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Chelsea-Brentford Preview

Romelu Lukaku is fit for Chelsea's trip to Brentford on Saturday but a frustrated Thomas Tuchel has revealed Antonio Rudiger will join fellow centre-back Thiago Silva in missing out.

Lukaku withdrew from Belgium duty with muscle fatigue and was a doubt for the Premier League leaders' short hop across west London, though Blues boss Tuchel later downplayed the injury at a pre-match news conference.

"Romelu is fine, had all training sessions, he will play tomorrow," Tuchel said Friday.

The news was not so positive on Rudiger, though, after he came back from his time with Germany with a back issue.

"Toni Rudiger came back injured from the national team, Christian Pulisic is still injured, we have doubts of (Hakim) Ziyech – he missed two sessions with a headache," Tuchel said.

Silva is also absent having featured in Brazil's 4-1 World Cup qualifying win over Uruguay on Thursday night.

"Of course, I'm not happy, but I knew before when he will come back, when he will travel. I got used to a lot of stuff in national breaks. Are we happy all the coaches with the games players play for their countries? No, they (are) not. Do they ask us anything? No. I knew it before," Tuchel said.

"We speak about it during UEFA coaches meetings. The calendar, you have to accept it."

Brentford held Liverpool to a thrilling 3-3 draw in their last home game, before beating West Ham on the road, though Thomas Frank is under no illusions as to the size of the challenge his team face on Saturday.

"When we won our promotion in the play-off final they won the Champions League," said Frank. "I think that's a very good picture of the difference between the two clubs. It is a team with world-class players and, with the transfer of Lukaku, it is more or less complete."

Brentford – Yoane Wissa

Wissa has scored five goals in his last five appearances in all competitions for Brentford, averaging a goal every 47 minutes for the Bees this season. Of all Premier League players in all competitions this season, only Marcus Forss (37) and Cameron Archer (46) have a better minutes-per-goal rate than the Congolese forward, though neither of those players have scored in the Premier League so far.

Chelsea – Timo Werner

Werner scored his first goal in 10 Premier League games against Southampton last time out. The German has only scored in consecutive league appearances once for the Blues, doing so in November 2020.

Chelsea have had more different goalscorers than any other Premier League side so far this season (12, excl. own goals). Only Arsenal in 2009-10 have had more different goalscorers in their first seven games of a Premier League campaign (13).

Brentford are winless in their last six meetings with Chelsea in all competitions (D1 L5) since a 3-1 away win in February 1939. This is the first league meeting between the sides since a 2-0 win for the Blues in March 1947.

Chelsea have won their last two meetings with Brentford by a 4-0 scoreline, with both of these fixtures coming in the FA Cup (February 2013 and January 2017).

Brentford have already drawn with Crystal Palace, and beaten both Arsenal and West Ham this season. They are the first team in Premier League history to remain unbeaten in each of their first three London derby matches in the competition.

Chelsea have won each of their last six away London derbies in the Premier League, and could become the first team in English Football League history (top four tiers) to win seven such games in a row.

Updated October 15, 2021

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