Chelsea host Brentford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday in the early kickoff. The Blues have turned a corner of late and face a Bees side who ended a six-match winless run last time out. Thomas Frank’s side have won on their last two trips to Stamford Bridge with 4-1 and 2-0 victories.
After a dire start which saw five points from six Premier League fixtures, Mauricio Pochettino’s side are playing much better and confidence has returned. After the poor 1-0 home losses to Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa, they beat Brighton 1-0 at home in the Carabao Cup to begin a revival of sorts.
After a 2-0 win in the derby against rivals Fulham, they went to Burnley and came from 1-0 down to win 4-1. Their last match saw an excellent 60 minutes to lead 2-0 at home to Arsenal. However, a goalkeeping howler and another goal leaked seven minutes later seeing it finish 2-2. It’s now just one win in the last 12 league matches at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea Team News
Pochettino is still without Ben Chilwell, Wesley Fofana, and Christopher Nkunku. Benoit Badiashile and Reece James are back from injury but the latter may remain on the bench with Malo Gusto starting. Axel Disasi has shaken off a knock but Marc Cucurella is set to keep his place at left back with Levi Colwill playing centrally.
In attack, Cole Palmer could remain as the false nine with Mykhailo Mudryk on the left wing. Nicolas Jackson would therefore be on the bench with Armando Broja expected to be ruled out. Carney Chukwuemeka is another absentee in attacking midfield areas.
Having played well with significantly less possession against Arsenal, this will be a totally different match. Chelsea are set to have plenty of the ball against Brentford’s back five.
A draw would be seen as a very poor result and Pochettino will go all out for three points. If he needs to introduce additional forwards to chase the game, he will do that.
After four wins in the final five matches of last season, the Bees began this term in good form. They won 3-0 at Fulham in round two and drew three other matches in their first four, surrendering a lead on each occasion. A 1-0 loss at Newcastle followed after a soft penalty was conceded. A poor 3-1 home loss to Everton followed as they allowed 18 shots and 1.90 xG.
After a dominant 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest (18 shots, 1.66 xG produced), they went to Old Trafford. Brentford led 1-0 going in added time and were beaten 2-1 by two cheap late goals. They were outstanding last week, having 23 shots and 3.24 Expected Goals in a 3-0 home thrashing over Burnley.
Brentford Team News
Thomas Frank’s hands are tied on the injury front. Ivan Toney remains suspended but both Kevin Schade and Keane Lewis-Potter are also unavailable in attack. Neil Maupay started the last match but could drop to the bench to allow a switch from 4-3-3 to 5-3-2.
Rico Henry is suspended but Aaron Hickey returns from suspension to start at left back. Joshua Dasilva, Shandon Baptiste, and Mikkel Damsgaard are all ruled out in central midfield.
As usual, Brentford are set to play a back five against the league’s top seven teams. They will be compact and hard to break down.
A fast transition game is expected using Wissa and Mbuemo. A point would be a decent result, but they will play to win initially. Belief is high that they can win this match, having done so on their last two visits to Chelsea.
Chelsea have won 3 of their last 4 matches in all competitions.
Chelsea have won just once in 12 home EPL matches.
Chelsea have lost their last 2 home games vs Brentford.
Brentford have lost 2 of their last 3 away matches.
Brentford have seen Both Teams to Score NO in 6 of their last 9 away matches.
Chelsea are improving and will fancy three points here. Brentford will be solid and defensive and should not be ruled out. A narrow Blues victory looks to be the way to go but an upset is quite possible.
Best Bet: First half to finish level at 2.20
Value Bet: Chelsea to win by exactly 1 goal at 3.50
Multiplier Leg: Chelsea win/draw double chance + Under 3.5 goals at 1.71