There was a time — in an increasingly distant past unfortunately — when a match at Stamford Bridge would mean an automatic three points for Chelsea. In fact, we still hold the Premier League record for longest unbeaten streak at home, a rather unbelievable 86-match run across 4.5 years (years!), from early 2004 to late 2008 (including the entirety of José Mourinho’s first stint at the club). Only one other team have ever gone unbeaten for more than two season’s worth of games (Liverpool, whose 68-match run ended in January 2021), and they weren’t at all close to matching us still.
And that makes it all the more shocking that in the last twelve months, the Bridge have seen just four (4) wins for Chelsea in the Premier League, in twenty (20!) tries — and only one (1) in the least twelve (12!). We thought we had number two in the bag last weekend, but managed to snatch defeat (well, draw, but felt like defeat) from the jaws of victory against Arsenal.
But hopefully we can forget about those 13 minutes this weekend as Brentford come to town. We don’t have to wait for an actual new stadium to start building a new fortress Stamford Bridge!
Date / Time: Saturday, October 28, 2023, 12.30 BST; 7:30am EDT; 5pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Simon Hooper (on pitch); Craig Pawson (VAR)
Forecast: wet and slippery like a winnable game nestled in between games against the top-three
On TV: TNT Sports (née BT Sport) (UK); USA, Universo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); SuperSport Premier League, Canal+ Sport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Discovery+ (UK); NBC Sports Live, Universo Now (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Chelsea team news: Our injury situation is slowly improving, though Reece James is not quite fit enough to start yet and Armando Broja is set to miss out once again. But there are no new injuries to report, which is already unbelievable. Christopher Nkunku could be among those ready to return soon-ish as well, including hopefully Carney Chukwuemeka, Roméo Lavia, and eventually Ben Chilwell, too. Wesley Fofana is out for the season and Trevoh Chalobah is probably out until a January transfer comes along.
Despite the disappointment of last weekend, we are unbeaten in four in all competitions and have even scored a few goals along the way for a change. The two we gave up to Arsenal was just the second time all season that we’ve given up more than a goal, so if we keep up the scoring habit and cut out a few silly mistakes at the other end, we’ll be golden! See, I solved it. Football’s easy, lads!
Brentford team news: Coming off their best Premier League finish (9th), and one of the best seasons ever in their long history, Brentford have gotten off to an inconsistent start, going unbeaten in their first five games in all competitions, then winless in their next five. But they took care of business against Burnley at home, 3-0, last weekend, and that makes them just two points worse off than us in the league thus far.
In Ivan Toney’s absence — suspended for gambling charges by a league that actively encourages gambling — and following the injury to Kevin Schade last month, Bryan Mbeumo has provided the goals: five of them already to lead the team (and he scored in this fixture last year, too). Yoanne Wissa has chipped in with three as well.
At the other end, they’ve been a bit less successful, having kept just two clean sheets so far, which has certainly cost them a few points considering that they’ve scored first in six of their nine games, but ended up winning just two.
Previously: We’ve failed to beat Brentford on three straight occasions, scoring just one goal and shipping six. In fact, in a statistical curiosity, our last win in the league against them at the Bridge happened back in 1946. And speaking of long-ago attitudes, Chelsea made the latest training video un-embeddable, so here’s something completely different.