3 things to look out for – Chelsea vs Brentford
London derbies do not stop at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea takes on Brentford on Saturday. The Blues can extend their unbeaten run to five games if they can avoid defeat. It is a welcome run of decent results from the team.
Brentford have won both their matches against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since their return to the top flight. However, in their current form, Mauricio Pochettino should be expecting a victory at home from his boys. Here are three things to look out for in the fixture.
1. Will a traditional center forward start for Chelsea?
Pochettino decided to go without a traditional center forward against Arsenal. The Blues front line was brilliant throughout before substitutions happened. Nicolas Jackson was lackluster and failed to extend the score after getting one-on-one with Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya.
The introduction of a striker-less formation was to use CFC’s strengths effectively against Arsenal. It will be interesting to see if Pochettino sticks with it, but Thomas Frank’s team plays very differently. Football has seen managers sticking with a formation because it was effective against a side.
If the Argentine decides to go with a striker, Jackson should be getting the node. But it would mean he has to drop one of his three starters, Raheem Sterling, Mykahilo Mudryk, and Cole Palmer, from last week. Chances are the front four from Burnley match that scored four before the international breaks could return. It would mean Mudryk has to be content with a substitute role.
2. Back four from Arsenal match set to continue
The match against Arsenal was the first time Pochettino started with a back four playing in their preferred position in the premier league. Marc Cucurella, Thiago Silva, Levi Colwill, and Malo Gusto were brilliant until the Declan Rice goal. All four have earned their right to feature from the start this weekend. The EFL Cup match against Blackburn on Wednesday will allow Pochettino the chance to start with other options in the backline. It is also vital not to rush players returning from injuries.
3. Keep up their momentum
Chelsea has quite a few big matches coming up. After the Brentford fixture, they travel North to face Tottenham Hotspur in the premier league. As mentioned earlier, they also have a mid-week action in the EFL cup before that.
After Tottenham, they have Manchester City, Newcastle, Brighton, and Manchester United. A month ago, most fans would been dreading this run of fixtures. But the last few matches have lifted the spirit and excitement among fans.
The upcoming run of matches will show the world where CFC are currently in their rebuild. It is looking alright at the moment. But they will have to up the ante and show they mean business