Chelsea take on Brentford on Saturday afternoon as the Blues look to extend their unbeaten run. In the last four matches – in all competitions – Mauricio Pochettino’s side have won three and drawn one, last time out at home to Arsenal.

The Bees, though, present a different challenge to the Gunners but one that the Chelsea squad should be relishing with the form they are currently in. “In the next six games, Chelsea face some really tough sides,” Bobby Vincent of said on the latest episode of the View From the Bridge podcast.

“I think Brentford, as well, are a really top side. And they have proven that against some of the bigger teams since they got promoted. The way they press, it’s really high.

“I was reading some of Thomas Frank’s quotes after their win against Burnley last weekend and he said they looked back to their best in terms of what they were doing off the ball and they hadn’t really had that so far this season. So if they can sort of replicate that against Chelsea then it will make things really difficult for them when playing out of the back.

“It is an exciting game for Chelsea, though, because I don’t think Brentford are the sort of team that will come and play a defensive style, a low-block like we’ve seen a few times this season. Nottingham Forest comes to mind, when they went 1-0 up they came and made things really tight in the middle for Chelsea and they could not find a way through.

“I don’t think Brentford will be like that, though, they will come and try to play on the front foot and try to match Chelsea’s distance covered etc. There will be areas for Chelsea to exploit if they can break that press.”

Sam Hill added: “It will be an exciting fixture. Brentford are not the sort of team to back down from high quality opposition and so I’d imagine there will be lots of chances for both sides.

“It’s up to Chelsea to try and stop Brentford, even though they don’t have Ivan Toney available. They still have [Yoane] Wissa, [Bryan] Mbeumo and [Christian] Norgaard coming from deep as well, so there is a lot of things for Pochettino to consider.

“I think Chelsea have a lot of threats themselves. Cole Palmer has been brilliant since he arrived at the club and he has shown that in the last few weeks. He has taken the confidence he clearly has in himself and has been able to produce that on the pitch with goals and taking the penalty off Sterling shows that confidence and arrogance Chelsea were calling out for in attack.”

After such a positive performance against Arsenal, Bobby and Sam also discussed any possible changes for the Brentford match and they both agreed on one man in particular. “I think you’ve got to look at Reece James [coming into the side],” Bobby said.

“He came on for the last 15 or so minutes against Arsenal after a lengthy layoff and logic would dictate that he will start this game because he’s had more time to get himself fully fit. I never thought Chelsea would start him against Arsenal and not wanting to aggravate an injury for a player who has really struggled with muscular problems.

“I think he probably comes into the side. Malo Gusto was pretty strong against Arsenal but there were a few question marks over [Leandro] Trossard’s goal. He sort of lost him at the far post, which does happen. Considering how much Gusto has played this season, a lot more because of James’ absence, that was probably his first clear mistake for a goal.

“But maybe he comes out of the side for Reece James.” Sam then agreed, saying: “I think you’re right. If I was Pochettino I wouldn’t be looking to change that lineup too much.

“Obviously the Arsenal game was fresh off the international break, so he will have a lot more time to work with his players on the training pitch. Brentford are a much different team to Arsenal; I think the midfield could be crucial and the performances of Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo and Conor Gallagher – they really stopped Arsenal in that area of the pitch and that could be crucial again.”

This will be Mauricio Pochettino’s 10th Premier League game as Chelsea head coach since being appointed in the summer. So far, the Blues have won three, drawn three and lost three of their top-flight games, but Bobby and Sam both share a similar view to how he has done so far.

“Over the past 18 months at Chelsea, it’s been very chaotic and unsettled,” Sam said. “If there is one man that has proven at other clubs that he can go into a new club and be given time to introduce his methods, training and build a team that suits his tactical vision, I think it’s Pochettino.

“It was very knee-jerk to [some fans] calling for Pochettino [before the unbeaten run] and saying he wasn’t the right man. If it had been halfway through the season and results hadn’t improved, then I think those views would have more substance to them.”

Bobby continued: “Thankfully those shouts have sort of died down a bit now because that’s what good results do. What he’s done so far has been very good because quite a lot of the time with a new manager, it takes a while their ideas and philosophy to come across. For casual football fans or whatever, to actually see that on the pitch, for that to be noticeable.

“I think that happened very early on with Pochettino. There were even glimpses in the Liverpool game where you could see a more structured press from Chelsea, different systems and ways of attacking we didn’t see last season.

“I remember at the time, probably after the Aston Villa defeat last month, I saw a few tweets saying he wasn’t the right man for Chelsea, he doesn’t fit the mould for a massive football club like Chelsea. I didn’t agree with it and I definitely don’t now.

“There were a lot of comparisons to Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte, Carlo Ancelotti – these huge names that have managed Chelsea in the past. He’s nothing like them. He’s not as arrogant as all three of them. He does believe in himself but he’s humble and I think that’s great.

“Pochettino, right now, is the perfect manager for where Chelsea are right now. He has all of these young players that have been signed from all over the place and have been criticised very strongly.

“His man-management style, the way he likes to put an arm around a player. He has spoken about it a lot in press conferences; the way football has changed, how the young footballer is now compared to the young footballer when he was playing.

“He gets it. He gets the psychological side a lot more than Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte and Carlo Ancelotti. For all of their brilliance, I think Pochettino does suit what Chelsea need now.”

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