Chelsea vs Brentford LIVE! The Blues have improved during October and today test their four-game unbeaten streak against a Bees side who will be tasting blood after finally picking up some points of their own. Seven points from a possible nine in the Premier League means Brentford head into a daunting London derby with a reason to be confident, which is bad news for Chelsea.
It’s another capital clash for Chelsea after throwing away a two-goal lead to draw with Arsenal last weekend. A disappointing result but plenty of reasons to be positive about the performance, in particular from Raheem Sterling, Cole Palmer and Mykhaylo Mudryk. Mauricio Pochettio will know that the fixture list only gets harder from here, though.
Brentford are looking for a win at Stamford Bridge for the third successive season and will be buoyed by the Blues abysmal record in derbies – two wins from 12 – and abysmal record in home league games – two wins from 15. Follow the game LIVE below with our dedicated match blog, featuring expert insight and analysis from Nizaar Kinsella at Stamford Bridge.
Even Thomas Frank is surprised by Enzo Fernandez’s absence.
He tells TNT Sports: “Fernandez is a surprise. He must be injured.”
Pochettino will soon let us know.
Nizaar Kinsella at Stamford Bridge
Noni Madueke make his first Premier League start under Mauricio Pochettino and Axel Disasi looks to be playing at right back in response to Brentford’s physicality, with Reece James on the bench.
Nicolas Jackson makes his first Chelsea start in over a month. Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk are both surprisingly not available. Mauricio Pochettino will no doubt be asked about their absence.
Team news in full
Chelsea XI: Sanchez; Disasi, Thiago Silva, Colwill, Cucurella; Gallagher, Caicedo; Madueke, Palmer, Sterling; Jackson
Subs: Badiashile, Ugochukwu, James, Gusto, Petrovic, Maatsen, Deivid Washington, Beach, Matos.
Brentford XI: Flekken, Ajer, Pinnock, Collins, Roerslev, Jensen, Norgaard, Janelt, Hickey, Mbeumo, Wissa.
Subs: Maupay, Jorgensen, Ghoddos, Onyeka, Mee, Strakosha, Yarmolyuk, Olakigbe, Brierley
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) October 28, 2023
A few surprises!
Frank says Poch will have Chelsea on top in two years
Brentford boss Thomas Frank believes Chelsea will be competing against the best teams in the Premier League within two years under Mauricio Pochettino.
The Bees make the short trip across West London on Saturday, with Chelsea unbeaten in four games in all competitions and showing clear signs of improvement under the Argentinian.
“[Pochettino] has done fantastically his whole coaching career,” Frank said at his pre-match press conference.
“He knows what it takes to build a club to a high level; you can see them molding more and more together.
“They have so much pace on the counters, and we have to stop crosses from the side.
“Chelsea look really promising. The players they have are very high quality. Their talent and potential is really exciting.
“I can see this squad competing in two years, or maybe earlier depending on how their development goes.”
Pochettino delivers Nkunku update
Mauricio Pochettino said Christopher Nkunku could be available as early as the week after the November international break as the Chelsea summer signing’s recovery from a knee injury is progressing quicker than expected.
The 25-year-old, who was injured in a friendly against Borussia Dortmund during the club’s pre-season tour of the United States, had been expected to be out until at least December but that timescale has now been brought forward, raising the possibility he could make a long-awaited competitive debut when the team face Newcastle at St James’s Park on November 25.
“(Nkunku) is doing really well, working hard, I think he’s really close,” said Pochettino. “As soon as possible we can have him involved again. After the next internationals maybe he could be involved.
“He’s a player that when you see the goals he scored last season, (you see) he provides goals, and I think we’re missing goals. That’s why we think he’s a player that can be important for us.
“He’s proved he can score goals in the Bundesliga. If today we had eight or 10 goals from Nkunku, maybe the situation (in the league) would be completely different.
“It’s goals that we are missing to be in a different position. It’s unlucky but we can’t complain, we need to work. We’re looking forward to recovering him and helping the team be in a different position.”
Chelsea vs Brentford prediction
Pochettino is finally generating some momentum around the Blues and, with all due respect to their opponents, these are the games they will have to win to maintain it.
Brentford have not been their best selves this season and could struggle to hold out, even if they do get on the scoresheet.
Chelsea to win, 3-1.
Brentford team news
Brentford have no new injury concerns for the short trip across west London.
Ben Mee – who had some game time for the B team on Wednesday – Shandon Baptiste, Josh Dasilva, Mikkel Damsgaard and Keane Lewis-Potter are all working their way back to full fitness but are unavailable.
The Bees, who are 14th and two points adrift of Chelsea after beating Burnley 3-0 last weekend, have upset their neighbours on their last two visits to Stamford Bridge.
The Bees enjoyed their biggest-ever win over Chelsea with a 4-1 victory in April 2022. Twelve months later they won at Stamford Bridge again, this time by a 2-0 scoreline.
Frank said: “It’s no secret that, when we can, we want to go high in the pressure against Chelsea. We’ll do that every time we can against any opponent.
“Then we need to be aware of the ball in behind, but I think that’s a front-footed and very brave mindset to the game.