Brighton & Hove Albion v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Saturday 20th January 2018

Venue: Amex Stadium

Kick-off: 12:30 GMT

 

 

 

 

After a complete farce of a game against Norwich in the FA Cup, today’s early kick-off takes us to Brighton. We’ll be without Alvaro Morata and Pedro after they both saw red midweek, and quite probably Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas who are both nursing dodgy hamstrings. Michy Batshuayi did manage a goal against Norwich although otherwise did little to ask any questions of his manager, so whether he starts today, or Conte goes with Hazard up front remains to be seen.

As for Brighton, they have little to worry about in terms of absentees and they’ve looked to be just about coping in the premier league although they’ve won just 1 of the last 12 league games and failed to score in eight of them. After some of our most abject displays in recent years though, Brighton will fancy their chances of getting something out of this game – and who could blame them?


 

 

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game. Brighton manager Chris Hughton says “I expect a very difficult game, I don’t think anybody would say any different. Irrespective of their situation at the moment it won’t be anything other than a difficult game. But these are the challenges you look forward to. We know we are more likely to get points at home than away, we have had some difficulties away from home, this is the next opportunity we have.”

Antonio Conte meanwhile, with a few absentees from the squad says of new signing Ross Barkley “I think Ross is in a good physical condition. Yesterday he played 70 minutes. Tomorrow he is in the squad and comes with us. I don’t know if during the game I decide to give him the chance to play or wait, or if the game doesn’t ask this type of situation. He has to work with us in our idea. Now he is in the squad.”

 

 

SQUAD NEWS

For Brighton, Steve Sidwell (ankle) is their only absentee.

For Chelsea, Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas (both hamstring) are missing through injury, whilst Pedro and Morata miss out through suspension. Ross Barkley should be on the bench for the start of this one.

 

 

TEAMS

BRIGHTON (Possible line-up): Ryan, Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong, Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, Izquierdo, Gross, Murray

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois, Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Moses, Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso, Willian, Hazard, Batshuayi

 

 

LAST SEASON

N/A

 

 

CURRENT FORM

BRIGHTON: DWLDDL

CHELSEA: WDWWDD

 

 

OTHER STUFF

~ Brighton have lost their last seven games against Chelsea in all competitions,

~ Brighton have failed to score in six of their last seven games against Chelsea.

~ Chelsea won the reverse fixture 2-0 on Boxing Day

~ Brighton have lost only two of their 11 Premier League home fixtures

~ Brighton have lost in all six league this season against the current top six.

~ Brighton have conceded 16 goals from set-pieces in 2017-18.

~ Brighton have never beaten the reigning top-flight champions in a league match

~ Chelsea could go three league away games without a win for the first time under Antonio Conte.

~ Chelsea could go without a win in their opening three Premier League matches of a calendar year for the first time in 23 years.

~ Chelsea have lost just one of 27 Premier League matches as reigning champions versus promoted opposition

 

 

PREDICTIONS

BBC Sport: Brighton 1-1 Chelsea

Sky Sports: Brighton 0-1 Chelsea

SportsMole: Brighton 0-2 Chelsea

 

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