Chelsea will be eager to extend the recent four-game winning run when they welcome Brentford to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

The 2023/24 Premier League season continues this week with Gameweek 10. The latest round of fixtures kicks off with a Friday night match, as Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur lock horns in a London Derby. The action on Saturday gets underway with another London Derby, with Chelsea hosting Brentford at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea began the 2023/24 season with two wins in six matches, only one of which came in the Premier League. But the Blues have turned their fortunes around in their last four outings, winning three games while holding Arsenal to a 2-2 draw last weekend. That run of results has helped Mauricio Pochettino’s men break into the top half of the table.

As for Brentford, the Bees began the 2023/24 season with a five-game unbeaten run, although they won only one of those fixtures in regulation time. But the subsequent five matches yielded no victories, sending Thomas Frank and his charges tumbling down the Premier League table and out of the Carabao Cup. However, that horrendous run ended with a 3-0 win over Burnley last week.

The corresponding fixture last season saw Chelsea suffer a 2-0 defeat at home, with Cesar Azpilicueta scoring an own goal and Bryan Mbeumo finding the back of the net for Brentford. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Chelsea

Mauricio Pochettino has greeted positive updates on the team news front ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Brentford on Saturday, the Chelsea manager will be bereft of the services of seven first-team players.

Armando Broja faces a race against time to determine his availability amid his battle against a knee injury. But Ben Chilwell (hamstring), Trevoh Chalobah (thigh), Wesley Fofana (knee), Romeo Lavia (ankle), Carney Chukwuemeka (knee), and Christopher Nkunku (knee) remain on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, Reece James and Nicolas Jackson are in line to start after appearing off the bench against Arsenal. But Pochettino will likely ease James back into the thick of the action, meaning Malo Gusto will start as the right-back.

Robert Sanchez is an automatic pick between the sticks, with Chelsea lining up in a 4-3-3 formation in front of the Spaniard. Gusto will likely join Axel Disasi, Thiago Silva, and Levi Colwill in the defensive unit.

As for the midfield department, there is no looking past Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo, and Conor Gallagher. Finally, the offensive unit should consist of Cole Palmer, Raheem Sterling, and Mykhailo Mudryk. So Jackson, like James, will be an option off the bench for Chelsea against Brentford on Saturday.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Sanchez; Gusto, Disasi, Silva, Colwill; Fernandez, Caicedo, Gallagher; Palmer, Sterling, Mudryk

Brentford

Like his counterpart in the Chelsea dugout, Thomas Frank does not have a new roster issue hampering his preparations ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge. The Brentford manager will be without six first-team players on Saturday.

The good news is Aaron Hickey is available after serving a one-match suspension. But Rico Henry (knee), Shandon Baptiste (shoulder), Joshua Dasilva (thigh), Mikkel Damsgaard (knee), and Kevin Schade (groin) remain in the treatment room.

Meanwhile, Ivan Toney continues to serve his suspension for FA’s breaching anti-betting laws. The in-demand striker still has three more months to go before returning to action. Meanwhile, Brentford will line up in a 3-5-2 formation against Chelsea.

Mark Flekken is an automatic pick between the sticks, with Nathan Collins, Ben Mee, and Ethan Pinnock forming the central defensive partnership. The trio will look to remain compact and frustrate the Chelsea attacker by cutting off the passing lanes to them.

Mads Roerslev and Hickey should be the two wing-backs, with the duo often dropping deep to create a back five. That will help keep Chelsea at bay for long periods. The pair will also support the three midfielders in nipping the home side’s attacks in the bud.

Mathias Jensen will be the creative supremo for Brentford, with his set-piece prowess likely to come to the fore. The Danish midfielder will join Christian Norgaard and Vitaly Janelt in the middle of the park. Finally, Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa will be the two strikers for the away side.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Flekken; Collins, Mee, Pinnock; Roerslev, Jensen, Norgaard, Janelt, Hickey; Mbeumo, Wissa

Key Stats

  • Brentford will look to make it three Premier League wins in as many games against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. No team has ever won each of their first three matches away to Chelsea in the competition. The Bees are unbeaten in the last three meetings (W2, D1), scoring a total of six goals and conceding just one.
  • Chelsea’s 3-0 win against Luton Town in August is the only time they have managed a victory in 12 home games in the Premier League (D6 L5). Meanwhile, they have won just two of their last 12 Premier League London derbies (D4 L6).
  • Brentford beat Burnley 3-0 last Saturday to end a run of six Premier League games without a victory (D3 L3). Both of their league wins this season have come in West London — 3-0 away to Fulham in August and last weekend’s home victory.
  • Brentford are unbeaten in their most recent London 12 derbies in the league (W6 D6), the longest run in their history.
  • Bryan Mbeumo has been involved in 11 goals in his last 12 Premier League games, scoring eight and assisting three.

Player to Watch

Cole Palmer

Embed from Getty Images

When Cole Palmer joined Chelsea from Manchester City on Deadline Day of the summer transfer window, scepticism was the first reaction from most people. The Blues needed a top-class striker yet splashed the cash on a youngster who was not one. However, the Englishman has proven his naysayers wrong thus far.

The 21-year-old has started his Chelsea stint well, scoring twice and providing two assists in seven appearances thus far. Palmer’s performances in the last few weeks have galvanised Chelsea, with Raheem Sterling also rediscovering his best. Another top-notch performance will help the Blues stretch their recent unbeaten run and continue their rise through the Premier League standings.

Prediction

Chelsea 2-1 Brentford

The match pits two teams that are far away from where they think they should be on the Premier League table. While Chelsea will have UEFA Champions League aspirations, Brentford will be eager to seal another top-half finish. But they have blown hot and cold thus far this term.

Thomas Frank’s team have opened the scoring in six top-flight matches in 2023-24, bettered only by West Ham United. That might be the case again this weekend, considering Chelsea’s sub-par record at home. However, the Blues have produced a few fighting performances in the last few weeks.

That should be the case again this weekend, with Cole Palmer and Raheem Sterling rising to the occasion again. The duo will deliver the goods in the final third and three points to Chelsea. The Hard Tackle predicts a closely-contested affair which will end in a 2-1 comeback win for Mauricio Pochettino and his charges.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Recommended

Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.