Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Brentford vs Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday Night Football; kick-off 5.30pm.
Brentford are without Shandon Baptiste for their first Premier League clash with west London neighbours Chelsea.
Grenada midfielder Baptiste dislocated his shoulder during the Bees’ 2-1 victory at West Ham before the international break.
Kristoffer Ajer and Vitaly Janelt should be available after missing the West Ham win through injury, while Ethan Pinnock has recovered from the knock which forced him out of international duty with Jamaica.
Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger will miss out for Chelsea, with Thomas Tuchel’s defence stretched after the international break.
Silva was only due back in England on Friday afternoon, while Rudiger has picked up a back injury.
Reece James, N’Golo Kante and Romelu Lukaku are all fit, but Hakim Ziyech is unlikely to feature after suffering headaches and Christian Pulisic has continued ankle trouble.
How to follow
Brentford vs Chelsea is live on Sky Sports Premier League from 5pm; kick-off 5.30pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
Last time out…
Arsenal, Liverpool and West Ham have all been buzzed by Brentford – now it could be Chelsea’s turn.
Brentford’s process in terms of their performance metrics certainly backs up that taking 12 points from their opening seven Premier League matches is no fluke. The start they have made is pretty phenomenal. Only six newly promoted sides in Premier League history have taken more points at this stage, and it’s the most won after seven games since Hull City’s fast start in 2008. I covered the Bees’ clash with West Ham and their first 30 minutes was the most complete performance I’ve ever seen from a newly promoted team. They made the Hammers – a team that finished sixth last season – look like relegation candidates.
A look at the match prices for this west London derby certainly brings forward the argument that Brentford are still being underestimated by the markets. You can almost get 11/2 with Sky Bet for a home win and 5/2 for the Bees to avoid defeat – it’s a real tempter for a team that has only lost one of their last 19 league games across two seasons. And that defeat was a last-minute winner for Brighton in a game where there was nothing between the teams.
I have decided to play a shorter price to get Brentford on my side though as the Evens for both teams to score looks too good to turn down.
Chelsea’s defensive process remains strong but certainly it’s not at the levels of last season. They are offering up good chances to the opposition. A figure of 1.45 expected goals conceded per 90 minutes in their last eight fixtures showcases that, albeit it’s included matches against Liverpool and Manchester City.
In fact, Chelsea have the biggest difference between goals conceded (3) and expected goals against (8.6) in the Premier League after the opening seven games – at 5.6. Perhaps this Chelsea defence isn’t as watertight as the actual numbers suggest? That makes the possibility of Brentford scoring in this game more likely than the odds on offer. Get on the both-teams-to-score train – it’s best bet of the weekend material.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1
BETTING ANGLE: Both teams to score (Evens with Sky Bet)
- Brentford are winless in their last six meetings with Chelsea in all competitions (D1 L5) since a 3-1 away win in February 1939. This is the first league meeting between the sides since a 2-0 win for the Blues in March 1947.
- Chelsea have won their last two meetings with Brentford by a 4-0 scoreline, with both of these fixtures coming in the FA Cup (February 2013 and January 2017).
- Brentford have already drawn with Crystal Palace, and beaten both Arsenal and West Ham this season. They’re the first team in Premier League history to remain unbeaten in each of their first three London derby matches in the competition.
- Chelsea have won each of their last six away London derbies in the Premier League, and could become the first team in English Football League history (top four tiers) to win seven such games in a row.
- Brentford have won seven of their nine top-flight matches against sides starting the day top of the table (L2), with this their first such match since January 1947 (4-1 vs Wolves). The Bees’ win rate of 78% against league leaders is the best of any club in English top-flight history.
- Chelsea have lost just one of their 12 Premier League away games under Thomas Tuchel (W8 D3), having lost four of their last five on the road under Frank Lampard. The Blues have kept six clean sheets in this run, shipping seven goals in total.
- Chelsea have the best shot conversion rate in the Premier League this season (15.3%), as well as the best difference between goals scored (15), and expected goals (11.8 – +3.2). At the other end meanwhile, Chelsea have the best difference between goals conceded (3) and expected goals against (8.6) in the Premier League this term (5.6).
- Chelsea have had more different goalscorers than any other Premier League side so far this season (12, excl. own goals). Only Arsenal in 2009-10 have had more different goalscorers in their first seven games of a Premier League campaign (13).
- Yoane Wissa has scored five goals in his last five appearances in all competitions for Brentford, averaging a goal every 47 minutes for the Bees this season. Of all Premier League players in all competitions this season, only Marcus Forss (37) and Cameron Archer (46) have a better minutes-per-goal rate than the Congolese forward, though neither of those players have scored in the Premier League so far.
- Chelsea’s Timo Werner scored his first goal in 10 Premier League games against Southampton last time out. The German has only scored in consecutive league appearances once for the Blues, doing so in November 2020.