today was looking at set-plays on them and what we need to be good at on the day.
“We’re expecting a tough match, and again, you see there are some similarities between games we’ve played so far and a lot that is different.
“Now it is a new season, a new moment and new opportunity for us against a good team.”
Read more of his thoughts, memories of last season’s end-of-season match, and Leeds injury news here.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAME IF YOU CAN’T BE THERE
If you can’t get to the Gtech Community Stadium for Saturday’s 3.00pm kick-off, and want Brentford commentary, audio coverage is available via the new Buzz Box, currently on a free trial.
Coverage starts half an hour before kick-off and is advert-free, with Mark Burridge, who has Karleigh Osborne alongside him this Saturday.
PUBS IN BRENTFORD AND TRAVEL NEWS
For Leeds fans coming to the Gtech Community Stadium, there are plenty of pub options pre and post-match and all are most welcoming and away-fan-friendly (as it should be).
The pub areas are split into two zones. There is the area around Brentford’s old Griffin Park stadium. The pubs there are still very busy on match day frequented by Bees locals before heading down the road to the stadium at Kew Bridge which is only 15 minutes walk.
Then there is the area in and around the stadium in Kew Bridge.
It is possible, if you have a good early start, to savour a few pubs in and around Griffin Park and Brentford zone before heading off to the pubs in the Kew zone or even vice versa if you so fancy.
Pubs in Griffin Park/Brentford zone (still very lively but easier to get a pint)
When at Griffin Park, Brentford was well known for its four pubs – one on each corner of the ground. Three are still operating.
The Griffin is closest to the old away end and has always been very popular with both home and away fans and has its regulars who still make the journey down to the new stadium from there on matchday. The New Inn is on the other side which used to also be popular with away fans before the move. The Brook pub is the other option if you want to savour a pub in and around what is left of our old home. Worth a peep if you want to reminisce about old Brentford.
About five minutes’ walk away from the old ground are two pubs which are enormously popular. The Globe (Windmill Rd) is a “lively but comfortable” pub on matchday. Incredibly friendly and cosy, it has always been popular with a selection of away fans who fancied having a beer a few minutes further walk away from the ground without having to queue six persons deep. After the move to the new ground, The Globe has retained many of lot its regulars from the Griffin Park days and with screens throughout the pub and in its sheltered beer garden, it shows both Premier League and EFL football before and after each match.
Meanwhile around the corner, The Lord Nelson (Enfield Rd) is another incredibly friendly and cosy away-friendly pubs about one minute walk from The Globe. Again with a TV screen for live sports and a lovely beer garden, this is another pub frequented by “away fans in the know”.
The other pub worth checking out in the Griffin Park region is The Black Dog Beer House, formerly The Albany, on Albany Road, if you like your real ales.
There are plenty of other pubs in and around Brentford High Street including real ale pub Magpie and Crown (Brentford High Street) and the cosy Brewery Tap (Catherine Wheel Road) near the river.
For a Griffin Park area pub crawl before heading over to Kew we recommend the following: Take the Piccadilly line to Northfields station. Turn left and walk for 2 mins and you will come to The Plough (Northfields Ave). Then walk to The Lord Nelson (10 min walk from The Plough) & then The Globe (1 min walk from The Nelson) en-route before hitting The Griffin (8 min walk from The Globe) and then The Black Dog (2 mins from The Griffin). You can also try and do the other three pubs on the corner whilst down here if you fancy.
Then you can then either walk (15 minutes from The Globe/The Nelson and The Griffin/Black Dog ) or take a train from Brentford station (which is five minutes walk away from both The Globe/The Nelson and The Griffin/Black Dog) or a bus (237/267) to Kew Bridge.
Trains run at 24 and 54 minutes past the hour to Kew Bridge from Brentford and take two minutes.
Pubs in the Kew Bridge zone (very busy on match days)
Right next to Kew Bridge station, you will find the Express Tavern – an ale pub with a retro feel. The pub has been refurbished in readiness for the new football season and needless to say, is popular before the match due to its close proximity to the stadium.
Across the road by the river is One Over the Ait – a spacious boozer right next to Kew Bridge. This pub is situated on the location of the now-demolished Oxford & Cambridge pub where Brentford Football Club was founded in 1889.
Across Kew Bridge and the River Thames, there are two pubs on Kew Green – the Cricketers and the Greyhound – very close to the pier where Brentford fans have embarked on their away journeys by water to F*lham, Orient, Charlton, West Ham and even Southend.
North of the river along hoity-toity Strand on the Green, you will find The Steam Packet, in an old Cafe Rouge, and The Bell. A bit further down are The City Barge and the Bulls Head – two pubs side-by-side in which you would often see Ant and Dec hanging out.
There is also The Pilot which you can get to coming out of the BACK entrance of Gunnersbury station and we believe the old John Bull pub at the front of the station has been refurbed as The Gunnersbury but we have never been there so can’t give it a rating.
Transport to Brentford and Kew Bridge
The simplest on paper to get to Brentford FC from town is to get the tube to Waterloo (Northern, Jubilee lines) or Vauxhall (Victoria Line) and then take the Overground train to Kew Bridge, which is right by the stadium. Brentford is one stop further on if you are on an ‘Original Griffin Park Pub’ mission.
With trains from Waterloo being only twice an hour (22 and 52) and taking 28 minutes, we normally recommend people jump on the tube from King’s Cross or Euston and head to Northfields or South Ealing on the Piccadilly Line as it is quicker (including the time getting across London and waiting at Waterloo) and trains are more frequent.
It is only 40 minutes max station by tube to station meaning you could be in a Brentford pub within an hour of embarking your train at Kings Cross, Euston or Liverpool Street.
The other station option is Gunnersbury. You can walk to the stadium from Gunnersbury tube station (District line) in 25 minutes or take a bus (H91, 237, 267, 110), but note that it is closed for entry for one hour after the match.
For the Brentford/Griffin Park pubs you can get the Piccadilly line tube to Northfields station from King’s Cross or Euston (35 minutes) then walk down to The Plough, The Globe, The Lord Nelson and The Griffin and other pubs from there.
The new stadium is around 25 minutes’ walk from South Ealing station – if you don’t fancy Gunnersbury – or you can get on the 65 bus from across the road which will drop you almost outside in 15 minutes.
You can also pick up the 65 bus from Ealing Broadway (district and central line) which will take you to the new stadium in 25 minutes.
You can check out Transport for London’s guide to travel on the Tube and Overground.