Date: Saturday 16th October 2021
Venue: Brentford Community Stadium
Kick-off: 17:30 BST
I can think of fixtures I’d rather have after an international break than Brentford away, given their start to life in the Premier League, but that’s what we’ve got in this evening’s game.
Brentford are 7th in the table with 12 points from their opening seven Premier League matches, having faced the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Villa along the way. Their only defeat so far, came against Brighton and they beat West Ham away from home in their last game.
Despite a bit of a hiccup with back-to-back defeats to Manchester City and Juventus, Chelsea went into the break top of the table after beating Southampton 3-1 at Stamford Bridge last time out. Our tight defence has conceded just three league goals so far this season despite having faced Spurs, City, Arsenal and Liverpool already, but we’re a bit sparse on defensive cover after the international break, so we may want to get the ‘travel/injuries/fatigue’ excuses in early.
Going into today’s game, Brentford manager Thomas Frank, says “They [Chelsea] won the Champions League when we won the promotion in the playoff finals. This is a good indication of the difference between the two clubs. It’s a team with world-class players, and it’s more or less completed with the transfer of Romelu Lukaku. They have the highest quality players in every position and one of the best coaches in the world at Thomas Tuchel. I don’t think they have any weaknesses.
Every Premier League match is a big one but confronting the European champion and the Premier League number one is a big challenge. But we love the challenge and believe in ourselves. I believed that something could be gained from the match between Arsenal and Liverpool. Of course, Chelsea is more likely to win than Brentford, but it’s not just for great performance. We go there to win, and I 100% believe we can get something out of the game.”
Thomas Tuchel, meanwhile, says “They [Brentford] will be up for it. Of course, they play with a lot of enthusiasm and catch already momentum and enthusiasm for getting promoted after so many years of trying hard. Finally, Chelsea comes – not for a cup game, not for a friendly game but Chelsea arrives for a game in the Premier League. They have so many points on their side, so many results. The atmosphere will be like this, they play with courage and with a lot of confidence, but we cannot be surprised.”
For Brentford, Shandon Baptiste (shoulder) is out but Kristoffer Ajer and Vitaly Janelt are back in contention.
For Chelsea, Antonio Rudiger (back), Hakim Ziyech (illness) and Christian Pulisic (ankle) are out, and Thiago Silva is not available following a late finish to international duty. Romelu Lukaku (muscle fatigue), Reece James (ankle) and N’Golo Kante (Covid) should all be available
BRENTFORD (Possible line-up): Raya; Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock; Canos, Norgaard, Onyeka, Janelt, Henry; Toney, Mbeumo
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Mendy; Azpilicueta; Chalobah, Christensen, James; Loftus-Cheek; Kante, Chilwell; Mount, Havertz, Lukaku
CURRENT FORM (PL)
- Brentford have not beaten Chelsea since February 1939.
- Brentford are the first team to remain unbeaten in their first three Premier League London derbies.
- Brentford have won seven of nine top-flight matches against sides starting the day top of the table.
- Brentford have trailed for just 25 minutes in the Premier League so far.
- Chelsea could become the first team in the top four English divisions to win seven consecutive London derbies away from home in the league.
- Chelsea have dropped points in three of their past four top-flight matches away to newly promoted sides.
- Chelsea have scored a league-high seven first-half goals this season.
BBC Sport: Brentford 0-2 Chelsea
Sky Sports: Brentford 1-1 Chelsea
Sportsmole: Brentford 1-2 Chelsea