Brentford vs Chelsea: History, team news

Brentford vs Chelsea: History, team news

It’s Brentford vs Chelsea in the Blues first league action since a valiant draw at the Etihad is an all-west London clash.

The Blues have won each of their past four derby matches and ahead of the latest installment, club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton detail all you need to know.

It is Chelsea’s first Saturday 3 p.m. kick-off since mid-December and the fifth of the season. The Blues have won two and lost two of the previous four in

Thomas Frank has had a clear week to rest and prepare his 16th-placed side since Monday, when they were beaten 4-2 at West Ham.

That was the Bees’ fifth loss in seven league outings since the turn of the year, and they have lost four of their last five at the Gtech Stadium.

Mauricio Pochettino’s squad should have a spring in their step after the dramatic 3-2 FA Cup victory over ancient rivals Leeds on Wednesday, with Leicester to come in the quarter-finals.

The return to league action may prompt Mauricio Pochettino, in this Brentforn vs Chelsea, to restore some key men who sat out most of Wednesday’s cup success over Leeds. Djordje Petrovic, Ben Chilwell, Levi Colwill, Conor Gallagher and Cole Palmer are among those vying for a start against the Bees.

Palmer, named as Men’s Player of the Year at the London Football Awards on Thursday evening, has had a hand in 16 goals over his past 17 Premier League appearances (10 goals, six assists), plus six goals in five London derbies (three goals, three assists).

Gallagher’s dramatic late winner against Leeds took his goal involvement to 10, fuelled by Enzo Fernandez’s first assist of the season.

Nicolas Jackson (fed by Moises Caicedo’s second assist) reached double figures in goals for his debut season against Leeds and his impressive all-round form could see Pochettino giving him the nod against the depleted Bees’ rearguard.

In October’s reverse fixture at the Bridge, Chelsea dominated possession. We forced 10 corners and created plenty of chances, but ultimately fell foul of poor finishing and individual defensive errors. Bryan Mbeumo – injured this weekend – made one and scored the other in that 2-0 loss.

Brentford paid for some stately defending in a sleepy start to the 4-2 defeat at West Ham and could not find the right final pass often enough when in good attacking positions.

The loss since early December of talismanic forward Bryan Mbeumo is one of seven long-term absences Thomas Frank has had to deal with this season.

The Cameroon international – well acquainted with Chelsea’s net – became the Bees’ focal point during Ivan Toney’s suspension and remains their biggest contributor towards goals. So Brentford vs Chelsea meet may be tough for some.

Skipper Ben Mee’s injury on Monday has compounded defensive concerns, with Aaron Hickey and Ethan Pinnock already unavailable for Frank. That could mean a recall for Irish centre-half Nathan Collins.

Goalkeeper Mark Flekken is an impressive distributor, but does not dominate his area and has the third-lowest ratio for saves per shot on target (64.3 per cent)

The hosts’ midfield armoury includes the bursting runs of Frank Onyeka, Mathias Jensen’s long throws and, since January, Spurs loanee Sergio Reguilon‘s whipped set-plays.

The Bees play the fifth-most long passes in the division towards Toney, who has struck four times in the seven games since his return, and the more abrasive Neal Maupay, whose goal on Monday briefly rattled the Hammers.

Only Sheffield United (36) and Burnley (32) have conceded more home league goals than Saturday’s hosts (27).