Chelsea faces Brentford in the English Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night. This fixture has the least at the stake of the midweek action as the 10th team faces off against the 11th-positioned team. The Blues are winless in seven with four successive defeats. Brentford have lost three of their last four fixtures.
The Pensioners are in desperate form and have been since October. A run of three wins in 16 matches across all competitions saw Graham Potter sacked. His final two results saw a 2-2 home draw against Everton and a 2-0 home loss to Aston Villa. Caretaker coach Bruno Saltor oversaw a 0-0 home draw with Liverpool.
Frank Lampard arrived soon after as interim coach but he has lost all four of his matches at the helm. A 1-0 loss at Wolves preceded a 2-0 away loss to Real Madrid where the side only put up 0.66 xG. An alarming 2-1 home loss to Brighton followed as the Blues allowed 26 shots and 2.94 xG to the Seagulls. In the last match, Chelsea lost 2-0 at home to Real Madrid albeit after an improved first half performance.
Chelsea Team News
Benoit Badiashile, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Noni Madueke are back at Frank Lampard’s disposal after being ineligible to face Real Madrid. Ben Chilwell returns from suspension and will replace Marc Cucurella. Kalidou Koulibaly is out injured at the back.
Both N’Golo Kante and Thiago Silva should be fit and fresh to start this one. The attack is the big unknown. Kai Havertz could lead the line whilst Raheem Sterling and Joao Felix will hope to be recalled. Conor Gallagher could be in contention to play an advanced role once again.
There is very little for Chelsea to play for. They can’t realistically finish any higher than ninth.
If they hope to move up the table, then beating the side above them is non-negotiable. A defeat would see Brentford move eight points clear of the hosts.
The Bees have had a great season overall, although it’s been quite curious at times. Their opening 12 matches saw just three wins, before going on a brilliant streak that saw just one defeat in 16 Premier League fixtures with a run of 12 fixtures without losing. A 1-0 loss at Everton put an end to that unbeaten streak.
They immediately bounced back to win 2-0 at Southampton but it’s their only win in the last eight fixtures. They were beaten 1-0 at Man Utd in a tame performance before losing 2-1 from a leading position at home to Newcastle. A 2-0 loss at Wolves made it zero points from three fixtures. Over the weekend, they led 1-0 at home to Aston Villa before leaking an 87th-minute equaliser.
Brentford Team News
Thomas Frank uses a 4-3-3 in winnable matches but a 3-5-2 against most of the bigger sides. He is expected to go with the latter approach in this match. Unfortunately, both Pontus Jansson and Kristoffer Ajer are out injured. The only option to come into the defence as a third centre-back is therefore Mathias Jørgensen.
Further forward, Christian Norgaard has a knock and will need a late fitness test. Frank Onyeka could replace him in central midfield. In attack, Kevin Schade could drop to the bench. If a front three is used, he could be dropped anyway with Yoane Wissa recalled.
Brentford have won against many of the top sides and also at Stamford Bridge in the past. They will play for all three points in this one.
A direct game is expected with long throws, crosses and plenty of second-ball football. They’ll make this a physical game for the Blues and will see the hosts as ‘there for the taking’.
CFC have failed to score in 15 of their last 25 matches (all comps)
Chelsea have lost their last 4 matches
CFC have scored 2 goals in a match just 4 times in their last 25 fixtures
Brentford are winless in 6 league matches (DDLLLD)
Brentford have won just 3 of their last 16 away PL matches
Brentford’s Toney has scored 11 goals in his last 17 EPL matches
This match is super hard to call. Brentford have every chance of getting something from the fixture or Chelsea could finally start to pick up league wins again. Backing the goals market could be the best idea.
Best Bet: Both Teams to Score at 1.83
Value Bet: Both Teams to Score + Over 2.5 goals at 2.45
Goalscorer Tip: Ivan Toney at 2.90