We profile Brentford, who Southampton will visit for a pre-season friendly on Saturday 22nd July...
For the third season in succession, the Bees finished in the top half of England’s second tier, as they secured tenth place in 2016/17.
That was actually their poorest finish since returning to the Championship in the 2014/15 campaign – after a fifth and a ninth place – which underlines the strength they have shown in recent seasons.
They finished the term strongly, losing just four of their last 15 league games, although they still fell 16 points shy of the play-offs.
Griffin Park has been Brentford’s home stadium since 1904.
It has a capacity of 12,300, and features a mixture of seating and terracing.
It used to be famous for having a pub on every corner of the ground, although one of these closed a few years ago.
The club soon plan to move to a new ground – the Brentford Community Stadium, which is projected to open in 2019.
Former Walsall, Leyton Orient and Sheffield Wednesday defender Dean Smith is the man in charge of the Bees.
The 46-year-old took over the club in November 2015, helping them to a ninth-place finish in his first campaign.
Smith previously managed Walsall from 2011 until 2015.
Some Saints fans will recognise the name of Brentford captain Harlee Dean, who had a short spell at St Mary’s, from 2010 to 2012.
The defender did not make a first-team appearance in that time, but has gone on to become an important part of the Bees’ set-up, winning the supporters’ player of the season vote for 2016/17.
Elsewhere, Brentford boast plenty of attacking talent in their squad, with top scorer Lasse Vibe, who netted 16 goals, one of three players to hit double figures last term.
The teams last met in the 2010/11 League One season, when they each beat the other side away from home.
Brentford triumphed 2-0 at St Mary’s in the December, before Saints won 3-0 at Griffin Park four months later, as they moved to the verge of promotion.
Two 1-1 draws had been fought out the season before that.
The last time Saints met the Bees as a Premier League side was in 2005, when they faced them in the FA Cup – a 2-2 draw at St Mary’s being followed by a 3-1 away win for Southampton in the replay.