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Spurs are heavily involved in the race for fourth place, and Champions League football next season, as the Premier League enters the final month of the season.

Going into the weekend’s matches, they held it on goal difference from north London rivals Arsenal, who they entertain next month, and are three points ahead of Manchester United and five ahead of seventh-placed West Ham.

Spurs have had a mixed season – winning their first three Premier League games under new manager Nuno Espirito Santo, but then losing their way in a run of five defeats in seven matches which cost the former Wolves boss his job.

He was replaced by Antonio Conte, who has also had mixed results since taking over at the start of November.

He did lead Spurs to six wins and three draws in his first nine league games up to the middle of January, but they then lost four out of five – the exception being a 3-2 win at Manchester City.

They then won six out of seven before last Saturday’s surprise 1-0 home defeat by Brighton.

Spurs went out of the Europa Conference League in controversial fashion in the group stages after being forced to forfeit their final game with Rennes because they had a Covid outbreak. Uefa ruled the match could not be rescheduled and awarded the French side a 3-0 win, which ended Spurs’ hopes of progress.

In the FA Cup, they lost 1-0 at Middlesbrough in the fifth round, after 3-1 home wins over Morecambe and Brighton, and in the Carabao Cup they lost 3-0 on aggregate to Chelsea in the semi-finals.

WHO’S IN CHARGE

As mentioned earlier, Antonio Conte took charge five months ago.

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It is his second spell in the Premier League after previously being in charge of Chelsea – winning the title in his first season of 2016/17 and the FA Cup in his second.

He led Inter Milan to their first Serie A title for 11 years last season, before leaving the club in the summer.

Antonio also managed the Italian national team, as well as club sides Arezzo, Bari, Atalanta, Siena and Juventus in his homeland.

As a player, he represented Lecce and Juventus, while winning 20 caps for Italy.

WE’VE MET BEFORE

This is only the fourth season in which we have been in the same division as Spurs.

The other three were from 1947 to 1950 when both of us were in Division Two (now the Championship).

Our past league results (Brentford score first) are:

1947/48 – (H) W 2-0 (A) L 0-4

1948/49 – (H) D 1-1 (A) L 0-2

1949/50 – (H) L 1-4 (A) D 1-1

Our first top flight meeting took place at the start of December when we lost 2-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Son Heung-min was involved in both goals – his cross deflected off Sergi Canos for a 12th-minute own goal, before he tapped home the second in the 65th minute after a quick counter-attack.

We have actually met Spurs more times in cup competitions than in league matches, especially in recent years.

We were first drawn against each other in the 1921/22 FA Cup when we lost 2-0 at home to them in the first round proper, and then we met again in the two-legged third round proper in 1945/46 when we went through 4-2 on aggregate, after a 2-2 draw away and a 2-0 home win.

In the past 30 years, we have been paired together three times in the second round of the League Cup and also met in last season’s semi-finals.

1992/93

The first of our League Cup ties, in September 1992, came just after we had won promotion to the second tier. Teddy Sheringham put Spurs ahead at White Hart Lane, but Gary Blissett memorably equalised before Kevin Watson and Gordon Durie wrapped up a 3-1 win for the hosts.

The second leg appeared a formality and so it proved, as Spurs won 4-2 at Griffin Park for a 7-3 aggregate success.

Early goals from Darren Anderton, with a penalty, and Teddy Sheringham, killed off any chance of a shock. Gary Blissett replied before Andy Turner and Sheringham, with his second, made it 4-1 on the night. Keith Millen scored a late consolation for the Bees.

1998/99

Things were much closer when we met seven years later, despite Brentford being a fourth tier club, with each match finishing 3-2 to Spurs – even though we took the lead in each leg.

This time the first leg was at Griffin Park, and Andy Scott put us ahead in the 28th minute, only for Stephen Carr to level in the 44th minute. Substitute Jose Dominguez gave Spurs the lead for the first time early in the second half, before Darren Freeman equalised, only for Ramon Vega to snatch a priceless third away goal late on.

