Chelsea are the current leaders of the Premier League table and will want to maintain their position this coming weekend when they take a short trip to the Brentford Community stadium to face Brentford FC in match day eight of the 2021/22 campaign.
The european champions are clear favorites to walk away with the three points on Saturday afternoon but it won’t be an easy task for them, especially with some factors that will be against them on the day.
Below are four things that will could work against Chelsea in the clash against the ‘Bees’.
1. Lukaku’s fitness
Lukaku picked up an injury while on duty for the Belgium national team and had to return early from the international break back to Chelsea’s base in London, as he missed his country’s UEFA Nations League third place match against Italy. Belgium coach, Roberto Martinez revealed that it was a muscular problem but did not say how long it will rule him out of action.
Lukaku has been Chelsea’s star man since the start of the season and his absence will be a big blow for Thomas Tuchel’s side. Even if he is forced to play, there will be doubts about his full fitness and readiness for the match and this could play into the hands of Brentford.
2. Brentford system
Chelsea are known to struggle against teams that use the same formation as them, whenever they play against teams that use the 3-at-the-back setup they always find it hard to break them down. If there is one side that know how to use the 3-at-the-back formation then it is Frank Thomas’s Brentford team.
The 48 year old Danish tactician is expected to setup a solid back-three of Pontus Jansson, Ethan Pinnock and Mathias Jorgensen in front of David Raya the keeper who has three clean sheets so far this season.
Chelsea are already dealing with the the fitness of their top striker, it will be very difficult for them to find a way past Brentford’s solid defense that will match them man-for-man with their formation.
3. The Referee
The Premier League have officially confirmed that the referee for the match will be Anthony Taylor and this news has been a cause for worry amongst the Chelsea fan base for good reason. The Blues have won just three out of their last nine matches which the 42 year old referee has handled.
Below are Chelsea’s results under Anthony Taylor since 19/20:
Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea
Man City 1-2 Chelsea
Southampton 1-1 Chelsea
Chelsea 1-3 Man City
Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea
Chelsea 0-2 Man Utd
Spurs 0-2 Chelsea
Watford 1-2 Chelsea
Man Utd 4-0 Chelsea
(Played 9, won 3, drawn 2, lost 4)
In those matches, Taylor always made some controversial calls that went against Chelsea. With him in charge against Brentford, he could make another controversial decision that will cost the Blues the game.
4. Home advantage
Brentford have enjoyed some impressive results at home since gaining promotion to the top flight, including an opening day win over Arsenal and an entertaining draw against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
The Brentford Community stadium will be packed full with home supporters who will be cheering their team to victory against their local rivals. The match is a West London derby and with the fans behind them, the ‘Bees’ definitely have what it takes to cause an upset on their home ground against the champions of Europe when they meet on Saturday.
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