Aiming to win three competitive matches on the bounce for the first time since March, Chelsea vs Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge for Saturday afternoon's Premier League battle.
The dreaded international break is nearly upon us, with Gameweek 4 being the final matchday before the fortnight-long hiatus. Chelsea will aim to make it three wins in a row when they host Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
Chelsea did not start the Mauricio Pochettino era as well as they would have liked. After playing out a 1-1 draw with Liverpool in their season-opener, the Blues suffered a 3-1 defeat to West Ham United in Gameweek 2. But Pochettino and his charges have bounced back in the past week, beating Luton Town and AFC Wimbledon.
On the other hand, Nottingham Forest will be disappointed at getting eliminated from the EFL Cup this week, losing 1-0 at home to Burnley in the second round. But the Tricky Trees have given a good account of themselves in the Premier League, losing two games by the odd goal while clinching a 2-1 win in their only home game thus far. Such a run has left them 14th on the table.
Chelsea and Nottingham Forest clashed four times last season, with the Blues winning twice and the other two games ending in stalemates. But the corresponding fixture ended in a 2-2 draw, with Raheem Sterling and Taiwo Awoniyi scoring a brace each.
It was no surprise that Pochettino shuffled his pack for the midweek cup victory, but we should see the Argentine roll out a similar XI to the one that beat Luton 3-0 on matchday three.
However, with question marks arising over Conor Gallagher's future, we could perhaps see Enzo Fernandez drop into the midfield pivot again and Noni Madueke come into the side after his impressive performance against AFC Wimbledon.
Steve Cooper deployed what was close to a complete second string XI on Wednesday as Forest crashed out of the Carabao Cup to Burnley.
The visitors will be without the suspended Joe Worrall, while Brennan Johnson might not be on the club's books by the time the summer transfer window slams shut amid interest from Tottenham. Anthony Elanga could replace the Welshman in the XI if that is the case.
Moussa Niakhate will likely come in for the suspended Worrall at the heart of Forest's back three.
Chelsea are unbeaten in their last nine meetings with Nottingham Forest in all competitions since a 2-0 loss in January 1997. However, following a run of seven straight victories, the Blues drew both Premier League clashes against Forest last season. Meanwhile, the Tricky Trees have won just one of their most recent 14 away games against Chelsea in all competitions (D5 L8) and are winless in nine since a 2-0 victory in January 1995.
Chelsea earned their first league win of the season against Luton Town last week, ending a run of eight Premier League games without a home win (D5 L3). They last won consecutively at Stamford Bridge between August and October last season (a run of three).
Nottingham Forest have won just one of their 21 Premier League away games since their return to the division last season (D5 L15), going down 3-2 to Manchester United last week despite going 2-0 ahead in just four minutes.
Chelsea are the only side yet to have a shot from high turnover in the Premier League this season, despite ranking sixth for high turnovers overall (28). Only Wolverhampton Wanderers (10) and Liverpool (7) have faced more shots from high turnovers so far than Nottingham Forest (6).
Chelsea predicted lineup vs Forest (3-4-2-1): Sanchez; Disasi, Silva, Colwill; Gusto; Caicedo, Fernandez, Chilwell; Madueke, Jackson, Sterling.
Forest predicted lineup vs Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Turner; Boly, Niakhate, McKenna; Aurier, Yates, Danilo, Aina; Elanga, Gibbs-White; Awoniyi.
Turner; Boly, Silva, Colwill; Gusto,Danilo, Caicedo, Fernandez, Jackson, Sterling, Awoniyi