Chelsea are hosting Brighton and Hove Albion this weekend as they look to return to winning ways in the Premier League. The inconsistency of the top six has meant the Blues have remained in touch with the Champions League places. They have a strong run of fixtures over the coming weeks and it is crucial that they take advantage, getting points on the board at this early stage. They face a Seagulls’ team that hasn’t won since the opening weekend of the campaign.
The midweek Carabao Cup fixture against Grimsby gave Frank Lampard to rotate his team. Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi starred as they step up their returns from injury, highlighting the strength in depth among the young players at the club. It may be too soon for the pair to start on Saturday, but there is no doubting that they each have a key role to play over the coming months. Last weekend, the Blues didn’t win, but they were arguably the better team against Liverpool. If they perform to a similar level on Saturday, they should win comfortably.
Brighton have been an interesting team to watch this season. Graham Potter is changing the style of play and they have been very entertaining to watch. However, they haven’t been able to score goals on a consistent basis and they have struggled to win games as a result. In their previous Premier League fixture, they were clearly the better team against Newcastle, but they had to settle for a point. The game with Chelsea should be more open and that should suit the Seagulls. They definitely have the quality to cause problems for the home side.
- Chelsea have conceded 13 Premier League goals, which is the most they have let in during the Premier League era.
- Brighton have failed to score in nine of their last 15 Premier League games.
Tammy Abraham has been a revelation since the beginning of the season and he has been one of the main beneficiaries from the change in manager. The transfer ban has also helped as Chelsea were unable to replace the outgoing Gonzalo Higuain. Olivier Giroud is a great squad player, while Michy Batshuayi has shown flashes of his ability. However, neither are viewed as consistent enough to be the first choice striker at Stamford Bridge, which has opened up an opportunity to the homegrown forward. After a shaky start, including a missed penalty in the European Super Cup, the 21-year-old has scored seven Premier League goals. Only Sergio Aguero has found the back of the net on more occasions. Throughout his short career, Abraham has been a striker that thrives when full of confidence and that should worrying Brighton. The coming fixtures look appealing and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him score plenty more before the Christmas period.
The German has been one of the standout players of Brighton’s Premier League era and he has quickly won the support of Graham Potter. Although the team failed to score last weekend, Groß was the standout player and creating several promising situations that his team-mates may have done better with on another day. Although he has yet to register a goal or an assist, he will be one of the important players in attack for the Seagulls. Against Newcastle, he attempted two shots and made three key passes, showing the danger he can pose in the final third. Chelsea haven’t been reliable at the back and the visitors will see it as a great opportunity to banish their attacking woes. The German will be key to achieving that.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Emerson Palmieri are the long term absentees. Callum Hudson-Odoi will be hoping to feature following his impressive Carabao Cup performance. Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen face late fitness tests.
Leandro Trossard, Jose Izquierdo, Leon Balogun and Alireza Jahanbakhsh are all set to miss out for the visitors. Glenn Murray and Neal Maupay should both be available.
This should be a great watch, as both teams are open and look to attack the opposition. Chelsea need to be winning these type of games to establish themselves as a top four contender. They have yet to win at home in the league under Lampard and that is a record they must put right against Brighton. The return of Hudson-Odoi is a huge positive and he will add something to the squad if he is involved this weekend. The home side should be able to win this game and end their winless run at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea 3-1 Brighton