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In-form Chelsea travel to an entertaining Brentford
Chelsea to win 2-1
Tournament: Premier League 2022-2023 | Venue: Brentford, Brentford Community StadiumBet Now
With an impressive win over Brighton at the weekend, Brentford completed a mixed run of games that included two wins, two draws and two defeats from their last six.
Although inconsistent from Thomas Frank’s team, it also shows that, for a small club, they can still compete in the Premier League on limited resources. Ivan Toney is their best player, but they have other qualities too.
That they sit level on points with Liverpool and above some big teams below them shows the work that has gone on at the club. With a home game against Chelsea, can they go one step further here?
Chelsea are certainly making strides under Graham Potter – three of their four consecutive wins have come under him, with another couple in the Champions League too.
They appear to be a formidable team once again, and they will take some stopping in any game they play.
Reasons to be cheerful:
Beat Chelsea 4-1 in April
Toney appears back in form
Reasons to be fearful:
Have a poor record in London derbies
Seems to be a bad time to play Chelsea
Brentford are not a team that you would relish playing at their Community Stadium.
Their fans are usually raucous, while the team plays with great intensity and organisation. Taking into account home games only, the Bees would be 5th in the league, above Chelsea on goal difference.
This will give Thomas Frank some encouragement here, despite the great form that Chelsea have built up coming into this game.
Many predicted them to struggle away to Brighton at the weekend, but they - and their main man Toney in particular - were brilliant. It was their first win in four, and brought some much-needed morale.
They will face a much different test against Chelsea, a team they beat in April but have lost two of their last three meetings overall.
The Bees also have a poor record against other London clubs, having failed to score in four of their last six against teams from the capital.
Star Man – Ivan Toney
The England man scored both Brentford’s goals to snatch three points against Brighton and it means he now has eight for the season, plus two assists.
Reasons to be cheerful
Four wins on the bounce shows confidence
Mason Mount’s return to form is timely
Reasons to be fearful
Injuries to Reece James and others won’t help
Will find Brentford a stern test
Although Chelsea have twice beaten AC Milan under Graham Potter’s management, they may well find a trip to the Community Stadium their toughest challenge under the new boss.
The way in which Brentford are organised and they intensity they play with at home means that Chelsea will have to fight for every ball.
The Blues will arrive at this match in excellent form, of course, and it’ll please the fans that Mason Mount appears to have returned to some form.
Positively, Chelsea won both away games against Brentford last season, in the league and in the Carabao Cup, while Potter has experience of playing against them from his time at Brighton.
If the Blues are to keep hold of their top four position, these are the games they must find a way to win.
Star Man – Mason Mount
Chelsea’s playmaker has struggled in recent months, but has looked back to his best lately. Mount has two goals and three assists in his last three games.
• Will be chances at both ends
• Can Toney score yet again?
• Could be tight until the end
This game has hard-fought written all over it, for both sides.
Brentford have become the masters of being horrible to play against at home, where their crowd is right behind them and Thomas Frank knows just how to set his team up.
Chelsea will need to be near their best under Graham Potter to take their points, but they have the players to do so.
Mason Mount is crucial to Chelsea when he’s on his game, and new signing Aubameyang has found the scoring touch up front.
Brentford will make it difficult, but Chelsea should just edge it.
Chelsea to win 2-1
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