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London calling!...

We take a look at Brentford, Millwall and Queens Park Rangers, as well as glancing at Reading and Luton Town

2 September 2020

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In our fourth look at our opponents in 2020-21, we begin with the three teams we'll face in the capital as well as a couple of sides that are based on the London outskirts...

We'll begin with the team who came just a game away from playing in the Premier League at the end of last season - play-off finalists Brentford.

The Bees suffered defeat in the Wembley final to west-London rivals Fulham, with Joe Bryan's brace earning a spot back in the top flight for the Whites.

Ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, it's likely to be a summer of change for the Bees both on and off the pitch.

Thomas Frank's side move into their brand new Brentford Community Stadium after spending over 100 years plying their trade at Griffin Park.

On the pitch, there's already been plenty of interest in two of their front three, with Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins both expected to depart the club for the Premier League this summer.

Ex-Rovers goalkeeper David Raya could also be in line for a move, with the custodian reportedly interesting Arsenal in recent weeks.

The Bees have made moves to reinforce their squad, with Charlie Goode and Ivan Toney arriving from Northampton Town and Peterborough United respectfully.

The last meeting...

The last encounter between the sides saw the teams play out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Griffin Park back in February 2020.

Adam Armstrong's brace handed Rovers a two-goal advantage, before the Bees battled back to earn a share of the spoils thanks to Ollie Watkins' stunner and Said Benrahma's penalty.

There are 4.4 miles between Brentford's new stadium and Queens Park Rangers' Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, so we'll make the short trip east to tackle Mark Warburton's Hoops.

The big news this summer from QPR's point of view was the big money departure of Ebe Eze, who made the switch to Crystal Palace for a reported £20m fee.

That money has allowed Warburton to strengthen his squad ahead of his second season in charge, with Lyndon Dykes, an arrival from Livingston, brought in to fill the void left by the departure of loanee Jordan Hugill.

Elsewhere, Luke Amos has returned for a permanent move from Tottenham Hotspur, whilst George Thomas makes the move to the capital from Leicester City.

Another addition looks a shrewd one, with highly-rated Oxford United defender Rob Dickie moving up from League One to the Championship by joining Rangers this week.

The last meeting...

All the goals came in the first half as Rovers edged a narrow 2-1 win over Rangers at Ewood Park in January 2020.

Another fine Adam Armstrong goal put Rovers ahead, only for Jordan Hugill to level things up soon after. However, Darragh Lenihan put Rovers back in front before the break and that was enough to earn all three points for the hosts.

Our final look at London ends with Millwall, who have been busy bolstering their squad ahead of 2020-21.

Three ex-Lions have returned to the Den, with Mason Bennett joining permanently from Derby County and Ryan Woods making the temporary switch back to south London from Stoke City.

Elsewhere, Scott Malone returns on loan from Derby having spent three years at Millwall between 2012 and 2015.

The arrival of Troy Parrott could prove to be a shrewd move by Gary Rowett, with the Irishman set to spend the season on loan from Tottenham Hotspur.

Bartosz Bialkowski, who won the Golden Glove in 2019-20 for the highest amount of clean sheets, will once again be crucial for the Lions, who will be aiming to reach the play-offs this season having just missed out last term.

The last meeting...

The last encounter came at the end of last season, with Mason Bennett's solitary strike being enough to earn all three points for the Lions back in mid-July.

Our first trip away from the capital will begin with Reading, who have made a managerial change this summer in allowing ex-Rovers coach Mark Bowen to depart.

Serbian chief Veljko Paunovic has been appointed to oversee things, with the Berkshire side going down the foreign route to try and force a way into the play-offs in 2020-21.

Despite the change in manager, signings have been arriving at the Madejski Stadium, with Ovie Ejaria returning on a permanent deal from Liverpool.

Another midfielder, Josh Laurent, has also made the move to Reading, stepping up from League One Shrewsbury Town on a free transfer.

The last meeting...

That last meeting proved to be a goalfest at Ewood Park in what was our last home encounter of 2019-20.

Goals from Ben Brereton and Adam Armstrong saw Rovers race into an early two-goal lead against the Royals in mid-July, only for John Swift's free kick to give the visitors hope going into the second half.

Joe Rothwell's deflected effort saw Rovers regain their two-goal advantage before Sam Baldock and then Yakou Meite saw Reading level.

Just as it looked like it would end all square, Sam Gallagher nodded home Harry Chapman's excellent cross to win the game for the hosts late on.

Our final look at clubs in this preview will end with our final opponent of last season - Luton Town.

Survival was earned on the last day of the term for Town, with Nathan Jones turning things around at the beginning of his second spell in charge of the Hatters.

Survival has led to a new dawn at Kenilworth Road, with Jones quickly getting on with adding to his squad in a bid to not be in any kind of relegation battle in 2020-21.

A number of last season's squad were released in the summer, whilst Cameron Carter-Vickers and Izzy Brown returned to their parent clubs.

James Bree has returned on a permanent deal from Aston Villa, whilst Jordan Clark has made the switch from League One Accrington Stanley.

Replacing Carter-Vickers at centre back is Tom Lockyer. The Welsh defender arrived on a free transfer earlier this week after departing relegated Charlton Athletic at the end of last term.

The last meeting...

The Hatters secured survival on the final day of the season with a narrow 3-2 win over Rovers at Kenilworth Road.

Adam Armstrong put Rovers ahead early on in Befordshire, but two own goals turned the scoreline around in Town's favour.

A James Collins penalty put the hosts further in front, and although Sam Gallagher pulled a goal back late on, it was too little, too late for Rovers.


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