After a disappointing mid-week in the Champions League, Chelsea were afforded the weekend off, but they will be back in action on Wednesday night (7.45pm) when Brentford come calling. Can the hosts improve? Or will the visitors prove to be a thorn in the side of another big-name side? This CFC vs Brentford Bees preview aims to find out, before deciding on our EPL game betting tips.
Things continue poorly at Chelsea. The Blues were dumped out of the Champions League by a Real Madrid side that ultimately made light work of brushing aside their West London opponents. Wednesday’s hosts approach this juncture having not won any of their last five Premier League games. Since retaking the managerial position on a temporary basis, Frank Lampard has watched over two draws and two losses in all competitions and will now very much be searching for a first win.
Much like the hosts, the Bees come into this game having lacked a sting in recent weeks. They failed to get the better of Aston Villa at home last time out, a result that came after three defeats in a row, as Thomas Frank’s once European hopefuls came up short against Manchester United, Newcastle and Wolves. Playing on the continent next season remains a possibility, but with the season ending soon, their form needs to improve. If they don’t get something here, then they could be down and out as far as qualifying for either the Europa League or the Europa Conference League is concerned.
Hosts CFC need a goal-getter
For much of the season, goals have been hard to come by for the Blues, and it is abundantly clear that they lack a serious goal scorer. All season long, this Chelsea team has struggled offensively, and the arrival of Frank Lampard hasn’t and is unlikely to do anything to change that.
In the Premier League, after 31 games, Kai Havertz is the Chelsea top scorer with a modest total of seven goals to his name. Raheem Sterling is next with four, while Mason Mount has scored three. None of that trio have regularly caused opposition defences serious problems. As Chelsea’s top three scorers, a combined total of 14 goals is embarrassing. In contrast, Brentford’s top three scorers have notched a combined total of 29.
The fault does not entirely lie with the those tasked with scoring for Chelsea, as Wednesday’s hosts have struggled to create chances too. At the very least, they have struggled to match a whole host of other Premier League teams in terms of creativity. When it comes to expected goals for, Chelsea currently rank 13th, which may go some way to explaining why they are only the 15th highest scorers in the league. They have now played more games than they’ve scored goals, which is quite alarming.
Visiting Bees have what hosts don’t
In Ivan Toney, Wednesday’s visitors have what Chelsea have been crying out for all season long and that is a potent striker. The England international has been in fine form this term, scoring no fewer than 19 times in the Premier League. If it wasn’t for the extraordinary efforts of Man City’s Erling Haaland, then the 27-year-old would be battling it out with Harry Kane for the Golden Boot.
As a team in general, the Bees have looked relatively useful offensively. Only six teams have scored more goals than Frank’s men, while they also rank as the seventh best team in the division in terms of expected goals for, producing 0.22 more xG per game than Chelsea. In terms of goals, they have scored 0.54 more per game than their hosts here.
Ahead of this game, they have gone through a bit of a slump in the final third, though Ivan Toney made a timely return to the scoresheet last time out, while the team in general looked strong offensively, producing an impressive 2.97 xG. Given Chelsea’s attacking woes, even a showing not that good may be enough to get a result on Wednesday night.
Bees looking to extend their unbeaten run
If the visitors avoid defeat in this game, then they will have gone three games in a row without losing against Chelsea. Earlier in the campaign, the pair drew 0-0 at the Gtech Community Arena, while last season, Brentford were successful at Stamford Bridge, running riot, as they won by four goals to one.
Visitors Brentford FC looking too big
In the early betting with those pesky bookmakers, it is easy to think that the visitors aren’t being taken seriously enough. Frankly, odds of 4/1 look to represent some value.
We have seen Chelsea falter time and again at home this season. Nothing about their recent home efforts suggests that they warrant such strong favouritism ahead of this game. After all, we’ve seen the likes of Brighton, Liverpool, and Aston Villa, all of whom aren’t far in front of Brentford in the league, either win or avoid defeat at Stamford Bridge in recent times.
Moreover, we know that this Brentford team can cut it with the big boys, not that the hosts qualify as big boys this season. Frank’s men went to the Etihad and pulled off an unlikely win, while their draw down in Brighton recently bodes very well, especially as the hosts faltered at home against such opponents recently. We have also seen the Bees get a point at the Emirates, and play very well in doing so, in 2023.
All in all, the early betting seems to suggest that there is a gap in quality between the pair that simply does not exist, and it would be little surprise if the visitors upset a home team that continues to struggle. At odds of 11/4, with the insurance that ‘Draw No Bet’ provides, a punt on Brentford getting a result makes plenty of sense. So this CFC vs Brentford Bees preview suggests this betting tip:
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.