Seeking a seventh win on the bounce in all competitions, Chelsea resume Premier League action with the visit of Brentford to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon for a West London derby.
The Blues progressed in the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough before the international break, while the Bees most recently lost 2-1 to Leicester City.
The continued uncertainty surrounding Chelsea’s future off the pitch has appeared to galvanise Thomas Tuchel’s troops, who have done a stellar job of focusing on their on-field matters as they continue to fight for success on three fronts this term.
Hakim Ziyech and Romelu Lukaku were both on target as Chelsea advanced to the semi-finals with a 2-0 victory over Boro in the FA Cup last time out, with that result following Champions League success against Lille and a controversial top-flight triumph over Newcastle United.
Tuchel may already have one eye on the first leg of his side’s Champions League quarter-final with Real Madrid on Wednesday evening, but the Blues will not want to lose their grip on third place in the Premier League table, with the European champions comfortably five points clear of fourth-placed Arsenal.
Winning six on the bounce in all tournaments is just what the doctor ordered for Chelsea before the unforgiving April schedule begins, and the Blues also enter Saturday’s game on a five-game victorious run in the Premier League – conceding just one goal in the process.
Tuchel’s side have also gone 17 games unbeaten at their West London home since that 1-0 loss to Manchester City back in September, and only Liverpool (7) have conceded fewer top-flight goals on their own turf than Chelsea (10) this term, with the Blues seeking to make Brentford’s short journey across the capital a miserable one.
After seemingly turning a corner in March with back-to-back wins over Norwich City and Burnley, Brentford were given a harsh reality check upon their visit to the King Power Stadium, with two stunning Leicester efforts condemning the Bees to yet another defeat.
Timothy Castagne and James Maddison both produced sumptuous finishes for the Foxes before the half-time whistle blew, and even though Yoane Wissa made things interesting with a goal of his own five minutes from time, Brentford could not make the net ripple again.
Securing their spot in the big time for the 2022-23 season is proving somewhat more challenging than initially anticipated for Thomas Frank’s side after their storming start to the season, but the 15th-placed Bees still sit comfortably eight points clear of the trapdoor, although 18th-placed Watford do have a game in hand.
Failure to keep a clean sheet in their last 12 Premier League games away from home does spell concern for Brentford ahead of a visit to the Champions League holders, and it would be a shock to see their tally of one win from their last 11 top-flight games on the road improve in the capital this weekend.
Furthermore, Chelsea have already claimed a pair of victories over Brentford in the EFL Cup and Premier League this term – keeping two clean sheets to boot against their West London rivals and finding the back of the net three times in that span.
Chelsea Premier League form:
Chelsea form (all competitions):
Brentford Premier League form:
We say: Chelsea 2-0 Brentford
Chelsea will most likely look to wrap up third place as soon as possible in order to focus on shots at silverware in the FA Cup and Champions League, so expect a ruthless showing from Tuchel’s in-form side here.
Eriksen’s return and strong international period will at least give Brentford a bit more of a creative spark, but Chelsea should still have no problems recording another straightforward victory.