Brentford vs Chelsea: What Blues MUST do to avoid possible banana peel against Thomas Frank’s Bees?
They may have only been in the top tier for a few months, but Brentford is letting the big boys of the Premier League know they are not to be messed with.
Brentford is currently enjoying one of the best starts to a Premier League season for a newly promoted side – and it’s no fluke.
Bee boss Thomas Frank has drilled his men well and has shown in a short time that they are fit for the highest level after already knocking down a number of established parties. Chelsea, Brentford’s next opponent in the Premier League this weekend, have been warned.
And they kicked off their debut campaign in the Premier League perfectly with an impressive 2-0 win over Arsenal on opening day, showing fans exactly what their direct yet exciting football style has in store.
High-flying Brentford welcome Chelsea to Brentford Community Stadium on Saturday
Chelsea can’t take Thomas Frank’s newly promoted men for granted this weekend
However, it was their thrilling 3-3 draw against Liverpool in late September that made people stand up and take notice. Since that result, Brentford have taken another impressive win against West Ham, but they have now set their sights on another London rival.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel will have kept a close eye on Liverpool since the start of the season, with the two sides coming out 1-1 at the end of August. However, it’s Frank’s men that will be a cause for concern, given the number of waves they’ve made.
But let’s quickly go back to that 3-3 result with Liverpool last month.
With the Reds in town, Brentford refused to shy away from one of their toughest challenges yet and went up against Jürgen Klopp’s men.
Against Liverpool, all three of Brentford’s goals came from crosses and posed a huge threat
Virgil van Dijk struggled to deal with Brentford threat as Vitaly Janelt (left) scored
Ethan Pinnock broke the deadlock shortly before the half hour after watching Kristoffer Ajer make a beautiful goal line from Mohamed Salah on the other side.
It was a shock to the system for Liverpool, but the sense of pandemonium in the stands became all too familiar among the Brentford faithful.
Although it was only a few minutes before Liverpool equalized via Diogo Jota, Brentford kept a cool head and saw the first half feeling like they could stand up to anything thrown at them.
In the second half, Jota was back in to score, the quickest to strike after Curtis Jones’ shot crushed the post, but the Portuguese’s follow-up attempt was admirably saved by David Raya.
Salah did eventually give Liverpool the lead after seeing his goal, which was initially ruled offside by VAR, reversed, but Brentford reacted again via Vitaly Janelt – again with the chance from another cross.
Ivan Toney (left) and Bryan Mbeumo (right) were a nightmare to defend against and could cause a lot of trouble for Chelsea’s backline
But once again, Liverpool showed exactly the mentality of a top side by taking the lead again minutes later, with Jones’ fierce shot deflecting into Raya’s net, forcing the hosts to do everything in their power.
Holding on to their guns, the Bees carried out Frank’s game plan as the clock ticked: pump balls into the box and keep a handful for Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip.
This time it was substitute Yoane Wissa who would finish past Alisson, with the forward dribbling the ball over Alisson to score a well-deserved point at Brentford Community Stadium.
While Liverpool dominated a lot of possession throughout the game, it was their inability to convert some of their solid chances that ultimately cost them, despite scoring three goals.
Brentford’s marauding fullbacks will pump crosses into the box for Toney to cling to
Klopp, along with Van Dijk and Matip, discovered how many of a handful of the Bees’ strike partnership of Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo were to defend.
Their aerial presence has made direct long balls a constant problem even for the Liverpool duo, while Toney can even let the ball play in the feet.
All three of Brentford’s goals were the result of crosses into the penalty area, with Frank instructing his men to do so whenever they could.
The hosts managed to make 10 crosses against Liverpool and Chelsea can certainly expect more of the same from outside on their short trip through West London on Saturday.
Romelu Lukaku will have to seize his opportunities and end his drought with small goals for Chelsea
Antonio Rudiger, if fit, will have a big job keeping Toney and Mbeumo quiet
Liverpool failed to pressure Sergi Canos and Rico Henry in that vanguard, who have more than enough quality to find both frontmen’s heads when given the chance.
While Tuchel will likely prefer his 3-4-3 formation for the game against Brentford, which will help counter the threat from Toney and Mbeumo, it was also mean that he would have more men to cross the penalty area. filling and handling crosses from Brentford’s marauding fullbacks.
And while Brentford will be a new challenge for Tuchel, there is a good reason why his Chelsea side is on top.
Chelsea have conceded just three goals in their first seven games this season, scoring 15.
Thomas Tuchel’s men must be prepared to defend crosses and send long balls everywhere
Outside of home, Chelsea have dropped just two points in their three games, with the Blues passing both North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham without an answer.
A 2-0 win over the Gunners and a 3-0 win over the Spurs make for good reading in local derbies, but if Romelu Lukaku’s goalscorer continues to evade him at national level, Chelsea could be in trouble.
Although Lukaku ended his five-game streak without a goal during the international break, the Blues will need their Belgian frontman to add his three goals when they face Brentford.
But if the goals dry up and the rear guard struggles to contain Toney and Mbeumo and keep the raucous home fans behind their team, Chelsea could be waking up early – just ask Klopp and his Liverpool side .
Chelsea must keep Brentford supporters quiet to destroy the Bees’ underdog spirit