We return to Premier League action this afternoon with a mouth-watering West London derby against Chelsea. The Blues head into the game on the back of six straight wins while defeat to Leicester City before the international break ended our own winning run. Get all the build-up to today's clash in SW6 below.
Whatever has been going on off the field with Chelsea's ownership has not been affecting The Blues on the pitch, Thomas Tuchel's side reeling off six straight wins in three competitions last month. In fact, you have to go all the way back to mid-January for the last time Chelsea lost a game in 90 minutes, that coming away at Manchester City in the Premier League.
In February, Tuchel's side added the FIFA World Club Cup title to their Champions League title making them the reigning European and World Champions.
This season's Premier League title is probably out of reach - Chelsea trail Manchester City by 11 points with only one game in hand - but the men from Stamford Bridge have an FA Cup Semi-Final against Crystal Palace and a Champions League Quarter-Final against Real Madrid to look forward to this month.
The mega-money return of Romelu Lukaku has not paid dividends so far, the Belgian striker has just five league goals to his name since his summer return to SW6. Mason Mount (eight) is Chelsea's leading Premier League scorer this term with Kai Havertz (pictured above) and Jorginho grabbing six each.
At the other end of the pitch, Chelsea, with the impressive Edouard Mendy (pictured below) below the sticks, have conceded just 19 league goals this term, a figured only bettered by Manchester City.
Football.London's Adam Newson told Hot Off The Press: "Since the start of the year, Tuchel has been more willing to change shape to a 4-3-3 or 4-2-2-2. That was partly forced upon him due to injuries to Reece James and Ben Chilwell, both of whom were hugely influential as wing-backs in Chelsea's 3-4-3. That James is fit for this game is a huge boost and as a result, I suspect Tuchel will go with the 3-4-3 and look to dominate in wide areas and in the half-spaces occupied by the numbers tens, who I feel are likely to be Mason Mount and Hakim Ziyech"
Josh Dasilva has served his three-match ban but is now sidelined by a minor hamstring injury while Julian Jeanvier (knee) played his first minutes of the season during the international break. Christian Eriksen and Saman Ghoddos have also both recovered from Covid-19.
Ben Chilwell (knee) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (Achilles) are out but Reece James, Andreas Christensen, Saul Niguez, and Kepa Arrizabalaga have all returned to training this week. Thiago Silva is likely to start after returning earlier than expected from Brazil's World Cup Qualifiers but Christian Pulisic is yet to train after helping the USA reach Qatar in the early hours of Thursday morning.
- Kai Havertz has scored four goals in his last three Premier League matches for Chelsea, as many as he had in his previous 21. The German is looking to score in four consecutive league appearances for the first time since a run of five between April and August 2019 with Bayer Leverkusen.
- Chelsea have won six of their seven Premier League London derbies this season, with the exception being a 3-2 defeat at West Ham. That loss accounts for all goals conceded in London derby matches for the Blues this season.
- Brentford are aiming for their first win in nine matches against Chelsea in all competitions (L7 D1), last beating them in 1939.
- No side have scored more goals from outside the box in the Premier League than Chelsea this season (eight), while Brentford have conceded more such goals than any other team (10).
Thomas Tuchel came through the academy at FC Augsburg before going pro with Stuttgarter Kickers. His time at SSV Ulm, and his career, was cut short by a knee cartilage injury at the age of 25.
Determined to stay in football, his coaching career began in the youth teams at VfB Stuttgart. After five years there, and a spell at Augsburg, he was hired as Head Coach by Mainz 05. He stabilised them in the Bundesliga during his five years in charge, earning praise for his energetic and attacking football. He was appointed to Borussia Dortmund in 2015, where he won the DFB-Pokal before leaving in 2017.
He joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2018, where he won two league titles and took the club to their first UEFA Champions League Final. He was dismissed in December 2020 and hired by Chelsea a month later. He won the Champions League Final with The Blues last May, defeating Man City 1-0, and added the FIFA Club World Cup in February.
Referee: Andrew Madley
Assistant Referees: Dan Cook and Wade Smith
Fourth Official: Andy Woolmer
Video Assistant Referee: David Coote
Additional Video Assistant Referee: Lee Betts
303 fouls – 8th in Premier League
48 yellow cards – 13th in Premier League
1 red card – 12th in Premier League
The recommended entrance for Brentford fans is via Stamford Gate which is nearest to the away turnstiles.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Today's game will be shown around the world through the Premier League's broadcast partners. Click here to see if it is on where you are
In the UK, the game will be live on Talksport and Bees Player. Brentford Women's FC Head Coach Karleigh Osborne joins Mark Burridge for live commentary from Stamford Bridge.