Preview: Chelsea vs. Brentford 

Preview: Chelsea vs. Brentford 

Two teams struggling for form do battle in a West London derby at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night, as Chelsea play host to Brentford in the Premier League.

While the Blues are still searching for their first victory under caretaker boss Frank Lampard, the Bees are also yet to taste victory in the month of April.

Four games, four defeats and just one goal scored. The impact that Chelsea’s owners hoped Lampard’s arrival would have is yet to bear fruit and the West Londoners now have seven Premier League fixtures remaining to salvage something positive from a calamitous 2022-23 campaign.

The Blues followed up a 2-1 top-flight home loss to Brighton & Hove Albion on April 15 with a 2-0 quarter-final second-leg defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League three days later, suffering a 4-0 aggregate loss to the reigning European champions.

Chelsea’s European dreams appear to be over as they currently sit 11th in the Premier League table, a staggering 20 points behind the top four and 11 behind the top seven. Lampard’s immediate priority is to steer the Blues into the top half of the table as they bid to avoid their worst league finish for 27 years (11th in 1995-96).

Only four teams have scored fewer goals than Chelsea (30) in the Premier League this season, three of which are sitting in the relegation zone, and the Blues enter Wednesday’s contest having already drawn a blank against Brentford this season – playing out a goalless draw away from home in October.

Chelsea have managed to win six of their last eight home meetings with the Bees, though, and claiming three much-needed points on Wednesday would provide a huge boost ahead of next week’s daunting task away against league leaders and London rivals Arsenal.

Brentford extended their winless league run to six matches when they played out a 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa last weekend, a game in which they came so close to claiming maximum points.

Top scorer Ivan Toney netted his 19th league goal of the season to open the scoring on the 65-minute mark, and as the Bees looked to be holding on for a slender victory, Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz popped up in the penalty box to fire an 87th-minute equaliser past David Raya, forcing both sides to share the spoils.

Brentford, who have failed to win each of the last four top-flight games in which they have opened the scoring, have slipped down to 10th in the table, and hopes of qualifying for Europe for the first time in their history are fading as they sit seven points adrift of seventh-placed Liverpool who have a game in hand.

Thomas Frank’s men are still on course for their highest-ever Premier League finish, though, and they can consolidate their place in the top half with a win over 11th-placed Chelsea, who sit five points further back as things stand.

Brentford head into Wednesday’s fixture having won only three of their 16 top-flight away games this season, but they can be optimistic of success against Chelsea after securing a memorable 4-1 victory at Stamford Bridge last season.

Chelsea Premier League form:

Chelsea form (all competitions):

Brentford Premier League form:

We say: Chelsea 1-1 Brentford
Brentford have conceded in nine of their last 12 away games this season, which bodes well for a goal-shy Chelsea side who can ill-afford to drop any more points if they are to finish in the top half of the table, let alone keep their slim hopes of securing European qualification alive.

Six months on from the goalless stalemate between the two teams in the reverse fixture, another tight affair could be in store on Wednesday in which both sides may have to settle for a share of the spoils.

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