Preview: Brentford vs. Chelsea – prediction, team news, lineups
The Premier League and EFL decided on Monday to keep the festive fixture schedule as planned, with games due to be played unless a club proves that they do not have enough players to fulfil the fixture. infoguidenigeria
Chelsea felt as though they met that threshold at the weekend when they requested for their match against Wolves to be postponed, only for the Premier League to reject that request and insist that the Blues play the game.
Thomas Tuchel was subsequently only able to name four outfield players and two goalkeepers on his bench at Molineux as he watched his Chelsea side lose more ground in the title race courtesy of a goalless stalemate.
Chelsea now sit six points adrift of leaders Manchester City following a blip which has seen them win just one of their last five games across all competitions and only three of their last eight top-flight outings.
Three days after failing with an attempt to have their Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers postponed, Chelsea are set to be forced back into action again for Wednesday’s EFL Cup quarter-final against Brentford.
The Blues are suffering an ever-worsening coronavirus outbreak within their squad, giving Brentford extra hope of claiming a major scalp in this West London derby.
Chelsea represent by far their toughest challenge yet, but a first-ever cup victory over their West London neighbours would put the Bees in the semi-final of this competition for the second successive season, having never reached the last four during their first 60 League Cup campaigns.
Brentford EFL Cup form:
Brentford form (all competitions):
Chelsea EFL Cup form:
Chelsea form (all competitions):
Both sides are likely to be missing a host of players for this match, and given Tuchel’s fury at being made to play at the weekend, it would not be a surprise to see him hand starts to some youngsters if needed.
Other top football news:
- Bad news as another Chelsea player tests positive for COVID ahead of Brantford clash
- Good news for Chelsea as Federico Chiesa has already turned down £60m Liverpool move amid the blues transfer links
- Marina Granovskaia could change Chelsea transfer plans by making surprise £18m Everton move
- Good news as Chelsea transfer chief has two transfer options to find N’Golo Kante’s true heir at Chelsea
Chelsea could reportedly be missing as many as seven players due to coronavirus, although Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ben Chilwell and Lewis Baker are the only ones to have been confirmed positive so far. jamb result
Things went from bad to worse against Wolves as the already-depleted Blues saw Trevoh Chalobah and Hakim Ziyech limp off with injuries.
Tuchel is hopeful that neither injury is particularly serious, but the quick turnaround in fixtures makes them major doubts for this game at least, while N’Golo Kante will play no part.
Kai Havertz sat out against Wolves due to illness but has returned a negative coronavirus test and so could be in line to start up front on Wednesday, having scored four goals in his two previous League Cup outings.
Chelsea will also assess Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who missed the game against Wolves due to a knock, but Jorginho was able to return to training on Monday after missing the match against Wolves due to an inconclusive test.
Andreas Christensen is also suffering from a knock and is unlikely to be risked, which could open the door for Malang Sarr to make a rare start.
Tuchel is expected to rotate where possible, meaning that there could also be appearances for Kepa Arrizabalaga, Saul Niguez, Ross Barkley and the fit-again Mateo Kovacic.
A number of Under-23 players were also brought into training this week to help boost numbers, and some could be included in the matchday squad.
Brentford’s list of absentees is also lengthy, although Ivan Toney is understood to have recovered from coronavirus and so could be in contention, while it has been more than 10 days since Ethan Pinnock tested positive too.
To make matters worse, the Bees’ injury situation is far from ideal too, with David Raya, Julian Jeanvier, Joshua Dasilva and Kristoffer Ajer all sidelined.
Wednesday’s match is expected to come too soon for Mathias Jorgensen as well, leaving Frank short of options in defence, particularly if Pinnock is still unavailable.
At the other end, Brentford boast the competition’s leading scoring in Marcus Forss, whose five EFL Cup goals this season mean that he has now scored nine and created one more in his 10 League Cup starts.
Brentford possible starting lineup:
Fernandez; Goode, Jansson, Thompson; Roerslev, Ghoddos, Bidstrup, Jensen, Fosu-Henry; Toney, Forss
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Sarr; James, Saul, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Barkley; Havertz
Predictions: Brentford 0-1 Chelsea
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