Date: Wednesday 26th April 2023
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Tonight’s game sees us back at Stamford Bridge after a short break with Brentford visiting. I say visiting because its anyone’s guess whether a game will actually break out. We’re officially as poor as we’ve been since 1923-24, or at least our goal tally is, and Brentford are another club who couldn’t buy a win lately. Still, they’re playing us tonight, so they won’t need to!
Frank Lampard’s return as interim must feel like Groundhog Day for him of memories, he’d probably hoped he could put behind him. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter what or who he’s tried so far, they’ve either looked like they’d rather be anywhere else but, on a pitch, or they look like they’ve never been on one before. Of course, that wasn’t the case against Real Madrid because, predictably, they found a bit of motivation from somewhere, sadly they still couldn’t find any goals to go with it. So, no surprises there.
We only managed a point against Brentford in the away fixture – and of course, didn’t score, and they beat us soundly in this fixture last season. The visitors managed a draw against Villa last time out, they might not have seen results go their way in their last six games, but we know they’re a well organised side.
It’s Arsenal next for us, so if we walk away from this game with nothing, I’m not sure where points will come from for us for the remainder of the season.
Going into tonight’s game, Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard, says “During my first period at the club, I came in with a transfer ban and losing big players and everyone said, ‘of course, the young players get in the team’. They got in the team because they deserved it with how they trained. That’s a culture and a way you have to have at a top football club. I don’t think changes just for the moment, I think it should always be there. Players have to train, those seven games and days of training are all opportunities every day to try and show you deserve to be in the team. As I think I’ve probably shown as a coach, if you do that, you’ll always get an opportunity with me.
The schedule is always going to be challenging, I knew that coming in. That was a challenge in trying to work the players, seeing them first hand, you can’t make too many pre-judgements. Of course the games came thick and fast and we had a lot of fitness to think about in those games and rotation. That period is gone, we don’t have a crazy period like that until the last week of the season now. It gives us a bit more time to work in between. Those have been the challenges. I think there are always a lot of challenges. I came in mid-season at Everton and I found a lot of challenges, we probably had more time to work until the end of the season so we could get more consistency in work. This is different. Football is about challenges and you have to tackle them head-on. There are challenges and we have to keep on going.”
Brentford manager, Thomas Frank, meanwhile, says “I think we all know that Chelsea have been struggling a little bit this season, but they have some very good players. Under Frank [Lampard], I know they haven’t won in the four games he’s been in charge, but they are playing with big energy and more intensity; on the eye and also on the numbers. They played a very good game, for example, against Real Madrid at home, who I think won a tiny cup, the Champions League, last year?! They have top players who they bought for around £600 million over the last two transfer windows, and they haven’t forgotten how to play football – sometimes it just takes one moment or a good week working with them. At Stamford Bridge, they are clear favourites, but we hope and believe we can do something.”
For Chelsea, Armando Broja (ACL), Kalidou Koulibaly (hamstring), Mason Mount (pelvic), Reece James (hamstring), and Kai Havertz (knee) are all injured but Ben Chilwell is back from suspension.
For Brentford, Pontus Jansson (hamstring), Kristoffer Ajer (calf), Keane Lewis-Potter (knee) are all out injured, whilst Christian Norgaard is a doubt.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; Chalobah, Fofana, Thiago Silva, Chilwell; Kante, Fernandez, Kovacic; Mudryk, Havertz, Felix
BRENTFORD (Possible line-up): Raya; Hickey, Mee, Pinnock, Henry; Jensen, Janelt, Dasilva; Mbeumo, Toney, Damsgaard
Chelsea 1-4 Brentford (2nd April 2022)
- Chelsea are without a win in their last two games against Brentford.
- Brentford’s have won twice at Stamford Bridge in all eight away fixtures against Chelsea in all competitions.
- Chelsea are without a win in their last seven games in all competitions.
- Brentford are without a win in six Premier League games.
- Chelsea have lost three of their last six Premier League London derbies games.
- Brentford have failed to win each of the last four Premier League games after opening the scoring.
- Chelsea have scored just 30 goals in the Premier League this season, their lowest after 31 games since 1923-24.
Sportsmole: Chelsea 1-1 Brentford