Brentford are up in seventh place and have already put a healthy nine-point cushion between themselves and the relegation zone after just seven rounds of action, while also seeing off fourth-tier outfits Forest Green and Oldham in the League Cup by a combined 10-1 scoreline.
Their campaign could hardly have gotten off to a better start, even landing a victory over an admittedly weakened Arsenal on the opening day and holding Liverpool to a thrilling 3-3 draw.
Chelsea may top the table at present, but the international break probably came at a good time for them as their last four appearances didn’t deliver the best of success.
They required penalties to overcome Aston Villa in the League Cup before back-to-back 1-0 losses to Man City and Juventus, while their 3-1 victory over Southampton saw them net twice late on after James Ward-Prowse had received his marching orders from referee Martin Atkinson.
Thomas Tuchel will hope to have N’Golo Kante back available after his bout of covid, though the midfielder will probably have to settle for a place on the bench behind Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic.
At the back, Thiago Silva is unavailable and both Reece James and Antonio Rudiger are doubts, so Trevoh Chalobah should be handed another opportunity after his goalscoring performance against Southampton before the break.
Should Rudiger fail to make the cut, Cesar Azpilicueta will likely drop into the back three, while should James also miss out, there could be a rare opportunity for Callum Hudson-Odoi at wing-back.
Brentford +1 Asian Handicap
In attack, Christian Pulisic remains sidelined and Romelu Lukaku is a slight doubt with muscle fatigue, though at least Timo Werner appears to be finding some form.
The German scored a goal and had another ruled out for a foul by Azpilicueta in the build up against Southampton, and enjoyed an encouraging time with Germany as he netted twice in the 4-0 win over North Macedonia.
Thomas Frank isn’t without any concerns either with midfielders Vitaly Janelt and Shandon Baptiste both ruled out, while centre-back Kristofer Ajer is also a doubt.
The latter would be the biggest loss, though the Norwegian summer signing from Celtic was unavailable in Brentford’s last game as they ran out 2-1 winners over West Ham.
Brentford’s sole defat this season was a narrow 1-0 loss to Brighton to Leandro Trossard’s 90th-minute strike and although Chelsea represent a much tougher assignment, the Bees’ encouraging performances against the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and West Ham suggest they’ll remain competitive.
Chelsea have had time to regroup over the international break following a dip in form, but with a few key players doubts to feature here, may struggle to completely stamp their authority on this fixture.
BRENTFORD +1 ASIAN HANDICAP