Brentford predicted lineup vs Chelsea - Premier League

Grey Whitebloom
Thomas Frank has won 85 of his 183 matches as Brentford manager
Thomas Frank has won 85 of his 183 matches as Brentford manager / Jan Kruger/GettyImages

Brentford make the five-mile trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

The Bees spent the first 24 games of the season lining up in a familiar 3-5-2. But Thomas Frank has tweaked the system in recent weeks, shuffling into a back four to coincide with the arrival of Christian Eriksen and a first ever set of consecutive Premier League wins.

Here's the XI that may be deployed in Frank's altered system.

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

David Raya
David Raya has missed 14 of Brentford's 30 Premier League games this season / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

David Raya (GK) - Brentford conceded 2.1 goals per game during Raya's three-month injury layoff this season compared to just 1.1 when he has started.

Kristoffer Ajer (RB) - Despite its status as an inconsequential friendly, Ajer will surely be a little boosted by Norway's 9-0 shellacking of Armenia on Tuesday.

Pontus Jansson (CB) - The irreplaceable club captain hasn't missed a league game for Brentford since serving a red card suspension in April 2021.

Ethan Pinnock (CB) - The London-born former non-league player didn't make the bench for Jamaica's latest batch of fixtures as they failed to qualify for the World Cup, unable to break his record of five caps and five defeats.

Rico Henry (LB) - The squad's longest-serving player is the only member of the current set-up that was at the club the last time Brentford played a game at Stamford Bridge (although he was injured for that unsuccessful FA Cup tie).

2. Midfielders

Brentford v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Christian Norgaard assisted his clubmate Christian Eriksen while the pair were on international duty with Denmark earlier in the week / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Vitaly Janelt (CM) - During three-and-a-half pockmarked years at Bochum, Janelt started 36 league games. He racked up the same tally during his debut campaign in west London last season.

Christian Norgaard (CM) - While the future involvement of Norgaard's golfing partner and upcoming opponent Andreas Christensen is uncertain this weekend and beyond at Chelsea, Norgaard's place in Brentford's starting XI is all but guaranteed.

Christian Eriksen (CM) - On Tuesday, Eriksen was a starter, captain and goalscorer for his country on the same pitch where he suffered a terrifying collapse during last summer's European Championship.

3. Forwards

Ivan Toney
Ivan Toney has scored eight goals in his last six starts for Brentford across all competitions / Jan Kruger/GettyImages

Bryan Mbeumo (RW) - Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski is the only player in Europe's top five leagues to have been denied by the goal frame more often than Mbeumo this season (six).

Ivan Toney (ST) - With five goals (including three penalties) against two of the division's bottom three last month, Toney has been instrumental in establishing Brentford's buffer above of the drop.

Sergi Canos (LW) - Presumably Canos didn't need anywhere near as much cajoling to return to his natural advanced position compared to the charm-offensive Frank employed when he converted the Spaniard into a wing-back last season.