Brentford vs. Chelsea: EFL Cup live stream, TV channel, how to watch online, start time, odds


Two sides battered and bruised by COVID-19 cases in recent weeks face off at the Brentford Community Stadium on Wednesday, the Bees hosting Chelsea in the EFL Cup quarter final. Thomas Frank’s side beat Forest Green Rovers, Oldham Athletic and Stoke City to advance this far; another win would see them match their club record achievement of reaching the semi finals last season.

Chelsea’s passage to the last eight has been rather more dramatic with the Blues needing penalties to overcome first Aston Villa and then Southampton with reserve goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga excelling in both contests. He is expected to keep his place in goal but with a raft of coronavirus cases in the squads it remains to be seen who else might play for Chelsea. Brentford, meanwhile, have zero positive cases after closing their training ground over the weekend. Here is how you can watch the match and what you need to know:

Viewing information

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 22 | Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
Location: Stamford Bridge — London
TV/Live stream: ESPN+
Odds: Brentford +400; Draw +230; Chelsea -150 (via Caesars Sportsbook)

Storylines

Brentford: Their weekend fixture at Southampton having been postponed must have come as a frustrating check to momentum for Frank’s side, who had battled back to earn three points against Watford with goals in the 84th and 90th minute last time out. It has been a somewhat frustrating autumn and winter for Brentford even if their 12th place berth is more than satisfactory for any newly promoted side.

Games against four the league’s bottom third — Burnley, Norwich, Newcastle and Leeds — brought just two points while Ivan Toney has just one open play goal in the Premier League since August. Victory over a west London rival on Wednesday could offer a welcome fillip at a key stage of this impressive season for Brentford.

Chelsea: Thomas Tuchel made no secret of his anger that Sunday’s game against Wolverhampton Wanderers went ahead when Chelsea were stung by seven players being forced into isolation. Timo Werner, the injured Ben Chilwell, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Romelu Lukaku all tested positive for COVID-19 before Thursday’s draw with Everton. Such a sizeable list of absentees has faced further burden on those players who are fit with Tuchel stating that playing N’Golo Kante for 90 minutes against Wolves was “irresponsible.”

The German is unlikely to be able to get away from placing such heavy demands on those available to him over the coming weeks. A string of Under-23 players were called up to train ahead of tomorrow’s game but Lewis Baker also has Covid. “Our squad is very strong but not the biggest,” said Tuchel. “When we miss nine players, we struggle.”

Prediction

It is harder than ever to assess such games, usually made up of weakened squads in the first place, but Chelsea might still just about have enough depth to reach the semi-finals. PICK: Brentford 1 Chelsea 2





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