In the return just over a week later, Andy Scott levelled the tie on aggregate after giving us a first-minute lead at White Hart Lane. But Allan Nielsen, Sol Campbell and Chris Armstrong all scored to put Spurs in control, before substitute Lloyd Owusu made the scoreline more respectable in the 74th minute. However, Spurs went through 6-4 on aggregate.

First leg highlights at 9:35 in this video, with second leg highlights at 12:38.

Spurs went on to win the competition – beating Leicester 1-0 in the final with a last-gasp goal from Allan Nielsen.

2000/01

In 2000/01, Spurs survived a first leg at Griffin Park which they finished with 10 men, before sealing victory back in north London.

In TW8, goalkeeper Neil Sullivan was sent off on the hour mark for bringing down Paul Evans, who was clean through, while centre-half Sol Campbell was forced off in the 35th minute with a shoulder injury.

Even though Spurs fielded new £11m signing Sergei Rebrov up front, Oli Gottskalksson kept him at bay as we earned a 0-0 draw.

In the return leg a week later, Scott Partridge missed a great chance to put us ahead early in the second half before Oyvind Leonhardsen and Steffen Iversen scored to take Spurs through 2-0 on the night and also on aggregate.

2020/21

The Bees reached the semi-final of the competition for the first time in our history – but once again ended up on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline.

Moussa Sissoko gave Spurs a 12th-minute lead, before on the hour mark we had our first-ever encounter with VAR when an Ivan Toney effort was ruled out.

Son Heung-min doubled the lead in the 70th minute, before Josh Dasilva was sent off late on.

OPPOSITION VIEW

BBC Radio London commentator and presenter Phil Parry looks at Spurs’s fight to cement a top four place, why the Kane-Son partnership is so successful, and who else to watch out for in the visitors’ side.

Q – How would you assess Spurs’s season?

A – It’s probably fair to say it’s been at times a confusing and erratic season for Spurs fans to endure – from the underwhelming appointment of a manager last summer, followed by a winning start, average form, a managerial change and the arrival of someone seen as an elite boss. The elimination from Europe’s third tier competition came in a bizarre fashion, there was of course a League Cup semi final, won by Chelsea, and an FA Cup run to the last eight, but those eliminations have left the season’s success now resting on the Premier League.

It may have taken a while and the arrival of a couple of important signings in January, but improvement has now been made and consistency discovered. There is a definite indication of the direction that Antonio Conte is taking the club and another transfer window will allow him to further build the squad that he actually wants. In essence, it has been an unpredictable rollercoaster of a ride for much of the campaign, but the ups are now more prevalent than the downs and the season’s conclusion holds potential excitement.

Q – What do you make of Nuno Espirito Santo’s reign at the club?

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A – Not wishing to be obtuse, the first thing to say that his tenure was.… short. It seems pretty obvious that the former Wolves man was not the first choice to take over at the club, and the man who replaced him was someone who appeared to be a stronger candidate in the summer. Of course Nuno’s reign started well with three straight Premier League wins and a “Manager of the Month” trophy, but even at that embryonic stage of the campaign things did not look convincing.

Results and performances continued to be mixed and unconvincing. Never taking a disastrous turn but also not inspiring a belief the side were up there with the big boys. Harry Kane wasn’t firing and when Nuno’s dismissal came in early November there was obvious sympathy and some questions about whether more time was needed, but in truth little surprise.

Q – What did Antonio Conte change and what do you make of his time in charge?

A – Antonio Conte immediately brought expectation and a feeling that Spurs had stepped back into a different sphere. A winner elsewhere, his appointment again created the sense that Tottenham wanted to be challenging. He has very high expectations on the pitch and at the training ground, and it could be seen pretty quickly to play for him you had to work.

It was also clear to see that while he was still figuring out what he needed to add to his squad and who he had that would fit his plan, that organisation was being instilled. Of course there was an unbeaten start for Conte in the League but results, especially a couple in the Europa Conference League, and performances took a little while to become consistent. Eventually a regular feeling to the line-up was coupled with a clear upturn in results.

