For the second home game running, the side topping the Premier League at the start of the weekend are the visitors to the Brentford Community Stadium. There's added spice to this evening's game as it is our near neighbours Chelsea who make the short trip down the A4. Get all the build-up to our first league meeting with The Blues in 74 years below.
Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea were one of the pre-season title favourites and they've shown nothing in the early weeks of the season to give those who backed them any real reason for concern.
The reigning European Champions have been misely in defence, conceding just three goals in their seven league outings to date. The numbers suggest they have been running a little hot defensively but a backline that has included Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, and César Azpilicueta will always pose a formidible test for opponents.
Going forward there have been concerns over the form and fitness of Romelu Lukaku (pictured above). The Belgian frontman scored four in his first four following his big-money summer move but then hasn't found the net in his last five. Despite that, Chelsea have been very efficient in front of goal so far this term. Behind Spurs they have the second-best ratio of shots to shots on target and have found the back of the net with every 2.5 shots on target.
Writing for Hot Off The Press football.london's Adam Newson, said: "Personally, I think [Tuchel] will go with the tried and trusted 3-4-2-1 system. Edou Mendy, who has established himself as one of Europe's finest goalkeepers, will be between the posts and I think the back three will consist of Azpilicueta, Christensen and Rudiger. Reece James, fitness permitting, is likely to be used at right wing-back while Ben Chilwell should keep his place on the opposite flank as he slowly rediscovers his best form. As highlighted above, I think Kante will start and potentially alongside Loftus-Cheek. Mount was missed while out injured so I suspect he'll return on the right of the attack with Werner (pictured above) supporting Lukaku from the left.
Mads Bech (knee), Josh Dasilva (hip), and Shandon Baptiste (shoulder) are all out but Thomas Frank should have both Kristoffer Ajer and Vitaly Janelt back after they missed our win at West Ham.
Chelsea have a number of issues to deal with. Thiago Silva is out, having played in Brazil's World Cup Qualifier against Uruguay less than 36 hours ago. Antonio Rudiger (back), Christian Pulisic (ankle), and Hakim Ziyech (headache) were all ruled out by Thomas Tuchel as well but Romelu Lukaku is set to feature despite withdrawing from the Belgium duty with muscle fatigue.
- 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 v Wolves). The Bees’ win-rate of 78 per cent against league leaders is the best of any club in English top-flight history.
- 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 matches in a row.
- Brentford are the first team in Premier League history to remain unbeaten in their first three London derbies, having beaten both Arsenal and West Ham United and drawn with Crystal Palace.
- Chelsea have had more different goalscorers than any other Premier League side this season (12, excl. own goals). Only Arsenal in 2009/10 have had more different goalscorers in their first seven matches of a Premier League campaign (13).
Thomas Tuchel was a professional player who 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 their stay 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 2020 and was hired by Chelsea in January. He won the Champions League Final with The Blues a few months later, defeating Man City 1-0.
THE OPPOSITION VIEW
Thomas Tuchel told chelseafc.com: “They will be ready to over-perform. This is what they do in every single game, and if you arrive for a London derby in a Premier League game, not a cup game or friendly, these clubs are ready to over-perform.
"The spectators, the coach, the players are all ready to over-perform. The good thing is we know this, and we are ready. We cannot be surprised.
"If we are aware mentally then we have good chance to win this game because we have certain qualities, but we have to match the enthusiasm, confidence and motivation they have for 90-plus minutes. They will not give us anything
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistant Referees: Gary Beswick and Adam Nunn
Fourth official: Simon Hooper
VAR: Paul Tierney
Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis
72 fouls - Sixth in Premier League
8 yellow cards - Second Fewest in Premier League
1 red card - Joint-Most in Premier League
There will no trains stopping at Kew Bridge, Brentford or Chiswick stations on Saturday while the M4 is closed all weekend between Junction 4B and 3.
In line with recent Premier League guidance, we will be conducting a limited number of COVID-19 status spot checks at our upcoming home games – including at the Chelsea game
HOW TO FOLLOW
This evening's game is live on Sky Sports Main Event from 5pm and around the world on the Premier League's host broadcasters.
iFollow match passes are also available as Jonathan Douglas joins Mark Burridge for live commentary.