Thomas Frank’s Brentford plays Chelsea at the Gtech Community Stadium in London on matchday 12 of the Premier League. Both teams are doing well in the league table. The home team is 9th level on points with Liverpool, and the visiting team is 4th, just 5 points behind the table toppers, Arsenal.
The Bees were victorious last time out against Brighton thanks to a pair of goals from Ivan Toney. They have won just two of their last 5 games and have endured results wherein they could have come away with all 3 points. The win against Brighton capped an impressive display by the Bees who were sound defensively and great in the final third. A midweek fixture has been a bogey one for Brentford over the years as they have not won any of their six-midweek games in the Premier League picking up just a point.
Chelsea, on the other hand, are flying under Graham Potter with Potterball proving to be too good for opposition teams week in week out. Their last game saw the Blues come away with all 3 points against Aston Villa. A Mason Mount show accompanied by a Kepa masterclass in between the sticks meant the Blues remain unbeaten under their new manager and are unbeaten in their last 5 games in all competitions. They will be looking to maintain their perfect form in the Premier League under Potter with 4 wins in 4 games already against a tricky Brentford side who have been a bogey team for the Blues and were 4-1 winners in their last meeting at Stamford Bridge towards the end of last season.
When and Where?
Venue: Gtech Community Stadium.
Date: 19th October 2022.
Time: 6:30 PM (GMT).
Referee: Jarred Gillet.
Assistant Referees: Simon Long, Richard West.
Fourth Official: Robert Madley.
Assistant VAR: Steve Meredith.
VAR: Michael Salisbury.
Thomas Frank will have the same squad which was involved for the game against Brighton last weekend. Christian Norgaard and Pontus Jansson remain unavailable with the former dealing with an Achilles injury and the latter suffering a hamstring injury. Goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha and Aaron Hickey also will miss the game with the duo sidelined with ankle injuries.
There seems to be no new injury problems for Potter as Kante, Fofana and Reece James remain unavailable with the trio picking up long-term injuries. Speaking on the James injury, the gaffer said, “In terms of his involvement in the World Cup, I don’t know. It will depend on how he recovers. He will give everything. I’m sure he will. But he is in a brace for four weeks and that slows everything down.” A lot of rotation is expected for this one with the players who played the whole 90 minutes expected to start on the bench as Potter is yet to find his best XI.
Brentford will have to be defensively on top of their game if they are to contain a Chelsea side who are averaging 2.16 goals scored under Graham Potter. The Bees have conceded 10 goals in their last 5 outings and cannot afford to have a similar defensive display. Thomas Frank’s 4-3-3 system this season has seen his side score 18 goals already in the league. The system complements Ivan Toney very well as the striker is getting multiple goal-scoring opportunities to convert in the box. A switch to the usual 3-5-2 system could be seen by Brentford going toe-to-toe with Chelsea’s 3-4-3/3-5-2 hybrid which will also allow the Bees to not be outnumbered in the middle of the pitch.
David Raya has been a goalkeeper cum playmaker for the Bees and the Spaniard’s ball distribution has seen the likes of Toney and Mbeumo receive long passes from the back to start counterattacks. This pattern of play will be a crucial part of Thomas Frank’s tactics for the game to threaten the Chelsea defence. Potter also has his own goalkeeper cum playmaker in Raya’s national teammate Kepa who has kept his no.1 spot after his recent resurgence with 4 consecutive clean sheets. His ball distribution complements Potter’s defensive build-up which is a quality which Edouard Mendy lacks as the Senegalese is more of a shot-stopper and isn’t great with the ball at his feet.
The changes in style of play made by Tuchel and Potter are clearly visible, as the team looks more fluid in the final third while also being solid defensively. Potter’s Blues have switched from the “gegenpressing” adopted by Thomas Tuchel to a more proactive and fast pressing which allows the team to regain possession higher up the field and create chances. Their direct style of play from the back will also be crucial to breaking down a defensively stubborn Brentford team. Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus Cheek will all be tasked with using their dribbling and press-resistant ball progression to find their teammates in the final third and create goal-scoring opportunities. Chelsea have a good record against the Bees with 10 wins out of their last 17 meetings and are expected to maintain this good head-to-head record on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old has found his form again under Graham Potter with the Englishman now having 2 assists (1 penalty won) and 2 goals in his last 2 games in all competitions. After no goals or assists for 7 Premier League games, his brilliant display against Aston Villa including a 25-yard free-kick saw him pick up the MOTM award with England manager Gareth Southgate watching on from the stands. He has played a new role under Potter, being more central and linking the midfield and attack. The absence of Norgaard in the heart of the Brentford midfield will mean Mount can cause havoc in the middle of the park and create chances for his side to score.
The standout performer for Brentford with 8 goals in 10 games already. He is making his case known to Gareth Southgate and looks to be on his way to Qatar next month. A brace last weekend against Brighton has put him 3rd in the Golden boot race just a goal behind Harry Kane. The Chelsea defence has just conceded 2 goals in their last 6 games and the individual brilliance of Toney could be enough to tarnish their impressive defensive record.
Brentford predicted lineup vs Chelsea: Raya, Ajer, Pinnock, Mee, Henry, Jensen, Janelt, Canos, Mbuemo, Wissa, Toney.
Chelsea predicted lineup vs Brentford: Kepa, CHalobah, Koulibaly, Cucurella, Chilwell, Kovacic, Jorginho, Loftus Cheek, Mount, Gallagher, Havertz.