Brighton vs Chelsea Match Preview; 16th December

Chelsea travel to the South Coast side on a high after their impressive 2-0 win over Manchester City last weekend.

The Blues will be looking to build some momentum by beating the Seagulls to keep their place solidified in the top 4. They know that if they slip up against the Seagulls on the weekend, then their top 4 place could be at risk, with Arsenal in 5th on the same points as the Blues.

On the other hand for the Seagulls, they come into this game on the back of a tight but disappointing 1-0 loss away to Burnley.

The South Coast side will be looking for a positive result this weekend to get back on the right track.

Prior to the Burnley game, Brighton were on a run of being 2 unbeaten after back to back wins against Huddersfield away, and Crystal Palace at home.

Recent form for both teams

Brighton- L/D/W/W/L

Chelsea-  D/L/W/L/W

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Manager Comments

Brighton Manager: Chris Hughton (Source- Brighton’s Official Twitter)

“Chelsea were very good at the Amex last year – whichever way they do play they have real quality and their last league win shows that. “They also have a lot of flexibility in their attacking areas.”

“We know we’ll have to defend very well – but we have to be in the game ourselves too.”

“I thought Leon [Balogun] did very well last weekend against two very physical strikers. “You have to be part of a good defensive unit as well as standing up to the challenge individually on Sunday.”

“Our level of performance at the moment is good – I thought we were unfortunate not to get anything from last weekend. “That’s important because we have some tough matches coming up – you have to be in those games.”

“We know we have to start well on Sunday. “Chelsea reminded us of the levels of this league last season.”

“Glenn [Murray] is fine now and has made a full recovery from his shoulder knock.”

“It’s good to have David Button back too ahead of next month. “We knew his injury would only be a short period of time. We have good level of competition in the goalkeeping department now.”

“Our under-23 group have been outstanding. “That’s credit to our recruitment team here – it’s the strongest team we’ve ever had at that level. “Then you need someone to oversee that and bring them on – Simon Rusk has been excellent and instrumental.”

Chelsea Manager: Maurizio Sarri didn’t conduct a pre-match press conference due to Europa League commitments.

Team News

Brighton

Hughton confirmed that Alireza Jahanbakhsh is available for the visit of the Blues after recovering from injury, and a late decision will be made on the fitness of Jose Izquierdo.

Shane Duffy will serve the second match of his three-game suspension, following the red card he received in Albion’s 3-1 win against Crystal Palace.

Chelsea

Both Alvaro Morata and Mateo Kovacic are doubts for the Blues after picking up injuries against Vidi and Manchester City respectively, while Victor Moses remains a long-term absentee for the Londoners.

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Head to Head record

Brighton and Chelsea have met 10 times in all competitions over the years, with Chelsea having the much better head to head record compared to the Seagulls. The Londoners have won 8 times in all competitions. There has only been 1 draw between these two sides over the Years. And the Seagulls have only beaten the Blues 1 time.

Can the Seagulls add to that 1 win against the Blues on the weekend? We will find out…

The last meeting between these two sides came last season in January with Chelsea thrashing Brighton 4-0 away at the Amex Stadium. The Blues also won the reverse fixture 2-0 at Stamford Bridge last season.

Head to Head Match facts (Credit- BBC Sport)

  • Chelsea have won all six of their league games against Brighton by an aggregate score of 12-1.
  • Brighton are looking for their first victory over Chelsea in any competition since 1933, when they won 2-1 in the FA Cup third round.
  • The Seagulls have lost the last eight meetings, conceding 18 goals and scoring just once.

Match Facts (Credit- BBC Sport)

Brighton and Hove Albion

  • Brighton have lost just one of their last 10 Premier League home games (W5, D4), and failed to score in only one of the last 14.
  • However, four of their five home defeats in the division have come against last season’s top six.
  • Brighton manager Chris Hughton is winless in his last eight meetings with Chelsea.
  • Glenn Murray’s goals have been worth nine points this season, a joint league-high with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Everton’s Richarlison.
  • Brighton’s only shot on target last weekend against Burnley came in the 93rd minute.
  • Thirteen of Brighton’s 19 league goals have come via a set-piece.

Chelsea

  • Chelsea have lost their last two Premier League away games, having sustained just one defeat in the previous nine (W7, D1).
  • They began the season with five straight league victories but have only won five of the last 11, drawing four and losing two.
  • The Blues have used just 20 players in the Premier League in 2018-19 – only Wolves, with 18, have selected fewer.
  • Eden Hazard has made a league-high eight assists, double the tally he managed in 34 appearances last season.
  • The Belgian could assist Premier League goals in four consecutive games for the first time.
  • Kepa Arrizabalaga has not kept consecutive league clean sheets since August 2017 for Athletic Club in La Liga.
  • However, Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in all five Premier League matches this season following a Europa League fixture.
Bet 365 have made Chelsea favourites for this encounter on Sunday, with a Chelsea win being priced at 1/2. A draw between these two sides is being priced at 7/2. And a Surprise Brighton win is being priced at 13/2.
My Prediction for this game is a very tight 1-2 win to Chelsea. I think Brighton will be very hard for the Blues to break down, but eventually, I think that the quality will show through. I am backing Hazard and Willian to score the goals for Chelsea on the weekend. And obviously, Glenn Murray will score the Brighton goal like he always does!
By Danyal Khan

 

Author: danyalkhan2000

I am studying sports journalism at the university of Gloucestershire and have just been granted an internship by Soccertalkline.com to be a Chelsea FC Journalist.

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