Chelsea vs Brentford Preview: Prediction, Probable Lineups, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Chelsea and Brentford will be desperate to return to winning ways when they clash at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

The business end of the 2022/23 season has begun, and matches are coming thick and fast across Europe. Wednesday will feature the biggest game in the Premier League this term, as Manchester City and Arsenal lock horns at the Etihad. And one of the other fixtures will see Chelsea welcoming Brentford to Stamford Bridge, with both teams keen on a top-half finish.

Things are going from bad to worse with each passing this season for Chelsea. The Blues are already on their fourth manager of the campaign. And Frank Lampard, who will be in charge of the West London club until the end of the season, has lost each of the four matches he has overseen thus far. The horrendous run of results has left Chelsea in the 11th spot on the Premier League table.

The Blues are a spot and five points adrift of Brentford in the standings. The Bees have enjoyed another memorable campaign thus far, once being on the longest active unbeaten streak in the Premier League. But Thomas Frank’s men have won only one of their last eight Premier League matches. And the dreadful run has sent them tumbling down the table in the last few weeks.

The reverse fixture saw Chelsea and Brentford play out a goalless stalemate, even though the two teams managed ten shots on target between themselves. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics


Frank Lampard has a plethora of injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Brentford on Wednesday, the Chelsea caretaker manager will be bereft of the services of five first-team players.

Reece James (hamstring), Mason Mount (Osteitis Pubis), and Kai Havertz (knee) are the latest absentee. And Lampard has confirmed in his pre-match press conference that James and Mount have played their last games of the season. Meanwhile, Kalidou Koulibaly (thigh) and Armando Broja (knee) remain on the sidelines.

Lampard will have to make several changes to his starting eleven due to the players being unavailable. But Kepa Arrizabalaga will retain his spot between the sticks, with Chelsea lining up in a 4-3-3 formation in front of him.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek will likely replace the injured James, although Cesar Azpilicueta is also an option. The Englishman will join Wesley Fofana, Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell in the defensive unit on Wednesday.

As for the midfield department, Lampard will do well to name his strong partnership. So N’Golo Kante, Enzo Fernandez, and Mateo Kovacic will form the trifecta in the middle of the park. And the trio will be Chelsea’s best bet to keep Brentford quiet and have Ivan Toney at bay.

Finally, Lampard has only a handful of candidates to fill the three offensive slots in the absence of Mount and Havertz. Raheem Sterling might be the makeshift striker, with Mykhailo Mudryk and Joao Felix completing the numbers in the final third.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Kepa; Loftus-Cheek, Wesley Fofana, Silva, Chilwell; Kante, Fernandez, Kovacic; Mudryk, Sterling, Felix


Unlike his counterpart in the Chelsea dugout, Thomas Frank does not have any new issues to deal with ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge. The Brentford manager will be without four first-team players on Wednesday.

Pontus Jansson (thigh), Kristoffer Ajer (calf), Christian Norgaard (knock), and Keane Lewis-Potter (knee) remain on the sidelines for the foreseeable future. And Jansson and Lewis-Potter have seen their campaigns come to a premature end.

David Raya is an automatic pick between the sticks, with Brentford lining up in a 4-3-3 formation in front of him. Despite having a similar system to Chelsea, the two setups cannot be more different. And the visitors will thrive on directness to trouble the Blues’ defence.

Ben Mee and Ethan Pinnock are automatic picks to form the central defensive partnership in Jansson’s absence. And Aaron Hickey and Rico Henry should be the two full-backs. Henry, in particular, will carry a threat in the final third with his looping crosses.

Meanwhile, Norgaard’s absence means Vitaly Janelt will step into the team to sit at the base of the midfield. The German midfielder will likely join Mathias Jensen and Joshua Dasilva in the middle of the park. And Jensen’s set-piece deliveries will also hold the key for Brentford against Chelsea.

As for the offensive unit, Mikkel Damsgaard should start ahead of Yoane Wissa. The DR Congo international has been inconsistent in the last few weeks and will find himself on the bench. So Damsgaard will line up alongside Bryan Mbeumo and Ivan Toney in the final third.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Raya; Hickey, Pinnock, Mee, Henry; Jensen, Janelt, Dasilva; Mbeumo, Toney, Damsgaard

Key Stats

  • Chelsea won seven of eight meetings with Brentford in all competitions between 1946 and 2021 (D1). But they are winless in their last two outings against the Bees (D1 L1). The Bees have lost six of their eight away games against Chelsea in all competitions (W2), though they did come from behind to win the corresponding fixture 4-1 last season.
  • Chelsea have lost three of their most recent six Premier League London derby matches (W1 D2), as many as in their previous 14. They last lost four such matches in a single campaign in 2001/02.
  • Chelsea are winless in their last seven games in all competitions (D2 L5), losing the most recent four in a row. They last had a longer winless run between October and December 1993 (11 games), including six straight defeats – the last time they lost 5+ in a row.
  • Brentford have failed to win the last four Premier League games in which they have opened the scoring (D3 L1), including the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa this past weekend. Before this, the Bees had won 19 of their first 23 Premier League games in which they had scored first and never lost (D4).
  • Ivan Toney has scored 19 goals for Brentford in the Premier League this season. Should he find the net in this game, he would become just the second player to score 20+ in a top-flight campaign for the Bees, after Dave McCulloch, who did so three times (26 in 1935/36, 31 in 1936/37, and 26 in 1937/38).

Player to Watch

Raheem Sterling

Embed from Getty Images

The Chelsea attack has left a lot to be desired this season, with no player stepping up to inspire his teammates. And the most disappointing attacker for the West London club has been summer signing Raheem Sterling.

The English international arrived at Stamford Bridge with the experience of winning multiple Premier League trophies. And he was also a prolific scorer under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola. But he has not shown his qualities this term and needs to rediscover his best to ensure a solid end to the campaign. So he will be under the scanner on Wednesday.


Chelsea 1-1 Brentford

Since Frank Lampard joined Everton in February 2022, no manager has lost more Premier League games than him (23). And despite Brentford’s sub-par form in the last few weeks, Chelsea might be in trouble.

However, the Bees have conceded at least one goal in nine of their last 12 away Premier League games. And a more dynamic Chelsea attack might find a way past David Raya on Wednesday. But the hosts also have issues at the back and will likely let in a cheap strike. So the two sides might not have much between them this week. And The Hard Tackle predicts a 1-1 draw in Wednesday’s London Derby.

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