Q – With their remaining fixtures, what are Spurs’s chances of holding on to that fourth spot in the table?

A – Well I suppose technically it’s in their hands… win all the remaining games in the League programme including the North London Derby (NLD) on May 12th and they will finish in the top four. However, the route to such an outcome is not without its challenges and the Bees, like all Spurs’s other opponents, are not going to let the north Londoners win.

Their challengers for the Champions League places come from Manchester United and Arsenal, although United hardly paint a picture of a side ready to pounce on the top four, while Arsenal have weaknesses too. The NLD could still prove critical to discover who makes it come the end of the season, but equally games like this one at the BCS, which are tough to predict, could have a major influence.

Q – Harry Kane is back on form after an unsettled start to the season – what is it about his partnership with Heung-Min Son that makes it so successful?

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A – When on form and in the zone there is an instinctive chemistry between the pair that a flick-on from one is latched on to by another, or a near post run is almost anticipated. They also have their own individual talents which exact different requirements from defenders and so can cause problems across the back line. But while their partnership is so effective when things are clicking, they need a successful supporting cast.

Of course in the past Christian Eriksen has played his role in that, and this season the arrival of Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur has had a very positive effect. The former has added an extra dimension to the front three, occupying defenders with a rampaging physical and skilful style to further stretch the opposition defences, while the latter adds control in the midfield and looks forwards to set things in motion. Kane and Son in their own right are one of the Premier League’s most effective partnerships, but the support has to be there too

Q – What do you remember of the Bees’ defeat at White Hart Lane in December?

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A – I suppose the thing that stuck out for me was that Brentford fans were able to be at the game, unlike the previous trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the League Cup the season before. So for those lucky enough to get a ticket there was a chance to experience the sparkling new ground. And as someone lucky enough to work there on a regular basis it’s pretty spectacular.

The game wasn’t a great one for the Bees, not really testing Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal, although as a result it stood out as the only loss in a five-game run at that time. Spurs were effective and efficient, but were still finding their feet under the new manager at the time but were clearly the better team on the day.

Q – Apart from Kane and Son, who else should Brentford fans look out for in the Spurs team?

A – Well as mentioned before, the January arrivals of Bentancur and Kulusevski have both made a real impact since arriving and quickly became stalwarts in the side. Hugo Lloris continues to be important for the side as well, and in the recent win at Villa pulled off a string of first-half saves which kept the Villains from having a decent half-time lead. Eric Dier is the core when it comes to defensive solidity and while not the same as he was, Lucas Moura can still bring some fun off the bench.

Q – Finally can you give me a possible Spurs line-up and formation please?

A –                                                                              LLoris

Romero                                                Dier                        Davies

Emmerson                 Hjoberg                                                Bentancur             Regullon/Sessegnon

Kulusevski                           Kane                                      Son

 

I would like to offer a huge vote of thanks to Phil for all the opponents’ guides he has written for me this season. With all our London opponents, it is the fifth time he has taken the time to answer my questions on our visitors, more than a quarter of our home games, and it’s hugely appreciated.

HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAME IF YOU CAN’T BE THERE

If you can’t get to the Brentford Community Stadium for Saturday’s sold-out 5.30pm kick-off, there are various ways of following the game.

TV – The match is being shown live on Sky Sports, with coverage starting at 5.00.

Radio – There will be live commentary on BBC Radio London Digital and on talkSport.

iFollow – If you want Brentford commentary, iFollow audio coverage is available via monthly or seasonal passes. Coverage starts half an hour before kick-off and is advert-free, with Mark Burridge, Jonathan Douglas and Karleigh Osborne.

IAN WESTBROOK

@ianwestbrook

PUBS IN BRENTFORD AND TRAVEL NEWS

For Spurs fans coming to the Brentford Community Stadium for the first time, 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.